Do you consider yourself a linguist and think that you can comfortably handle the history of the English language trivia questions quiz below? It is said that the English language originated in 449 AD, with the arrival on the British Islands of Germanic tribes — the Saxons, the Angles, and the Jutes — from what is now Denmark and Germany. History of the English Language English is an Anglo-Frisian language brought to Britain in the 5th Century AD by Germanic settlers from various parts of northwest Germany. 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 migrants from what is now northwest Germany, southern Denmark and the Netherlands.The Anglo-Saxons settled in the British Isles from the mid-5th century and came to dominate the bulk of southern Great Britain. Philologists know that they must have spoken a dialect of a language that can be called West Germanic and that other dialects of this unknown language must have included the ancestors of such languages as German, Dutch, Low German, and Frisian. The English language is spoken by 750 million people in the world as either the official language of a nation, a second language, or in a mixture with other languages (such as pidgins and creoles.) The Prehistory of English 43 —The Romans invade Britain, beginning 400 years of control over much of the island. © 1997-2020 EnglishClub.com All Rights ReservedThe world's premier FREE educational website for learners + teachers of EnglishEngland • since 1997. But o griffoun hath the body more gret, and is more strong, þanne eight lyouns, of suche lyouns as ben o this half; and more gret and strongere þan an hundred egles, suche as we han amonges vs. For o griffoun þere wil bere fleynge to his nest a gret hors, 3if he may fynde him at the poynt, or two oxen 3oked togidere, as þei gon at the plowgh. Today, American English is particularly influential, due to the USA's dominance of cinema, television, popular music, trade and technology (including the Internet). An example of Middle English by Chaucer (public domain). They know this because of certain systematic similarities which these languages share with each other but do not share with, say, Danish. It was the spoken and written language of the first men and women from Britain to settle in the Americas; and it was a language that went round the world with England's early traders, commercial adventurers and missionaries. Yalina Silva. The system of inflections for verbs was also more elaborate than ours: for example, habbað "have" ends with the -að suffix characteristic of plural present indicative verbs. In 1066 William the Conqueror, the Duke of Normandy (part of modern France), invaded and conquered England. In addition, there were two imperative forms, four subjunctive forms (two for the present tense and two for the preterit, or past, tense), and several others which we no longer have. Elly Van Gelderen. The period of Middle English extends roughly from the twelfth century through the fifteenth. Printing also brought standardization to English. We still have remnants of this language in the Gaelic of Ireland and Scotland, the Welsh of Wales, and the Breton of Brittany. We also notice that present tense verbs still receive a plural inflection as in beren, dwellen, han, and ben and that while nominative þei has replaced Aelfric's hi in the third person plural, the form for objects is still hem. 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