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Is English Really a Germanic Language?


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click the link in the description. Hello everyone. Welcome to the Langfocus channel
and my name is Paul Today, I’m going to answer the question:
“is English really a Germanic language?” If you’ve seen any of my videos on Germanic languages
like my Afrikaans video, like my Dutch video, like my German video
or like my North Germanic languages video, then you probably saw that
English is also a Germanic language. But a lot of people write comments
expressing some confusion over this. They write things like:
“Paul, are you sure it’s a Germanic language?” “Are you sure it’s not a Romance language?” Well, that’s a good question. If a native English-speaker,
who had never learned another language before, had a look at a page of French
and then had a look at a page of German or Dutch, they would probably be able
to understand more of the page of French. Or if they had a look at a page of Spanish
or a page of Italian, they would probably be able to pick out
a lot of words that they recognize. But on the other hand, if they looked
at a page of Dutch or of German, they probably would’nt be able to pick out
as many without decyphering the words a little bit first. So, in that case, why is English a Germanic language
and not a Romance language? In the field of linguistics, languages are categorized
according to their genetic relationship. “Genetic relationship” means
that they have a common ancestor. And therefore, they have some common features
that distinguish them from other groups of languages. This type of genetic relationship between languages
can commonly be seen in the grammar
and synthax of the language. But the current vocabulary of the language is not really
taken into account in its categorization. Even when a language has a huge number
of loan words and its vocabulary changes a lot, that does NOT change
the categorization of that language. So because English developped from Proto-Germanic,
it is a Germanic language, despite massive changes
that have taken place in its vocabulary. The vocabulary of English has been highly influenced
by Romance languages. Romance meaning latin and any language
that has developped from latin, like French, Spanish, Italian, etc… So how much has it been influenced? Well, English vocabulary is 26% Germanic,
and it’s 29% French. Wait, you’re telling me that there’s more French vocabulary
than Germanic vocabulary, even though it’s a Germanic language?
That’s odd! Oh but wait, there is also 29% latin vocabulary. So that means together 58% of English vocabulary
comes from Romance languages? Well, that’s more than I thought! Another 6% comes from Greek,
another 6% (not 4%) comes other languages, and 4% comes from proper names. I can’t really think of any vocabulary
that comes from proper names, aside from Randy. So what if we ignore the origins of English
and its grammar and synthax, and just focus on the vocabulary for a minute,
then English is largely a Romance language. How did so much Romance vocabulary enter English? Much of the French vocabulary entered English
after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Normans spoke a Regional French dialect
called “Old Norman” or “Norman French”. The upper classes in England
spoke French for around 300 years. English was influenced by the Norman French dialect,
but also by Parisian French. due to its prestige and cultural influence
in, the following centuries. Huge amounts of French vocabulary entered English
and it lost much of its Old English vocabulary. But in many cases, there are pairs
of equivalent Germanic and French vocabulary. But, within those pairs, there is often a slightly different meaning
or usage for the Germanic word and for the French word. An interesting example are the pairs of words representing
animal versus foods that come from those animals. The animals are represented by Germanic words
and the foods are represented by French loan words. For example, “cow” comes from Old English “cu”
but “beef” comes French “boeuf”. “Pig” comes from Old English “picga”
but “pork” comes French “porc” But I don’t know what the prononciation
would have been like in Norman French. “Sheap” comes from Old English “sceap”
when “mutton” comes Old French “mouton” “Snail” comes from Old English “snaegl”
and “escargot” comes Norman French “escargot” French also influenced English because of
its huge cultural influence on Europe from the Renaissance period
to the end of the 19th century. And even now to some extent. But it’s not just French,
there’s also a lot of latin vocabulary. Some Latin entered Germanic dialects in their early days,
through contact with the Roman Empire. On the top of that, some christian missionaries
were present in Britain in the 6th & 7th centuries and they introduced some latin religious vocab’ into English. Many latin words were also borrowed
during the Renaissance period and also during the scientific revolution
of the 17th & 18th centuries, when many new words were “coined”.
“Coined” meaning “newly created” New words were coined from latin roots, prefixes & suffixes
to represent new concepts in science, in technilogy and in industry. So English is a Germanic language which absorbed
a huge number of French and Latin words? Yes, basically.
But some people have a different theory. Some people think that
English is actually a creole language. That’s something called
“The Middle English Creole Hypothesis” There are big differences between
