…or Why is English so Complicated?
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They call the USA a melting pot country because to many diferent nationalities, ethnicities and types of people live there.
The same can be said for the English language. Take ten minutes to listen to this great youtube series on the English language’s origin. English has bits or small parts of German, Scandinavian, French, Church Latin, Anglo-Saxon and Celtic in its common structure and vocabulary. These days American English is also including many Spanish words (pronounced Gringo-style).
There is a great youtube video series out there on this origin. We’ll start with part 1 of 10. The narrator or speaker has a very fast pronunciation so we’re reproducing the sections each week with text.
The History of English in 10 minutes
Chapter 1 Anglo Saxon, or whatever happened to the Jutes
The English language begins with the phrase “Up yours Ceasar!” as the Romans leave Britain and a lot of Germanic tribes start flooding in.
Tribes such as the Angles and Saxons, who together give us the term “anglo-saxon” and the Jutes, who didn’t.
The Romans left some very straight roads behind but not much of their language. The Anglo-saxon vocab was much more useful as it was mainly words for simple, everyday things such as house, woman, cliff and werewolf.
Four of our days of the week were named for the Anglo saxon gods. They didn’t bother with Saturday, Sunday, and Monday as they had all gone off for a long weekend.
While they were away, Christian missionaries stole in bringing with them leaflets about jumble sales, all in latin.
Christianity was a hit with the locals and made them much happier to take on funky new words from latin like martyr, bishop and font.
Along came the Vikings with their action-man words drag, ransack, thrust and die. They may have raped and pillaged but they were also into give and take. 2 of around 2000 words they gave english, as well as the phrase: “Watch out for that man with the enormous axe.”
Whew! Good job! Check back next week for part 2. Or follow us on Facebook and receive updates on this blog and others. Click here.
If English is still very dificult for you or you need to improve your pronunciation or conversation skills, why don’t you contact Bogota Business English for personalized classes.