From old english brun meaning brown and hlaw meaning mound, small hill the name was probably given to a family living on a small hill covered with bracken the name was probably given to a family living on a small hill covered with bracken. English language, west germanic language of the indo-european language family that is closely related to frisian, german, and dutch (in belgium called flemish) languages english originated in england and is the dominant language of the united states, the united kingdom, canada, australia, ireland, new zealand, and various island nations in the caribbean sea and the pacific ocean. English is a germanic language of the indo-european familyit is the second most spoken language in the world it is estimated that there are 300 million native speakers and 300 million who use english as a second language and a further 100 million use it as a foreign language. Throughout history, it has repeatedly found itself in the right place at the right time: english-speaking britain was the leading colonial nation in the 17th and 18th century, as well as the leader of the industrial revolution in the 18th and 18th century in the late 19th and 20th century, english-speaking america was the leading economic. Englandandenglish origins of ethnic english lots of people have questioned who the english really are and where they come from this timeline sets out to answer that the english are a germanic race of people.
You will be introduced to a range of absorbing subjects, including art history, english literature, english language studies, history, and modern languages to prepare you for a wide range of qualifications in the humanities the theme of popular protest runs throughout the module and is used to link the various subject areas. The origin of the english alphabet this is a very confused and misleading article it mixes up languages, writing systems and alphabets without understanding these really basic distinctions (year 1 of any linguistics course) you get into a terrible tangle and mislead and confuse your readers. The origins of some english last names by tim lambert occupational surnames many surnames are taken from jobs eg if a man was a carpenter he might be called john carpenter and because sons very often followed their father's occupation the surname stuck. The history of the british empire has added to the spread of english english is an important language in many places today english is an important language in many places today in australia , canada , india , pakistan , south africa , and the united states , among others (like those in the commonwealth of nations ), english is the main language.
English literature, the body of written works produced in the english language by inhabitants of the british isles (including ireland) from the 7th century to the present day the major literatures written in english outside the british isles are treated separately under american literature, australian literature, canadian literature, and new zealand literature. The history of the english language is a complex tapestry of gradual developments and short, sharp shocks, of isolation and mutual influences, of borrowings and obsolescences. Award-winning etymologist henry hitchings thought he did, until he studied the origins of english in pictures: a-z of word surprises when i set out to write a study of the history of words, i.
History of english jump to navigation jump to search english is a west germanic language that originated from anglo-frisian dialects brought to britain in the mid 5th to 7th centuries ad by anglo-saxon settlers from what is now northwest germany, west denmark and the. The traditional full english breakfast is a centuries old british breakfast tradition, one that can trace its roots back to the early 1300's in one form or another, the tradition of a uniquely english breakfast is one that has been proudly sustained over the centuries by different generations of british society. The story of english literature begins with the germanic tradition of the anglo-saxon settlers beowulf stands at its head the french poetic tradition inclines to lines of a regular metrical length, usually linked by rhyme into couplets or stanzas german poetry depends more on rhythm and stress. Origins of the english language there are approximately 7 billion people in the world and around 400 million speak english as their native tongue between 15 and 2 billion people have at least a slight competence in the language.
The story of english, and how it became a world language english is the world's leading international language it is the principal language spoken in britain, the usa, canada, australia, new zealand, and some other countries such as uganda and botswana. What are the origins of the english language the history of english is conventionally, if perhaps too neatly, divided into three periods usually called old english (or anglo-saxon), middle english, and modern english. These examples of meaning are from the cambridge english corpus and from sources on the web these examples are from the cambridge english corpus and from sources on the web any opinions in the examples do not represent the opinion of the cambridge dictionary editors or of cambridge university press or its licensors.