Origins of English 英语的起源

2021-10-30 02:24BritishCouncil
疯狂英语·新阅版 2021年9期

British Council

1.   _________

1 The story of the English language began in the fifth century when Germanic tribes invaded Celtic-speaking Britain and brought their languages with them. Later, Scandinavian Vikings invaded and settled with their languages too. In 1066, William Ⅰ, from modern-day France, became king, and Norman-French became the language of the courts and official activity. People couldn't understand each other at first, because the lower classes continued to use English while the upper classes spoke French, but gradually French began to influence English. An estimated 45 per cent of all English words have a French origin.

2.   _________

2 The spread of English all over the world has an ugly history but a rich and vibrant present. During the European colonial period, several European countries, including England, competed to expand their empires. They stole land, labour and resources from people across Africa, Asia, the Americas and Oceania. By the time former British colonies began to gain independence in the mid-20th century, English had become established in their institutions. Many brilliant writers from diverse places across Africa, the Caribbean and Asia had started writing in English, telling their stories of oppression. People from all over the world were using English to talk and write about justice, equality, freedom and identity from their own perspectives. The different varieties of English created through this history of migration and colonization (殖民地化) are known as World Englishes.

3.  _________

3 More than 1.75 billion people speak English worldwide—that's around 1 in 4 people around the world. English is being used more and more as a way for two speakers with different first languages to communicate with each other. For many people, the need to communicate is much more important than the need to sound like a native speaker. If you're reading this, English is your language too.

A. International English

B. The spread of English

C. The origins of English

D. The development of English

Reading  Check

Ⅰ. Match each paragraph with its gist. (One is extra.)

Ⅱ. Decide if each statement is true (T) or false (F).

(    )1. In the fifth century, French was the official language in Britain.

(    )2. English came to be spoken in many countries of the world because of migration and colonization.

(    )3. People from former British colonies took English and used it to describe their own experience.

(    )4. About a quarter of the people in the world speak English.

(    )5. Everyone agrees that it's a bad thing to have many varieties of English.

Language  Study

Match the definitions (A-F) with the vocabulary (1-6).

Vocabulary                    Definition

1. invade            A. go and live somewhere permanently

2. settle              B. the increase of something in a larger area

3. spread      C. energetic and exciting

4. vibrant              D. a point of view

5. oppression          E. enter and take control of a country by force

6. perspective        F. unfair or cruel treatment of a group of people

你知道宇宙的 起源吗?