Old English and Middle English Of course, there was the importing of
lots of French vocabulary. But that alone does not make it a creole language. But there were other changes to the grammar of English,
which became highly simplified. There was a lot of simplification.
Like the loss of most noun cases and gender. So that, aside from the possessive form with ” ‘s ” and
the plural forms, most nouns in English don’t have any inflection. Also, adjectives used to have inflection
but that disappeared too. The word “inflection” means “changes to a word
to represent different grammatical categories.” For example, the word “the cat” and “the cat’s paw”. Here the ” ‘s ” is a kind of inflection to show possession. And we have “one mouse” but “two mice”
So here the word is inflected to show plural. So let’s take a simple phrase like “the good king”
and look at it in Old English. In Old English, notice that
all 3 words in this phrase can change. In the nominative case: “Se goda cyning”. In the accusative case: “…”. In the genitive case: “…”. In the dative case: “…”. So the definite article changes, the adjective changes
and the noun changes depending on the case. But the article and the adjective also change,
depending on the gender and the case endings are different,
depending on the gender. Let’s look at the similar phrase “the good queen”. Notice the different feminine forms
of the definite article and the adjective. This is just an example of the grammatical complexity
of Old English, so you can imagine
how much it became simplified. By the Middle English Period, most of these forms
had disappeared or merged together. So now, we just have a genitive case
and the others formed a common case. This is the type of simplification that happens
when creoles arise. So it’s very possible that Old English
underwent a process of creolisation, inserting lots of French vocabulary into
an Old English substrate or underlined structure. But there might have a different reason
for that simplification of English. Some people don’t believe in the creole hypothesis. And they point to things like some of the irregular forms
that still exist in English, like the irregular verbs
or the irregular plural forms. In a typical creole language,
those forms would have been regularized. But, of course, creolization is not an “all or nothing” process,
it’s possible that English was PARTIALLY creolized. Well, let’s look at a couple of sentences in English
and let’s look at the influences we can find. And let’s see if there is more Germanic
or more Romance influence. This one is a newspaper headline. [ The sentence is read ] “push” : this word comes from Old French “poulser”
or Modern French “pousser” “immigration” : this word comes Latin “immigratum” “plan” : this word comes from the French word “plan”
which means “map” or “ground plan” “meet” : this word comes from Old English “metan” “with” : this comes from Old English “…” “family” : this comes from the Latin “familia”,
according to the source I used. But there is also the French “famille”,
which, I suppose, could be the source. “of” : this word comes from the Old English “aef” or “of”. “woman” : this comes
from Old English “wimman” or “wiman”. “kill” : this might come from
the Old English “cwellan”=”to quell”. “in” : this word comes from Latin So, out of those 10 words,
5 are Germanic and 5 are Romance words. But let’s look at a more casual sentence. Because I have a feeling that newspaper vocabulary tends
towards Romance vocabulary more than common speech. [The sentence is read] “I” : this is Germanic, comes from Old English “ic” “had” : this is also Germanic,
it comes from Old English “habban” “Lunch”. The origin of this one is vague, but it seems
to be from a Modern English dialect word. “with” : this is from Old English “…” “my” : this is Germanic,
it comes from Middle English “mi” or “min” “friend” : this comes from Old English “freond” “and” : this comes from Old English “and” or “ond” “we” : this comes from Old English “we” “read” : this comes from Old English “raedan” or “redan” “some” : this comes from Old English “sum” “book” : this comes from Old English “boc” So this time, all of the words
or almost all of the words are Germanic. So it’s interesting that the majority of English vocabulary
comes from French or from Latin but, in the most commonly used words in casual speech,
they tends to be more Germanic vocabulary. This is a good argument in favo(u)r of English
being classified as a Germanic language So do I think that English should be
classified as a Germanic language? Well, by a linguist’s criteria, yes. But most people
don’t really care about a linguist’s criteria. They just care about the practical application,
the practical use of the language. And, in practice, I think that the vocabulary is
a very important element of the language. So I think it’s fair to say that, in practice,
English is a hybrid language, it’s partly Germanic, partly Romance. But that’s my personal conclusion.
I’d like to know what you think. Do you think that English should be considered
a Germanic language? Or do you think it seems
more like a Romance language? Leave your answer in the comments down below. Be sure to follow Langfocus on Twitter,
on Facebook or on Instagram. Those are kind of places to keep
in touch with me between videos. And I also post some little bits of bonus content
on those social media channels. And I’d like to say thank you
to all of my Patreon supporters, especially these people whose names are on the screen,
for their especially generous monthly pledges. Thank you for watching and have a nice day.

