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The historical and present day contexts of the English language

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The historical and present day contexts of the English language English as a worldwide language comes across as a powerful and dependable collection of words. The English language is part of the heritage of the English-speaking world and has influenced the languages of countries where English is spoken fist, or even second, language. English has a larger vocabulary than other language. There are more than 600,000 words in the largest dictionaries of the English language. Many English words have been passed from generation to generation as far back as scholars can trace. Words such as women, man, sun and eat, express basic ideas and feelings. Later, many words have been borrowed from other languages. ...read more.


Native speakers of the language are in a quite different position than others. Some people regard this as bad in itself, as contrary to the equality principle, but it is practical consequences that make it bad. Native speakers tend to use rare words and to speak too fast, unless they exercise conscious control over their language, such control is difficult and unnatural when applied to one's mother tongue. This implies that in oral communication in particular native speakers of English often have worse problems in getting themselves correctly understood than nonnative speakers. When you learn your native language in your childhood, you learn it by listening to and talking with people who have it as their native language. ...read more.


Pronunciation and spelling in English sometimes seem illogical or inconsistent, many words are spelled similarly though pronounced differently. The spelling of some words remained the same through the centuries, though their pronunciation changed. English has fewer inflections than most other European languages. Many other languages have a lot of variation in the form of a word and can give words different meaning and functions. The earliest source of the English language was a prehistoric language that modern scholars call proto-indo-European. People who lived in the region of the north probably spoke this about 5,000 years ago. By 1485, English had lost most of its old English inflections, and it's pronunciation and word order closely resembled those today. Beginning in the 1600's, the language spread throughout the world as the English explored and colonized Africa, Australia, India and North America. Different dialects of the English language developed in there areas. ...read more.

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