Maturití otázka(angličtina)- English language

English language

Our ability to speak is something what makes us different from animals. We use languages for communicating fact, ideas, for telling stories, poems, for asking questions or explaining things. We can also use a body-language and mimics. We don’t know when and how did the first languages come into existence. About 6,000 years ago in southern Russia lived a tribe whose language was Indo-European. It was the ancestor of many modern languages. So how did the language develop in England? About 700 BC there where some Celtic tribes in England, but they were forced out by Roman invaders in 40 BC. The Celts left to Scotland, Ireland, Wales and to Breton. This is why the languages (Scottish Gaelic, Irish, Welsh and Breton) in there belong to Celtic group of languages. The Roman invaders spoke Latin and Latin of course influenced English language. In 450 AD the Anglo-Saxon tribes came to England. By 700 AD they had almost occupied all England and their language dominated. In the 10th century the Vikings came. They spoke French and Latin and after the battle of Hastings these languages dominated in education, military or at courts. Ordinary people still spoke English.

English comes from 3 languages: Old Norse, German and French. The Old English was clearly Germanic language similar to modern Dutch or German.

English belongs to Indo-European family of languages. It contains 9 braches: Albanian, Armenian, Baltic, Celtic, Greek, Germanic, Indo-Iranian, Romance and Slavonic. Some of these groups contain more than just one language. For example the Romance group contain 7 languages like French, Spanish, Portuguese or Italian. The Germanic group is divided into 2 more groups: Old German and Old Norse. To Old German belong English, German and Dutch, to Old Norse Scandinavian languages. Some of the groups contain just one language. For example: Albanian, Armenian and Greek.

In English there are many words, which came from other languages for example

France: Language, Parliament, Hotel, Example

German: Man, House, and, summer

Italian: Bank

Spanish: Guitar

Chinese: Tea

Latin: Temperature

Arabic: Coffee, Sugar

Greek: Helicopter

India: Pyjamas, Bungalow

Czech: Robot

Scandinavian: Skate, Sky, Get


Normans were tall, fair-haired Vikings who came to France to steal the land. But the king of Franks made a deal with Viking’s leader Rolf. The king promised him land round Rouen. In return Rolf had to become Christian and stay loyal to the king. This was the beginning of Normandy. Normans were good merchants and when they learned French they became rich and independent.

When English king Edward the Confessor died, William of Normandy claimed the English throne. By that time Harold of Wessex had already become king. So William went to British Isles to defeat Harold. The battle of Hastings started, it was in 1066. In the end Harold died and William became the new English king. He didn’t change English customs. He wanted to earn money from the taxes and let his officers to write the Domesday Book. It was a list of people’s property (their lands, animals…)

Normans controlled the land by fortifications built on the hills. They were surrounded by wooden palisade and deep water ditch. In the middle of the fortification there was a wooden tower called a keep. Next to it there was a place for people, for rooms and stores called bailey. Later wood was replaced by stones.

Normans were good fighters. They used warhorses and heavy lances. They also had archers and foot-soldiers in their army.

19.02.2009 18:51:16


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