Influence of French and Latin on English language
English language is one of the most widely used languages of the world. Although, native speaker of English language are less but still ranked as third big language of the world after Mandarin and Spanish. If we considered English as a second language, it holds first rank. More than 75 countries are using English as an official language or secondary language.
Due to its role in modern era, everyone wants to learn English language to communicate around the globe. However, many English language learners are worried and wants to know that why English language has plenty of French and Latin words in English dictionary. Do you know that 58% of English vocabulary is taken from French and Latin. Here we will try to explain all those aspects that are involved in English borrowing.
Influence of French on English Language
Beginning in 1066 A.D., The Norman invasion of England had a major impact on the English language. William the Conqueror was French and came from Normandy where the language French was spoken. William the Conqueror and his all Officials and alloy were Normans. They used to speak a different dialect of French. In fact, Normans were descendants of the Vikings who occupied France too. They brought many French words into English, and these words are common English words today.
French was the language used by the government officials and elite class including migrants from Normandy. English language flourished after Norman Conquest. During that era, French language was the language of the court and elite class preferred to use French words in their language. Therefore, during this period, there was a time when written stuff in English could rarely be found because French was dominant on official level. This dominance of French language resulted in a great many French words being borrowed in English
Many English poet wrote for the court and to appease their lords, they used French words in their poetry for their ease of comprehension. Because rulers of England were French, so the French language left a deep impact on English language. Because that time, English language was considered as a vulgar language with no worth so it borrowed many words from French. Many migrants from Normandy were using French words while speaking English so that is why many words were borrowed into English from French language.
Examples of French words in English
You will wonder to know that English language has plenty of French words. English Vocabulary has nearly 45% of French origin some changed their shape and structure and some in the same state.
Roughly, there were as many as 7,500 such French words induced into English. Some of the examples of these words are: air, flower, face, move, cry, change, coast, river, sign, easy, people, mean, large, poor, nice, carry, push, chair, move, lamp, blue, joy debt, save, trip, pain, stomach, fool, music, park, spy, beef, toast, stew, jail, bar, faith, tax, and fry.
Influence of Latin on English Language
The French language left an impact on English language because of a language of the court. However, there is another language that had impact on English language and generally, on all romantic languages that is Latin. Latin language is as mother language because so many modern languages descend from Latin. Latin language has impact all over the romantic languages including French, Romanian, Italian, Spanish, and many others. These are “Romantic” languages because they descend directly from the “Roman” tongue, Latin. Why it is mother a language? Because it was the language of the Roman Empire and a language of the church.
English language does not belong to Romantic languages. English is a West Germanic language that developed far away from Rome but it has indirect influence compared to Romantic languages. Yet, over 60% of English words are Latin-based or borrowed from Romantic languages. Even English literature (including poems, essays fiction etc.) has wide use of Latin words.
In the 14th century, John Wycliffe translated the Bible into English. Hence, this translation paid a new worth to English language. The language of the church was Latin and all the religious terms
Some Examples of Latin words in English Language.
Some examples of borrowed words from Latin are: exclude, interest, legal, intellect, tolerance, scene, exclude, client, recipe, necessary, pulpit, and many other words.