The history of the evolution of different languages in the United Kingdom goes back 2000 years ago. It is because different tribes ruled the United Kingdom at different times.
When people from different tribes mingled with each other, it resulted in the formation of different languages. Its proximity to Europe and long history of colonialism also give rise to the emergence of different languages.
At present, English is the dominant language of the UK. However, multiple other languages are spoken in different areas of the UK. 98% of people who speak English are residing in Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and England. Let’s have a look at how the evolution of different languages took place in the United Kingdom.
History Of the Languages of The United Kingdom
Do you know that before the arrival of Romans in 55 BC, the Britishers used to speak the Celtic language? It was an era of Christianity. Many areas in the UK have a history of Celtic like rivers Wye and Thames and other places like London, Dover, and Kent but still present English does not contain the Celtic words.
The Romans ruled the British territory for around 400 years. They were famous for developing the infrastructure of the company. In AD 410, one of the Roman emperors sent a letter to the people of Britain in which he said that they were living in the country because Rome was under attack.
Therefore, they have to leave the country to save their land. When they left Britain, the country faced many turbulences. Many native and foreign tribes start fighting.
As a result, many people move outside the country to live in the countryside. Because of the long stay of Romans in Britain, there are only 200 words of Roman origin that are included in modern English.
Most of these words are used by Roman soldiers and merchants like a win, candela, belt, and weall. Further, it is translated to wine, candle, belt, and wall.
The Roman people spoke the Latin language. Therefore, many people in the UK also start speaking this language but people who moved to the countryside remain stuck to the old Celtic language.
The Germanic Tribes
The Romans left the UK completely in 410 ADS without providing defensive forces. As a result, the country was invaded. The three Germanic tribes entered Britain in the 5th century and started making the history of English.
These three tribes are the Jutes, the Saxons, and the Angles. Later they combined to form Anglo-Saxons. They came from Northern Germany, which is called Denmark.
These invaders made Celts move to Wales, Cumbria, and Cornwall. In these regions, the Welsh, Cumbric, and Cornish languages were developed through Celtic culture.
Many invaders are from the Engla Land that means land of the Angles. They came from the Angeln Peninsula, which is situated in the area of the Bay of Kiel in the Baltic Sea.
The language which they spoke is Englisch. The place from where invaders came became the source of the name England, and the language name revolves around the name of the place and is called English.
The origin of old English is Anglo-Saxon dialects. There are around 400 texts that still exist and survive. More of its content is of poems, these poems are related to wild battles and heroic journeys.
You will be amazed to know that even today, one-third of Anglo-Saxon words are still in use. These words are earth, water, house, strong, sing, food, sleep, and night.
Bishop Augustine came with a large number of Christian missionaries. They bring with them a large number of Latin vocabularies in the Bible and other religious testimony, and created a literary sense among the people.
During that time, new words are derived from Latin which are spade, spider, monk, fork, altar, mass, and school. The important thing to note about spelling standards is that they spell the words according to the lexicon of the region.
They created the formation of four major dialects like Northumbrian, Mercian, Saxon, and Kentish. Many documents in Old English are written in the West Saxon dialect and are widely spoken in Wessex, which is a popular political center.
The Vikings entered England in the 8th century. Moreover, they ruled the major areas of Scotland, the Northern Isles such as Shetland Hebrides and the Orkneys.
They remained there till the 11th century, but at the end of their tenure, they were asked to move to the North-East part of Britain. They became prominent in the Danelaw area.
King Alfred selects the language English to develop a feeling of national identity. The ancestors of Nordic tribes bring with them 2000 new words. Some of these words are anger, awkward, cake, die, egg, freckle, and many more.
At the end of the old English period, an important event took place that has greatly influenced the English language. What was this event? It was the Norman Conquest in 1066.
It started the renaissance of the Middle English Period. This incursion is a milestone in the history of England and played a significant role in the development of Modern English.
However, the other point of view is that it has negatively affected the English language and destroyed a native Anglo-Saxon culture. It has also disrupted the development of the English language.
According to Higden Ranulf, and Benedictine monk, French is the reason for the degeneration of the English language in Medieval England. On the other hand, many scholars are of the view that it contributed to the enhancement of English vocabulary.
The Present Status of English Language
Indo-European languages are a part of traditional languages. Do you know that there are around 455 languages and dialects? The languages that grow independently in the United Kingdom are due to the reason that people have moved from their home countries.
English is the most dominant language in the UK. In Wales, people speak Welsh and English. Moreover, in Scotland, besides Scots Gaelic, people speak English.
Irish, Manx, and Scottish Gaelic originate from the Goidelic form of the Celtic language. Old Cornish language and modern Walsh originate from the Brythonic form of the Celtic language.
Out of these languages, Welsh is the strongest language because one-fifth of the Wales population speaks this language. People living in the Outer Hebrides and North West Highlands, speak Scottish Gaelic.
People don’t speak certain languages. Therefore, many languages have lost their national identity. You will not find any person speaking Cornish. The last person who used to speak Manx died in 1974.
This language will be extinct in the future. The number of people that speak the Irish language in Northern Ireland is declining. Additionally, some other languages are spoken in the United Kingdom. Among all the languages, Normans are the prominent linguistic group
The Languages Spoken in the United Kingdom
England, Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland are part of the United Kingdom. The other areas like the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are considered crown dependencies, but they are not an official part of the UK.
People of the UK speak the English language widely. Although Welsh is the official language of Wales, people of the UK that are living in Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, and London also speak this language.
Ulster-Scots or Scots, also called Northern Ireland, is spoken by Scottish Lowlands in Scotland, Northern Isles, and Caithness. Additionally, people living in Berwick-on-Tweed, Antrim, and Down in Northern Ireland and Londonderry also speak this language.
The majority of the people that speak the Irish language live in Northern Ireland like Newry, Derry, and Belfast. A high population of Irish speakers is also present in Southern Londonderry near Maghera, which is in central Tyrone between South Armagh, Omagh, and Dungannon. Many communities that are present in London, Liverpool, Glasgow, Manchester immensely speak Irish
Approximately, 90,000 people in the United Kingdom speak Angloromani. This language is the amalgamation of English and the language of the gypsies, called Romani.
People living in the areas of Scotland, England, and Wales speak this language. On the other hand, the people of the Hebrides and Scottish Highlands in Scotland speak this language.
Have you heard about the Corish language? This language was revived back in the 19th century. Moreover, in the 20th century, extra efforts were taken. This helped in increasing the Corish speakers by providing them with textbooks, films, literature, and music. Thus, 3,000 people started speaking the Cornish language.
Languages Spoken by Immigrants
Many people love to migrate to the UK to enhance their quality of life. Although English is a dominant language, you cannot ignore the different ethnic languages.
The most spoken immigrant language spoken in the UK is Polish. Other miscellaneous languages that immigrants speak are Urdu, Punjabi, and different other languages of the subcontinent.
People also opt to speak Portuguese, Arabic, Turkish, Filipino, Romanian, Persian, Lithuanian, Somali, and Italian. One important thing to note is that mostly 23% of UK people speak European languages such as German, Spanish and French.
If you want to travel to the UK for any purpose, then don’t panic, as many different languages are spoken there. At present, many translation companies are working around the globe. You must be careful in selecting a translation agency.
We are providing top-quality translation services for your help. No matter, in which language pair, you want translation in, we provide you with impeccable results at a fast turnaround time and economical rates. For details, contact us now!