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The Mother Tongue The First Thousand Years About 1500 years a few people in a remote corner of what we now call England an awkward Germanic tongue was spoken which we now call English But how did this insignificant language of barbarians grow to become the dominating language of the western world This journey was a delicate and risky survival and adaptation of our language When English was first spoken is was a tongue that nearly no modern English speaker could comprehend The English language has gone through three major renditions from a Frisian-Germanic language to Old English Old English to Middle English and Middle English Modern English Although little is known about Old English given that few scripts of it still survive much can be gathered from the history we do know After the fall of the Roman Empire England was inhabited by the vulnerable jutes needless to say they were invaded by multiple tribes primarily the Angles and the Saxons Our word for England comes from the tribal name angles All these invading tribes brought their own languages and the combination of these languages became English Somewhere around 450 ad a coin was dropped in Suffolk which is thought to have said This she-wolf is a reward for my kinsman This coin is the earliest dating piece of English writing It was around this time that English Began to become a defined language with many words that still survive today Of the words are the days of the week derived from Anglo Saxon gods and the Anglo-Saxon words sweet pillow wine inch mile table and chest With All these new words and influences in the English language and new influence from the Normans and the Scandinavians many synonyms began to fall into place Some of these words acted as doubles such as craft and skill some were similar in all but pronunciation such as shriek and screech and some took on different
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