The English Language
English is spoken practically all over the world. It is spoken as the mother tongue in Great Britain, the United States of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. A lot of people speak English in China, Japan, India, Africa and other countries. It is one of 6 official languages of the United Nations. It is studied as a foreign language in many schools.
England’s history helps to understand the present condition of English. Many English words were borrowed from the language of Angles and Saxons. Hundreds of French words came into English. These French words didn’t crowd out corresponding Anglo-Saxon words. There exist «act» and «deed», «beautiful» and «pretty», «form» and «shape».
Many new words were brought by traders and travellers. These words came from all parts of the world: «umbrella» from Italian, «skates» — from Batch, «tea» — from Chinese, «cigar» — from Spanish.
Some words came into English directly from Latin, which was the language of the church and the universities in the Middle Ages. Some of the English words of today are derivatives. One way of creating new words is to put together two or more older English words. For example, the words «railway», «football», «newspaper» are made in this way.
Many of the new English words — especially new scientific ones — have been made from Latin and Greek words instead of English ones. «Telephone» for instance, was made from Greek words «far» and «talk».
1. In what countries is English spoken as the mother tongue?
2. From what languages are some English word borrowed?
3. Did French words crowd out corresponding Anglo- Saxon ones?
4. What English words that came from all parts of the world do you know?
5. Why are there so many words with Latin roots in English language?
6. What ways of creating new words do you know?