Facts About the English Language

The origins of modern English lie in the seventh century A.D., when three Germanic tribes – the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes – arrived on the isle of Great Britain, which, by intermingling with the native communities of Britain – the Celts, the Picts and the Scot  – together formed Anglo-Saxon tribes.

The forms of English language can be divided into three historical periods: (1) Old English, or Anglo-Saxon (8th to 11th century); (2) Middle English (12th to 16th century); and (3) Modern English (16th century to the present).

English is a West Germanic language that belongs to the Indo-European language family.

It is the native language of 400 million people, and by this measure it ranks third in the world after Chinese and Hindi, whereas if all other English speakers in the world are counted, it ranks second.

The Latin alphabet of 26 letters has been used in the English language since the ninth century.

Approximately 171,476 words are actively used in the English language, whilst some 47,156 words are considered obsolete. Approximately 9,500 derivations can be added to this number. About half of these words are nouns, a quarter are adjectives, and one seventh are verbs. The remainder consists of exclamations, conjunctions, prepositions, etc.

The first English printer and typographer was William Caxton (1422-1491), who printed the first book in English around 1471. In 1476, he established his own press in Westminster, England.

English is the national language of many countries: the United States of America, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, and a number of island nations in the Caribbean and Pacific. It is one of the official languages in several African countries, the Philippines, India and Singapore.

Several types of English can be distinguished around the globe, which differ in terms of pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar: American English, Australian English, British English, Canadian English, etc.

Each variety of English contains a number of dialects. For example, the principal dialects of British English are Southern English, Midlands English, Northern English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, etc.

Language code: ISO 639-1: en 

 

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Language combinations:

Latvian to English; English to Latvian; Estonian to English; English to Estonian; Lithuanian to English; English to Lithuanian; Russian to English; English to Russian; Polish to English; English to Polish; Czech to English; English to Czech; Ukrainian to English; English to Ukrainian; German to English; English to German; French to English; English to French; Spanish to English; English to Spanish; Italian to English; English to Italian; Danish to English; English to Danish; Swedish to English; Norwegian to English; English to Norwegian; English to Swedish; Finnish to English; English to Finnish; and others

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