History of the English language

Hi everyone, 

I thought I’d share this Italian blog post I came across about the history of the English language. Learning about the history of your own language or the language you’re learning can help you understand why certain things are the way they are and make them easier to remember.

Did you know, for example, that the reason English has different words for animals and their meat comes from the Norman influence on Britain between 1000 and 1400 AD? At the time, English was the language of the common people, and so the animals in the field were named in English: sheep, pigs, and cows. When the meat was served to the nobles, who spoke French, it was referred to as mouton (mutton), porc (pork) and boeuf (beef). This double language usage led to the pairs we have today. 

Can you think of any examples from English or Italian that came about through a foreign influence? Could knowing the history of these examples be helpful to language learners? 

Leave a Reply