The birth and progression of English language

The birth of English happened around 430 AD. Germanic speaking tribes of Britain settled in the country ruled by Anglo Saxons and the newfound language which came into existence was termed as Englisc or “Old English”. There were four dialects mainly from where the English language came into existence- Northumbrian, Mercian, West Saxon and Kentish.

The English language developed from these dialects over the years and modifications occurred. However, 15% of the Old English language can still be found in our dictionaries which we continue using even today.

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The time during 1000 to 1100 saw a gradual development of the English language with the first English conversation that was recorded followed by documentation of historical activities and production of the Anglo-Saxon chronicle. A lot of Latin sermons were translated into English over the years which was in sync with the progress of Old English to Middle English. A lot of writings on a variety of subjects, from encyclopedia to food recipes, were published during the later years which helped to shape the modern-day English to a certain extent.

See below how the English language progressed gradually from the early days to where it currently stands today in the modernized world.

The first bible was printed by William Tyndale. His famous phrases are still used today all over the world like “eat, drink and be merry”, “broken-hearted”, etc.

The era of Shakespeare was a breakthrough time for the language of English. His plays are still enacted by students in schools and colleges. From Hamlet to Macbeth, his writings gave structure to the English language like no other. There were other famous authors like William Wordsworth, whose poems like The Solitary Reaper, I wandered lonely as a cloud we all have read in our English classes. Oscar Wilde and his writings are still today read with great enthusiasm by the young and old alike. The Canterville Ghost is still a good bedtime story for the kids!

Check here how you can be the next Shakespeare with this complete writing guide or find an English tutor who can guide you to become the an excellent writer.

The bible was first translated into English during the middle of the 1000s.
It has been forbidden for the bible to be translated into English. Photo via VisualHunt.com

English language in India

English language was brought by Bentick and Macaulay when the British invaded India and set up the East India Company. English was then used mainly for official purposes. However, over time they set up colleges and institutes where English was taught, and the Christian missionaries set up high schools to teach English at the primary level. English speaking Indians were held in high regard and got good posts during the British rule.

After independence though the main language changed, English not only existed but thrived. About a third of the schools in India have English language courses for all classes and in many it is still the first language. Students are taught to read, write, spell and communicate in English from junior school along with their mother languages. During earlier times ambitious Indians learnt English to be in an elite group as it opened up many new job opportunities for them across the nation. Even today you are held in high regard if you are well-versed and speak good, fluent English. All the work of big companies is based on this language.

The method of pronunciation might differ from pace to place as the English will get influenced by local mother tongues as well as education levels and affluence but it should not hamper the main aim of communicating correctly. For this we need to learn how to speak clearly and write grammatically correct English.

We Indians, over time modified the language as it got intermixed with the local dialects and came up with Indian English which is a mixture of the British English and American English. Today, India is one of the largest countries were English is spoken widely. It provides a uniformity when it comes to education, administration and communication in a language diverse country like India. Even the Indian constitution and Indian legal code is written in English.

Over the years we have progressed steadily in enhancing our English by taking classes, learning from tutors in order to step-up the ladder of success. Even though it is not our national language we still use it widely, while we write our resumes or give a presentation. But to master the art of English you need to start early. Proper guidance and practice can help you have a strong base.

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Written exam
Extra classes with sample paper solving sessions often act as a booster for exam preparation. Source: Indian Express

English speaking- a global demand

All the work of big companies is based on this language. It is often termed as n international language or the language of communication. Even when you go to a foreign country for a holiday you need to speak in English to convey something o the locals. A major chunk of international blogs, journals, research and articles are published in English. If you shine in learning English, you can progress anywhere in the world.

All the MNC companies in India need you to be proficient in English in order to deal with the foreign clients. To present to them or to talk and make them understand you need to be a master of this language. Take English lessons, speaking English classes, language learning English courses to speak English fluently. British council also offers online courses to help you improve your speaking skills and language skills. Ask teachers how to improve English as English learning is a continuous phenomenon.

With the rise of the educated middle class there is stiff competition for jobs everywhere. Moreover, with the advent of technology there are innumerable opportunities to learn English at the touch of a button. A lot more percentage of the population is getting access to free content to sharpen their English skills, which is resulting in stiffer rivalry. Digital learning can help you to learn to speak fluently.  Tutors can help you understand how to use nouns, adjectives, vowels, phrasal verbs, consonant, words and phrases.

Find out how to write the perfect essay or  teach yourself how to become a better writer with our informative blogs.

What lies ahead

It is certain that English language will change over time, just like it did from the day it was invented. To grow and flourish it will need to adapt to the changing world. We also need to embrace the new and learn accordingly.

Indians too, played a role in re-shaping the English language!

India is heavily influenced with technology and we use it to ease our life. We have learned to use abbreviations to shorten sentences as we are continuously instant messaging our friends “YOLO”, which means you only live once.

However, with the rise of digital English and emojis we should not forget the basics. It is always important to learn how to improve English right from our school days. Then only we can adapt and change as per the need. Reading a wide genre of literature can help us improve our English and practicing writing and spelling correctly is essential to grow your self-esteem. Check here how daily writing exercises can help you be an English champion!

 

This century has seen a bug shift towards Internet-based language.
LOL and other abbreviations have crept their way into the English language. Photo credit: sermoa via Visualhunt

However, still the majority of the population of India have no idea about English. From being unable to read prescriptions of doctors to being unable to comprehend Government forms, the bulk of our population are suffering due to the low level of English knowledge. As of today, English is the language of choice for the elite class, but necessary steps should be taken to educate the general public as well. Every state has their own language but there should be a uniform approach to help the population understand and the learn the basics of English to aid in their day to day activities.

Multilingualism is widespread in India and English-speaking population is significantly higher in major metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata. The rest of the tier 2 and tier 3 cities have a significant lesser percentage of people who are fluent in English. We should not forget our mother tongue but at the same time to be at par with the world and compete we need to learn English. Writing daily, reading books by international authors, practicing how to spell correctly can help in grasping this foreign language. We mimic what we see so watching TV shows in Netflix or learning from channels like Discovery and National Geographic can prepare us tackle tough English comprehensions. A good speech or a presentation can differentiate you from the others in office or in a job interview and bring you accolades.

With the passage of time, we need to adapt because as Darwin said it is “survival of the fittest”. We can only be in sync with the current trend if our basics are strong as it will help us in learning more efficiently. English language will change for sure over time and the history of this language is the proof. How you modify yourself to this evolution will depend on your expertise and proficiency. Specially, in a developing country like India with such a huge potential mastering the skill of English language can help you attain great heights. It is a must if you want to go and work or settle abroad and also if you want to be in the top rung.

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Jon

As an Englishman in Paris, I enjoy growing my knowledge of other languages and cultures. I'm interested in History, Economics, and Sociology and believe in the importance of continuous learning.