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WHAT IS ENGLISH

English is among the oldest subject matter, as well as a language, that is widely used on the planet. Look at international businesses, schools, interactions between people of different nationalities, the subject matter acts as a pillar for conversation across the board. As this article progresses, you will get a glimpse of what is English and its significance over the decades.

Definition of English

The English language dates its origin in the vast lands of England, where its inhabitants widely use it. It is termed as a world language, or well known as a global lingua franca, as it acts as a common denominator for all walks of life.

It offers unlimited access to every individual from all corners of the earth. This is universally witnessed by the vast number of businesses and corporations worldwide. They use English to advertise their products, communicate the policies of their company, and communicate with other international corporations.

The subject matter is considered as being the most used language in the world, seeing its publications in businesses, telecommunications, newspapers, magazines, to mention a few. During the colonial era, it elevated the spread of the language to other countries, making it their second or third language. English as a subject is most likely to be seen in the school's curriculum as a foreign language.

History and Evolution of English

English takes us back to the 5th century, where it was known as old English. It was initially used by the west Germanics people of the Proto-Indo-European languages. If you carefully scrutinize the subject, you find that it is a mixture of several languages like Latin, French, to name a few. The term English is derived from a Latin term, Anglisc, which means the speech of the angles.

Angles were among the three Germanic tribes that invaded England during the 5th century. Old English was introduced during the 5th to 10th century by the invaders, of which the Irish monks put the language to paper at around the 8th century. English was divided into four forms, that is Old English, Middle English, Modern English, and Current English.

Old English

The Germanics people brought this to the British Isles. During the 5th century, the three Germanic tribes consisting of Saxons, Jutes, and Angles invaded and conquered the British lands, modernly referred to as the United Kingdom.

They established centers in Winchester whereby they taught people about the language. During that time, they translated the Scandinavian words into western Saxon dialects that later turned out to be Old English.

Middle English

With time, the language syntactically faced some dynamic changes. This was pioneered by the invasion of the Norman Conquest in Britain. The Normans were French influenced by the Germanics. They gradually relocated the centers from Winchester to London. The Normans became the ruling class and adopted their French language, whereas the ordinary people used English for communication.

As a result of this, it led to a lot of confusion and misunderstanding between the two. The dominance of old English began to reduce as the French language began to assimilate with English. The two parties mixed and inter-mingled their styles to form Middle English. The incorporation of French words into the language led to several changes in its structure.

Some of the English words were replaced by French, whereas some coexisted slightly changing the meaning. The spelling of words was also influenced as some of them were being written as they appeared to sound. Another significant change of old English was the disappearance of the SOV and VSO types of word order. SVO stands for Subject, Verb, and Object, respectively.

Modern English

During the Renaissance period, English had adopted several vocabularies from other languages. For instance, the classical Latin, which was also popular in that area, found some parts of it in the English lexicon through the French and Greek languages respectively.

Modern English majorly changed as a result of the Great Vowel Shift. This means the change in the pronunciation of long vowels. For example, in modern English, 'oo' sound has evolved into a modern English 'ou' sound.

This type of English was elevated by the likes of William Shakespeare, who contributed to advancing the language. This era saw many vowels' pronunciations being shorter and shorter from time to time. This version of English is classified as a relative stasis of the language's grammar, pronunciation, and spelling.

Current English

This is the present day and age language that is being widely used in schools and society at large. However, as the language continues to change from time to time, you are likely to see the difference from previous lexicon versions. The current English lexicon is characterized by slangs and short word tags that make it easy to understand the info being conveyed.

English as a Subject and Language

The subject matter is pretty much different from other academic subjects. This is because it is not only an educational subject in the academic curricula, but it also plays a vital part in communications and connection among individuals.

In most educational institutions, English is marked as a mandatory subject as well as a foreign language, unlike its subsidiary subjects like French. However, there is a vast difference between English as a language and a subject.

As a subject, it limits one to the academic syllabus. Thus one needs to be keen on the rules of grammar as well as it demands clarity on the thoughts and vocabulary. On the other side, English as a language has no limitations. This means that one can be flexible in molding the word by adding slang, phrases, or gestures to draw out a point during the conversation.

English as a subject needs words to be pronounced well and spelled correctly, whereas English as a language is a medium of expression. This means that it is a vital tool for conversation; thus, it does not require one to be strict on the spelling.

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