Where did English come from?

Level: intermediate and above

Time for completion: 20+

 

Introduction

When we talk about ‘English’, we often think of it as a single language. But what do the dialects spoken in dozens of countries around the world have in common with each other, or with the writings of Chaucer? Claire Bowern traces the language from the present day back to its ancient roots, showing how English has evolved through generations of speakers.

https://youtu.be/YEaSxhcns7Y

 

Listening

  1. Complete the text with NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS in each blank

Words with Latin origins came into English with an invasion of England happening in 1 …………………………. Thanks to this invasion and the new words a new language evolved known as   2…………………..

Other languages also added to language mix and it is possible to trace them thanks to 3…………………. Which studies sound patterns and  specific vocabulary. Studies in the area have shown that English , brother languages like 4……………….. and 5…………………, descend from Proto Germanic spoken centuries before Christ. This in turn has its 6……………. in an older language spoken in today Ukraine and Russia. However, historical and  7……………………………… won’t allow us to go deeper in the study.

Answer TRUE, FALSE or DOESN’T SAY for the following statements

  1. English shares many words with Italian
  2. Beowulf is an example of Old English
  3. Words that start with a “pf” sound in German start with “p” in English.
  4. The Indo European family compresses all the languages spoken round the world.
  5. More than 3 billion people around the world are studying English

Answers:

1 1066  2 Old English  3 comparative linguistics   4 Swedish   5 German   6 origins  7 archeological evidence

1 DS   2 T    3T    4F   5 DS

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Author: David S. Wills

David S. Wills is the author of Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the 'Weird Cult' and the founder/editor of Beatdom literary journal. He lives and works in rural China, and loves to travel.

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