How the English language came to be. Do you know where England and France are in relation to one another?. The body of water that lies between them is called The English Channel. Or, in France, “La Manche ,” which means “the sleeve.”. So here’s a trick question:.
Or, in France, “La Manche,” which means “the sleeve.”
What language do they speak in France?
As the Romans expanded their empire, they took over what is now France, Spain, Portugal, and more. Their language stayed behind even as they went back to Rome and the empire fell apart. These are called the Romance languages because they are derived from Latin.
When they left, they left in a hurry and did not return.
Answer: Anglo-Saxon, which is a relative of German.
Thu urefæther, the eart on heofonum, sy thin namagehalgod.Cume thin rice, Sy thin wylla on eorthanswaswa on heofonum.Syle us todægurnedaeghwamlicanhlaf.And forgyf us uregyltasswaswa we forgyfaththampe with us agyltath. And ne laethuna us on costnunge, ac alys us framyfele
Thu our father, thee art on heavenum, say thinenamaholyod. Come thine rich, say thine will on earth swas-wa on heavenum.Sell us today ourne day-wham-lick hloaf. And forgive us our guiltasswas-wa we forgiv-aththemp with us a-guilt-ath.And no lee thu us on costnun-ya, ash all-lees us from evil.
His name was William.
Nor in Normandy comes from the same root as our word for north. It’s the northerly part of France.
He had an idea that he’d quite like to sit on it.
But what happens if the lords speak French and the serfs speak AngloSaxon?
Of the hundred or so key words which make up about half of our everyday speech, most are Old English. Some are even spelt the same way such as and, for, of, in, to, under, on ; others have changed their spelling a little like æfter (after), beforan (before), behindan (behind), bi (by), eall (all), hwæt (what), hwy (why), ofer (over), uppan (up), æt (at), æg (egg), socc (sock), scoh (shoe), scyrte (shirt), hætt (hat), mete (meat), butere (butter), milc (milk), hunig (honey), cese (cheese) and many more beside. All our words for the close family come from Old English -faeder, moder, sunu, dohtor, sweoster, brothor as do many of our swear words!
By the time Chaucer was writing, in the late 1300’s, English had evolved to this point:
Whanthat aprill with his shouressoote
The droghte of march hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swichlicour
Of which vertuengendred is the flour.
Whanzephirus eek with his sweetebreeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
Tendrecroppes, and the yongesonne
Hath in the ram his halve coursyronne,
That slepen al the nyght with open ye
(so priketh hem nature in hircorages);
Thannelongen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
And English is still evolving. It takes words from all sorts of languages, like Icelandic, Yiddish, Japanese, you name it.
English is a compost heap!
It’s strong! It’s vigorous! It borrows from other languages!
It’s like a big, healthy mutt.
When French and AngloSaxon came together to form English.