A Short History of the English Language

Do you remember, back at school, when you’d walk into the classroom and see a TV set up and you’d know, with a surge of joy, today’s class was going to be a video?

Today is one of those days.

Behold, a wonderful little video from the Open University that gives us the history of the English language in about ten minutes. It’s animated and narrated brilliantly and addresses such questions as – how did we wind up with such a mish mash of Latin, French and German (and loads of other languages we’ve brushed up against)? How many words did we get from the Normans? What did Shakespeare do to the English language, apart from provide angst for high school students? What did the King James translation do to the English language? How did English come to be the dominant language? And what about the American English (or as the video says – American English, not really English, but somewhere in the ballpark)? What effect has the internet had on English? And now, that it’s so global … whose language is it anyway?

It is a clever, informative and very funny video. Pour a coffee and check it out, you will learn so much. I certainly did.

And here are the previous EMS posts to catch up on.

  1. Englisch is Fun
  2. Welcome
  3. A Phrasal What?
  4. Tenses in Pairs Part 1
  5. Tenses in Pairs Part 2
  6. The Future
  7. More Future Possibilities
  8. British & American English
  9. Tricks of the Trade: Idioms
  10. The Bandage was Wound around the Wound

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