100 Replies to “Is English Really a Germanic Language?”

  • What kind of words get borrowed? Government and science words. Everyday words, kinship words are not going to be borrowed. Grammar is not borrowed. The rich might try to make themselves look higher by using foreign words. English is Germanic.
    All languages borrow words.
    It is like saying Japanese is Chinese because of all the borrowed words from Chinese.

  • You forgot phrasal verbs!! They are such a Germanic element in English, similar to separable verbs in German or Dutch. They were quite a nightmare back in the day for my Romance-language mental structure. When I moved to the US and really needed to polish my English, I had to stop trying to maintain my German because the German grammatical structure kept seeping into the English corners of my brain and I sounded like Master Yoda.

  • Ja! Teilweise. Ich bin seit 32 Jahren in Deutschland & durch meiner Englische Kenntnis habe ich Deutsch gelernt. I still have problems with articles though!!

  • We know that English has tremendous Norman influence, but we often don't hear how much underlying Celtic/Brittonic influence that it has, much of which is not obvious. It was traditionally thought that English had very little Brittonic influence because there are few Brittonic words in English, however if you look at some of the grammatical changes between Old English and Middle English, such as the simplification of grammar and a move from inflected to analytic it shows definite Celtic influence. The influence is much more fundamental and grammatical than vocabulary. "Welsh and English are conspicuously analytic compared with the other Indo-European languages of Western Europe." That is just one of a number of examples of Brittonic influence. A great piece to read (there are plenty of good sources so don't doubt it because it's Wikipedia): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brittonicisms_in_English

  • The English language should be classified as extinct and what we speak today should be called "something else" literally.

  • I'm a little late here but I only started studying linguistics this year. I am happy to hear you say there is a theory that English is a creole language because I actually had that thought about a week ago. Pretty interesting to think about

  • I studied Turkish. English shares a lot with Turkish such as very simple old words like git for go. It’s as though English is Turkish spoken in backwards order.

  • You could replace almost all the latin/french words in a generation. Doing the reverse would be near impossible. The main reason people think our language is so latin centric is because our spelling reflects french more than the germanic languages. If we had spellings that were closer to the other germanic languages it would even be a question.

  • The roots of English are in the Germanic language – when settlers like then Saxons and Angles mixed with the Britons the languages merged – gender was dropped as was a great deal of German Grammar which simplified matters and the language became English. We also adopted a lot of Latin and French words and then continued to adopt words from other countries we visited/invaded, we use many Indian words for example. Nevertheless the roots of English are German.

  • En el lenguaje ordinario hay una gran proporción de palabras germánicas o del norte de Europa. Pero en el lenguaje culto y científico entre el 70 y 80 % de las palabras son de origen romance

  • 7:32 I agree newspapers tend more towards Romance languages than what everyday speech does. As a native English speaker whose first exposure to a foreign language was Spanish at age 22 I was struck at how many similarities there was between Spanish and what you might call "formal English" or "grown-up English". That is to say the words an English speaking child might not really begin to learn until age 8 – 10 or so.
    For example: A native English speaking 9 year old probably knows what a "smuggler" is, and probably describes smuggled items as just that – smuggled stuff/items. That same child probably does not know what "contraband" is, but will likely learn over the next 5- 10 years. They will likely never learn what a "contrabandista" is – unless they study Spanish (or possibly some other R-lang?) At which point it will all make sense.
    So perhaps the first decade of learning is more Germanic in nature followed by another decade more Romance in nature.

  • In my opinion, the key to understanding English is that it has always belonged to the common people rather than the elites. There is nothing in English corresponding to the Academie Francaise. The French are constantly trying to protect their language from "Franglais", but there is much less of that sort of thing in English. To put it crudely, French is a high-born lady, but English is a common slut.

  • The intellectual elites would have known more Latin and French words back in the day. The common people of England wouldn't have known it, so the statement "Is English Germanic or Latin?" depends on which class of English society we're referring to.

  • all i know is out of the languages i’ve tried to learn, German was the easiest for me to grasp. being a native English speaker.

  • I LOVE GERMAN because IT IS SO RICH AND ACCURATE…
    "ICH LIEBE Deutsch, weil ES SO REICH UND AKKURAT IST"..,

    AND I CAN SEE, I UNDERSTAND ENGLISH WITH-OUT TO LEARN IT…
    "UND ICH KANN SEHEN, ICH VERSTAND ENGLISH, MIT ohne ES ZU LERNEN…

    I SPEAK SPANISH (as first) AND PORTUGUISSE TOO, AND THIS HELP ME WITH THE REST OF ENGLISH THAT COMES FROM LATIN…
    "ICH SPRECH SPANISCH (als erste) UND PORTUGIESISCH auch, UND DAS HELFT MIR MIT DEM REST ENGLISH, DER VON LATEIN KOMMT…

    THANKS AND CONGRATULATION FOR THIS GOOD AND INTERESTING VIDEO!
    "DANKE UND GRATULIERUNG FÜR DIESES GUTE UND INTERSSANTES VIDEO!"

    CAN YOU SEE AND FEEL, ENGLISH SPEAKER?… BOTH STAY SO NEAR, AS IF THEY FATHER AND SON WERE…
    CANST du SEHEN UND FÜHLEN ENGLISCH SPRECHER?.. BEIDE STEHN SO NAH, ALS ob DIE VATER UND SOHN WÄREN.

