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Tuesday, 6 January 2015

English Language

With around 380 million native speakers, English is the second most spoken language in the world, as a native language. As many as a billion people speak it as a second language.

In around 465 AD, a gold medallion was dropped or buried in a Suffolk field. The medallion was inscribed with the words “This she-wolf is a reward to my kinsman.” This was the earliest known example of Anglo-Saxon writing - in other words the first recorded sentence in English.

The English word “word” was first used in 725 AD.

For more than 300 years after William The Conqueror's invasion, Norman French was the language of aristocracy in England. Modern English emerged as a mixture of Old English and Norman French.

The English language as we now know it began to emerge in the 14th century from a variety of dialects including Old Norse and Late West Saxon.

20% of all words in the English language are words from Old Norse, the language of the Vikings. Consequently, the modern Scandinavian languages are ranked among the easiest languages to learn for English speakers.

German-born George I was the last king of England who could not speak English. He spoke to his Prime Minister Robert Walpole in Latin.

Language, grammar and particularly spelling only really became standardised with the publication of Dr Johnson’s Dictionary in 1755.

Of all the languages in the world, English has the largest vocabulary.

'I,' 'who,' 'two,' 'three,' and 'five' have sounded the same for 15,000 years, making them some of the oldest words in the English language.

The Oxford English Dictionary lists meanings for 414,800 word forms in the English language, though counting different forms of the same word separately, the Global Language Monitor identified 1,013,913 words in English in 2012.

The one millionth word to be added to the English language was Web 2.0- describing the next generation of internet services. To be accepted a word must be used at least 25,000 times across national boundaries and outside specialisms.

"Go" is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.

More English words begin with the letter 'S' than any other letter of the alphabet.

Around one in eight of all letters in written English is an ‘e’.

A new word in the English language is created about every 98 minutes.

Because the English language is so complex, every day the average person will create a sentence that has never been said before.

The three words most common in spoken English are ‘I’, ‘you’ and ‘the.’ The top three words in written English are ‘the’, ‘of’ and ‘and’.

The combination "ough" can be pronounced in nine different ways. The following sentence contains them all: "A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful plough man strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed."

In the English language, there are only four words that end in dous: hazardous, horrendous, stupendous, and tremendous.

he most common vowel sound in English, the "uh" sound found in an unstressed syllable, doesn’t even have its own letter in the alphabet.

“I”, the first person singular, is capitalized in English – the only language to do so.

There are 923 words in the English language that break the "I before E" rule. Only 44 words actually follow that rule.

The English language is spoken at an average of 6.19 syllables per second.

Mastering just 3,000 words in English will make you able to understand around 95% of common texts.

The English-speaking population is higher in China that in the United States.

English has about twice as many total speakers as Mandarin, while Mandarin has twice as many native speakers.

A greater percentage of Dutch people speak English than Canadians. 90% of Dutch people speak English. Only 85% of Canadians do.

English surpassed Chinese as the most spoken language in the world in 2017 by 20 million people, according to Ethnologue.

English is the official language for airplane communication.

English accounts for about 52% of the Internet.

Source Daily Express

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