The Evolution Of The English Language
The English language has taken many shapes and forms. Over its many years of existence, it has undergone changes and revolutions of all kinds. From Old English through Middle English to Modern-day English, every change left something there and perhaps took something away. What began as a derivative of a West Germanic dialect more than 2000 years ago, is now what we know as English.
It is a tough language, because there are so many different influences. It has an ancient history, and some of it has stuck. It has its origins in French, Latin, German, Norse, and other languages. This explains why there are so many silent letters, grammatical laws which seemingly make no sense, and some odd pronunciations.
For those who are studying English as a second language, this is an exceptionally hard barrier to cross. Learning any language as a second one is tough, unless you are taught as a baby or a small child. And learning English?! Lord, that is just a headache waiting to happen.
But there a lot to English’s advantage. It has become the international language of the world. It is the language of industry, of technology, of business, and many other fields. It is a go-to language, which is why so many people are interested in studying it. Those who are doing this – I am in awe of them. I have no idea what it would be like, and I don’t think that I would be able to do it.
Educating ourselves should be our top priority, other than love, food, and shelter. Knowledge is power, and I am saying that not just because it is a tried and true cliche, but also because it happens to be what can elevate you. This is true in your personal life, in your academic life, in your career. Knowing another language – nay, even simply learning another language – can help you open your mind and evolve. It can have wonderful effects and side-effects.
So, when it comes to English, there is a lot of history there. Those who are attempting to learn it are taking on a lot. Some even go as far as studying the Old and Middle English, which – to us Modern English speakers – seems like a complete mess.
And now, in the digital age, we are in the middle of another revolution in English, and in languages altogether. Social media, chatroom’s, IMing, etc. etc. have caused such a stir in the world of language. Texting and messaging has become a language unto itself, and it is an amazing thing to witness.
As someone who has always been interested in language and communication, it is quite a shift. And it is happening right now. And, while there may be people who are saying that English and language are dying, I see the complete opposite. The internet is giving rise to newer kinds of communication. The Great Vowel shift of 1350 – 1700 also took a long time, but thanks to it we are able to speak a whole new kind of language, and express ourselves in newer ways.