- English is a language that started in Anglo-Saxon England. It is originally from Anglo-Frisian and Old Saxon dialects. English now has the status of a global language, because it is used worldwide. There are about 375 million native speakers (people who use it as their first language) in the world.
English is an Indo-European language and belongs to the West Germanic group of the Germanic languages. Old English originated from a Germanic tribal and linguistic continuum along the Frisian North Sea coast, whose languages gradually evolved into the Anglic languages in the British Isles, and into the Frisian languages and Low German/Low Saxon on the continent.
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Germanic tribes (Saxons, Angles, and Jutes) came to Britain from around 449 AD. They made their home in the south and east of the island, pushing out the Celtic Britons who were there before them, or making them speak the English language instead of the old Celtic languages. Some people still speak Celtic languages today, in Wales (Welsh) and elsewhere. Gaelic is the Scottish Celtic language, still spoken by some in the Scottish Highlands and Islands. "Scots" is a dialect of English (although some call it a separate language). Irish Gaelicis spoken by very few people today. The Germanic dialects of these different tribes became what is now called Old English. The word "English" comes from the name of the Angles: Englas. Old English did not sound or look much like the English spoken today. If English speakers today were to hear or read a passage in Old English, they would understand just a few words. The closest language to English that is still used today is Frisian, spoken by about...
Written English uses a strange spelling. Different words can use the same letters and combinations for very different sounds. For example, "-ough" was once a gutturalbut has become different in "through" (threw), "rough" (ruff), "dough" (doe) or "cough" (coff). That can make it a difficult language to learn. Many English-speaking countries spell words differently. Some words are spelled differently in the United States from in the United Kingdom and many other countries and others of the British Commonwealth, where English is the main language. The different ways of spelling are sometimes called "American English" and "British English". For example, "colour" is spelled "color" in American English, and "programme" is spelled "program". Even the word "spelled" is different in British English, which uses "spelt".
Nearly 60% of the vocabularyin the English language comes from Latin and its descendents, mainly French: 1. Langue d'oïl (French): 29.3% 2. Latin, including modern scientific and technical Latin and Frankish (Germanic language): 28.7% 3. Germanic languages: 24% (inherited from Old English/Anglo-Saxon, Proto-Germanic, Old Norse, etc. without including Germanic words borrowed from a Romance languages) 4. Greek: 5.32% 5. Italian, Spanish and Portuguese: 4.03% 6. Derived from proper names: 3.28% 7. All other languages: less than 1% However, the most common words are more often those of Germanic origin. Also, expressions and typical short phrases are often of Germanic origin.
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English is often called "the international language", or lingua franca. It is the main second language of the world and the international language of science, travel, technology, business, diplomacy, and entertainment. French had a similar status until the 20th century, and other languages had it at other times. English as a first language: 380 million.
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English is taught in many schools. It may be a required course for graduation, or students may choose to study it. For profit language schools are also common in many countries. These businesses sell English lessons.
Other people try to learn English on their own, or in a less formal setting than in a group of people with a teacher. People might meet with others who are trying to learn English, in order to practice speaking. People can also listen to radio broadcasts in English, or watch television programmes in English to help them improve their listening ability. A popular channel to listen to the radio on is broadcast by the BBC, called the BBC World Service. People can also study English by reading books, or listening to English courses on recorded CDs or cassettes.
The internet boom has created lot of avenues for learning. People can get lot of ideas on how to improve English communication skills using search engines like Google, Yahoo, etc. Especially during the lockdown due to Covid-19, online classes and courses became a main source of learning. The BBC World Service has a free website for people who are learning English as a second or foreign language called BBC Learning English.
Jan 15, 2021 · The English Language Wikipedia Just Had Its Billionth Edit The free, open-source encyclopedia is a monument of human cooperation and collaboration.
May 07, 2021 · Each entry gives the language name in English (linked to the English Wikipedia article for the language); its "local name" (i.e. in the language itself, linked to the article in that language's wiki); the language code used in the wiki's URL address and in interwiki links to it (linked to the local Main Page); and statistics on articles, edits ...
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