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The History of the English Language

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Anne Monrad Olsson

on 21 October 2015

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Transcript of The History of the English Language

The History of the English Language
Old English: 400 - 1100 A.D.
Old English - Before England was England
Old English was heavily influenced by Germanic tribes and sounds a bit like a mash of German and Icelandic rather than modern English
Old English would be completely impossible to understand for a modern Englishman.
However, modern English has a lot of its roots in Old English (over 2000 words).
With the introduction of Christianity in the 6th century, a lot of Latin words were put to use (school, priest, paper to name a few).
Middle English: 1100 - 1400 A.D.
Modern English: 1550 - today
Can you figure out what this is?
Fæder ūre þū þe eart on heofonum,
Sī þīn nama ġehālgod.
Tōbecume þīn rīċe,
ġewurþe þīn willa, on eorðan swā swā on heofonum.
Ūre ġedæġhwāmlīcan hlāf syle ūs tō dæġ,
and forgyf ūs ūre gyltas, swā swā wē forgyfað ūrum gyltendum.
And ne ġelǣd þū ūs on costnunge, ac ālȳs ūs of yfele.
Sōþlīċe.
Talk with your neighbour for 2 minutes, and see if you think any of the words look familiar
Fæder ūre þū þe eart on heofonum,
Sī þīn nama ġehālgod.
Tōbecume þīn rīċe,
ġewurþe þīn willa, on eorðan swā swā on heofonum.
Ūre ġedæġhwāmlīcan hlāf syle ūs tō dæġ,
and forgyf ūs ūre gyltas, swā swā wē forgyfað ūrum gyltendum.
And ne ġelǣd þū ūs on costnunge, ac ālȳs ūs of yfele.
Sōþlīċe.
Now listen
Middle English
The Lourdes Preyere

Oure fadir that art in heuenes,
halewid be thi name;
thi kyngdoom come to;
be thi wille don, in erthe as in heuene.
Yyue to vs this dai oure breed ouer othir substaunce,
and foryyue to vs oure dettis, as we foryyuen to oure dettouris;
and lede vs not in to temptacioun, but delyuere vs fro yuel. Amen.
Middle English
The Norman conquest 1066 C.E. (William the Conqueror).
Known as the "battle of Hastings".
French became the standard among the nobility. Regular people still talked English.
Trilingual activity - a lot of synonyms
This is a pig
The word comes from the Middle English "pigge"
In French, pig is "porc"
This is a cow
The word comes from the Old English "Cū"
In Old French, cow is "beof"
So this is pork
And this is beef
Talk with your neighbour for 2 minutes. Can you think of other animals that are called something else when they are on the dinner table?
Share with the class
Why is this?
Calf/Veal

Sheep/Mutton

Hen or Chicken/Poultry

Deer/Venison

Snail/Escargot

Dove/Pigeon
A couple of examples
Geoffrey Chaucer was the first great poet writing in English
His best-known work is 'The Canterbury Tales'.
He is often called "the father of English literature"
"To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes;
And specially from every shires ende
Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende,
The hooly blisful martir for to seke
That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seeke."
Modern English
Shakespeare also invented over 2000 words!
Writers like Shakespeare introduced a written standard.
The King James Bible
It is one of the most influential books in the English language.
Translated into English 1604-1611
The Language of Science
If a scientist is going to coin a new term, it's most likely in English. And if they are going to publish a new discovery, it is most definitely in English.
This was not always so.
American English
Who is William Shakespeare?
Can you name some of his most famous plays?
Some of the biggest differences between American English and British English
Spelling
Dates
colour/color, harbour/harbor
Organize/organise
"September 11th" or
"the 11th of September"?
Pronunciation
Vocabulary
Internet English
Can you think of more abbreviations?
Can you think of other new words?
Where does that leave English today?
A language still in change?
Did that help?
Latin, was the language in the churches
In the beginning of the 20th century the dominant language for science was a mixture of German, French, and English.
What events in history led to this change?
Why did English take over?
Romeo and Juliet
Full transcript