The English Language originated from West Germany and came about in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of England in around the 5th century. It then spread north into what is now known as south-east Scotland and medieval Northumbria.
The word English is derived from the name of the Angles. English words are also heavily influenced by Latin because historically Latin was spoken by the Christian church and the more civilised Europeans. The language developed further when the Vikings invaded in the 8th and 9th centuries.
The Norman Conquest during the 11th century is when the English language began to become infused with Norman-French. Vocabulary and spelling standards began to have a similar style to the Romanic languages which is now known as Middle English. Modern English began to emerge in the 15th century when a Vowel Shift which began in South England occurred.
English is a worldwide spoken language and is the leading language of international communication. It is a bridging language for many people as English is spoken as a second language by so many nations across the globe. English is the official language of the European Union and many countries in the Commonwealth.
Countries with the highest populations of native English speakers are, in descending order United States of America, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Nigeria, Ireland, South Africa, and New Zealand.
The English language is the third most popular native tongue in the world after Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. There are about 375 million people speaking English as a first language. The popularity of English as a second language however, would probably make it the most spoken language in the world. Although some would argue Chinese is the most spoken language depending on whether you think Mandarin and Cantonese are separate languages or dialects.
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