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  • English In The World

  • The English language has existed for a little over one and a half thousand years.

  • Which, in the grand scheme of things is just a blip in the history of human language.

  • And an even smaller blip in  the history of humankind.

  • The language is called English because of its associations with England.

  • Which sounds straightforward enough, although it's actually a bit  more complicated than this.

  • English had its roots here in the north of Europe.

  • Although of course, it wasn't called English then.

  • There were a number of germanic tribes.

  • The Angles, Saxonsand the Jutes, who crossed the channel;

  • It wasn't called the English  channel until the 18th century.

  • And found out across the island of Great Britain.

  • which at the time was inhabited by Britons who spoke Celtic languages, the ancestors of WelshScottish Gaelic, and Cornish.

  • before the Anglo-Saxons arrived the Romans had also colonised large parts of the island along with people from various  parts of the Roman Empire.

  • Later the Vikings came and then the Normans.

  • All speaking their own languages and also mixing their languages with English.

  • It wasn't until the 14th century that English became properly established  as the language of England and was used for the first time  in parliament and in the law.

  • The first king of England to speak  English as his native language was Henry IV.

  • Henry came to the throne in 1399 almost a thousand years after  the Anglo-Saxons arrived but once English was established, it also began to spread or more  accurately it began to be spread.

  • The most important driver for this was colonialism in lots of countries, English pushed out the local language, and indigenous forms of English developed.

  • In other countriesEnglish existed alongside the local languages and new forms developed.

  • In the 20th century, it continued to spread through the entertainment industrypolitics, the media, and technology, so that today it's a truly global language.

  • Throughout its history, it's always changing

  • and we'll continue to do so far into the future.

  • Get more from the open university, check out the links on screen now.

English In The World

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B1 US language anglo england century history spread

English in the world: A very brief history of a global language

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    Miho Ishii posted on 2021/04/06
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