Video Looks at the Origins and Evolution of the English Language

Video Looks at the Origins and Evolution of the English Language

It’s a strange thing to wonder where language comes from. When asked, many people might not be able to tell just where English came from. Pretty much every language has an origin, and while some languages haven’t gone through a great number of changes, English is a huge hodgepodge of different languages that added to the mix. The Norman invasion of England had a lot to do with French and Latin and how it was introduced to the British Isles long, long ago. The ‘Old English’ as it’s called also benefits from Germanic that was brought to the island by the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes who would eventually devise the Anglo-Saxon dialect. Even the Vikings managed to get in on the act by adding Old Norse into the growing mix as the language continued to grow and evolve into something very different from what was there, to begin with. If one wants to go further down the line and discover the common core that a lot of these languages derived from, they would find what is called Proto-Germanic, which is the origin point for a lot of languages.

The unfortunate part of this tale is that Proto-Germanic was never written down. But, linguistics and the scholars that study this tedious but important discipline have been able to compare several languages and their similarities in order to determine their commonalities and the fact that they are related by a very basic language that gave rise to plenty of other languages as time went on and cultures were formed and people went their separate ways. If one can believe it, there’s another step back that can be taken that is called Proto Indo European, which encompasses even more languages than many might have thought possible. Going further than that doesn’t appear to be possible though since tracing language back for thousands of years is possible when a civilization writes down its actual history in one form or another. Without any evidence of another origin, either than firm belief, it’s hard to bring forth the idea that every language has a single, common thread that can be traced. There is the belief though, and that’s strong enough for conjecture, just not solid fact.

Some might want to argue with that since the idea that humanity started somewhere and then spread out, meaning at one point there was a language that everyone could understand, which then underwent thousands of years of evolution and change that shaped the many languages into what they are now. It’s a slightly confusing subject that a lot of people might not even want to touch since to be fair it does get pretty wordy and quite in-depth when it comes to certain explanations of how this or that language came to be and what the real differences are between them apart from the most obvious. But the thought that at one point in history, all humans had a language that could be understood by each and every one of them, is mind-blowing. But the idea that these languages split and became important parts of new cultures isn’t hard to believe at all since people do tend to make up their own languages from time to time using sounds and words that mean something to them while sounding like gibberish to others.

Now imagine that on a global scale, and one might get the idea of how different languages were formed, including English. In a big way, English is a language that was written, then re-written, then written again, and revised many times over. Very little, if anything, about English, was stolen since it’s a language that has been evolved by those that have brought their own language to the mix and managed to help change and shape the language into something that’s more fitting for everyone. These days English is still a pretty popular language, but even now it continues to change and take on a different meaning now and then when it comes to certain words, phrases, and ideas. The one thing about any language is that if it’s meant to stick around then it will evolve, change, and conform to new ideas and additions that will be tacked on as people see fit to agree with.

There are those that don’t care for English and those that think that it’s a little harder to understand than many languages since the formation of our sentences and the words we use tend to confuse some people, as do the various meanings that several words can take. To be fair, English has never been a perfect language, but to those that speak it and are raised in cultures in which English is the dominant language, it can be just as confusing or it can be simple depending on how one uses it.

Start a Discussion

Main Heading Goes Here
Sub Heading Goes Here
No, thank you. I do not want.
100% secure your website.