— [http://goo.gl/tdoK1L] We cannot understand what a language is until we know its history. More than for most subjects, history is the key to language, because the very fabric of a language – its vocabulary, its grammar, its spelling, and so on – is a living record of its past.

English is said to be a Germanic language, but why is it that more than half of its words are of Latin or Romance origin? Why do we sometimes have a wide choice of words to express more or less the same thing? And what is to blame for the chaotic English spelling? We can point to some crucial events, such as the coming of Christianity or the Norman invasion, and study texts from these and other periods to find a pattern in the weave of the language. So where do we begin? Long before any Roman legions sailed across what we now know as the Straits of Dover, the British Isles were inhabited by various Celtic tribes.



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Even though Britannia was under Roman rule for nearly 400 years, the Roman occupation left hardly any lasting linguistic legacy. This is because the English language has its roots in the next invasion, beginning in the fifth century, when Germanic tribes settled in the country. Unlike the Romans they stayed for good and, in due course, they were to call their language English.

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From the middle of the fifth century (450AD) and for the next 100 years or so waves of migrating tribes from beyond the North Sea brought their Germanic dialects to Britain. These tribes are traditionally identified as Angles, Saxons and Jutes.

MP3 — «The History of English Language», approx. 52 hrs. ::






"The Adventure of English" is a British television series (ITV) on the history of the English language presented by Melvyn Bragg. The series ran in 2003. "Birth of a Language", "English Goes Underground", "The Battle for the Language of the Bible", This Earth, This Realm, This England", "English in America", "Speaking Proper", "The Language of Empire", "Many Tongues Called English, One World Language" ::




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  1. Honestly, it takes more time than I like to admit. The research for one episode often extends into future episodes, but I would estimate that I spend about 5-10 hours researching each episode. I probably spend another 4-5 hours writing the episode, recording it, and editing it. I enjoy putting each episode together, but it is a significant time commitment. The biggest challenge is trying to maintain a regular schedule.

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