Nowadays Internet community, people of science and culture generally communicate in English. The exact number of people who speak English is difficult to detect. Based on different researches, the number of people, speaking English reaches from 600 million. to 1.2 billion. Definitely, English is the most important means of communication in the modern world.
Why exactly English language became so popular in the world?
Why are people around the world learning English online, looking for professional online English tutors on Preply, memorizing huge dictionaries, inventing new training techniques? Let’s talk about it in this article. By the way, Preply.com platform helps to find private tutors at affordable prices in your own city, but also you can take Skype lessons with a native English speaker.
The history of the English language is inseparably connected with the history of England.
It started in the V century, when Britain was inhabited by the Celts, and partly by the Romans. Three Germanic tribes invaded its territory: the Angles, Saxons and Jutes. Germanic influence was so strong, that soon almost nothing remained of the Celtic and Latin languages.
Then, in Britain from Scandinavia came Vikings with their Old Norse language. Later, in 1066 French occupied England. Due to this, French language for two centuries was the language of English aristocracy, an ordinary people spoke in old English. This historical fact made very significant impact on English language: many new words appeared in a dictionary that increased almost twice.
Thanks to the doubling of dictionary, English today has a lot of the same in meaning words – synonyms that have arisen because of simultaneous use of two different languages, which came from the Saxon peasants and Norman residents. Despite all the external influences, core of the language remains the Anglo-Saxon. In the XIV century English became a literary language, as well as language of law and schools. Further began a massive emigration from Britain to America. Migrants brought new language that continued to change in a new direction, often keeping its roots in British English, sometimes quite substantially changing. Colonial policy of Great Britain, colonization of Australia and North America contributed to the popularity of English language.
Beginning of globalization of the English.
By the beginning of XX century, English more clearly becomes the language of international communication. English, among other languages of international communication, was used at international conferences, the League of Nations, for negotiation. Even then it became apparent the need to improve its learning and the development of objective criteria to learn the language more effectively. That need stimulated researches of linguists from different countries, who have not stopped to the present day.
It is clear that one of the most important components of learning any foreign language is the accumulation of vocabulary. Only after studying some vocabulary, you can begin to study grammar, stylistics, and so on. But what words to learn first? And how many words you should know? There are a lot of words in English. According to linguists, full vocabulary of the English language contains not less than one million words.
Early English grammar (first from 1586) were written either in order to help foreigners to learn English or to prepare English-speaking students to the study of Latin. In general, these books were not meant to teach English speakers. Only in 1750, the British began to learn English. It is a pity that this did not happen a few generations later. Linguists of the eighteenth century based their research of the English language on incorrect theories. For example, they believed that the grammatical rules are the same for all languages, and claimed that Latin is an ideal. They often tried to remake English expressions into Latin style. Linguists fixed and transmitted their theories to ordinary people because of the wave of widespread education in England. A huge number of irregular verbs and carefully stored ends of the words have not given English language ability to fully transform itself from a synthetic language into analytical.
With the spread of literacy English language slowed its changes, but it continues to change to this day.
Simplicity of use of the rules, as well as the richness of vocabulary that still continues to grow, let the English language over the last half-century become an international language of communication.
Luke Parkin is author of this article, he is a scientist and historian. He also writes for stock price predictor platform.