  • THE PERCENT FROM GERMAN IN ENGLISH IS MUCH MORE THAN 26%!.. MUCH MORE!!
    IF YOU KNOW GERMAN AND SPANISH (or Italian), YOU WILL BE SURE THAT ENGLISH IS A MIXTURE OF BOTH.
    MY THEORY IS THAT IF THE ANGLOS AND SAXONS FROM NORD-GERMANY ARE COMMING INTO ENGLAND, THEY BROUGHT HIS GERMAN IN AN SIMPLIFIED VERSION BECAUSE THERE ARE SIMPLY PEOPLE, MAY BE HUMBLE WARRIORS AND LATER SIMPLE FOLK PEOPLE, SO THAT HIS GERMAN WAS THE SIMPLEST OR/AND EASYEST PART OF HIS LANGUAGE.
    AND THIS THE REASON BECAUSE ENGLISH IS SO MUCH SIMPLE THAN GERMAN, CAUSE THEY DON'T HERITATE THE COMPOSSED WORDS OF GERMAN NOR THE INTERMEDIATE VOWELS.
    AND LATER, ENGLISH HAS INCORPORATE A LOT OF LATIN WORDS UNDER THE ROM CONQUERORS, AND LATER TOO, WITH THE NORMANDS CONQUERORS, VIA FRENCH.
    BUT, WITHOUT DOUBTS, ENGLISH IS AN OLD GERMAN VERSION. MANY HUNDRED OF WORDS ARE THE SAME OR SIMILAR BETWEEN BOTH, AND IF YOU CAN'T SEE THIS BY A DETERMINED WORD, ALL YOU NEED IS LOOK FOR HIS SINONIMOUS.
    P.D. I never have English learned (so, please dispensse my English), but i can understand it, because i speak Spanish and German (and a little bit of a few others)

  • I thought this was quite evident many years ago simply because so many "Germanic" peoples occupied the British Isles (esp. England) and then there was the influence of the Normans after 1066. For quite some time I noticed the breakdown of language influence in English – German, French, Latin and Greek plus several other languages – I'm curious if many Europeans know how many Native American words are used. While talking with a group of people during a living history event there were a number of French-Canadians present and when I said English is basically a mixture of German and French they got quite upset. They didn't seem to understand the "French" words in English are not pronounced (or sometimes even spelled) exactly the same but the influence is quite obvious.

  • English is language of those poor people who had no place in Britain history while moving and immigrating to different places during different rulers.

  • it's a germanic language i speak French and German since I'm a little kid and i can assure you that i understand and speak English thanks to my German but it's true, there are a lot of words from French but in German too

  • I think that common speech ennglish i germanic and the high people speech borrow a lot of latin words for purpose. And it depends of the dialect as well.

  • Except by vocabulary influences English isn't a Roman language. The general rules of roman languages are the same in Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and French and they don't seem like those of English grammar. For example, in all latin languages the adjective comes before the noun, in English it's inverse.

  • Best to see the language "Family" is how they are relivated. Exp.:  Gut, good, gud .. etc (germanic roots) / bene, bien, biena ( romance roots) / dobre, dobra, dobar .. etc (slavic roots) and so on…hindu, Mandarin, japanese and all others sure have some own rel. too,

  • English is softer than German due to the French influence. Though I admire the German culture the German language sounds harsh and unattractive. French/Latin has refined and beautified English.

  • Can't think of words that come from proper names…really? How about martinized, mcadam, sandwich, draconian, nazi, algorithm, ampere herz, watt, zamboni, zeppelin, macadamia, magnolia…

  • Funny so many people have such a different experience than me. I'm a native English speaker and found French and Spanish very easy to learn. German is an enigma, wrapped in a mystery, put in a black box and then dropped in a deep cave. And this is also seen by most language experts as the time to learn German is considered to be longer by the Army Language Institute and others.

  • "Randy" hahah oh no
    I maybe would have used "Jimmy" as in "Jimmy the lock" or "mesmerize", "pasteurize", "to shanghai".

  • It's Germanic, the Romance words are loanwords but the grammatical structure still goes back to its Germanic origin.

  • Very interesting talk. I have heard a theory that the creolization of English was due to the similarity between the Saxon and Viking contributions, causing the development of a 'pigeon' language between the two ethnic groups. Could this have been as important as the interaction with Norman French for the reduction of grammar and syntax?
    Also I have heard a theory that there was a pre-Roman invasion Germanic influence on language in Britain. Could this be true too?

  • The impression I get is that spoken English has intonation more like a Latin language such as Italian. If you hear the great actors, their voices rise and fall, with a lot of variation, which is perhaps less Germanic or Norse sounding. Maybe we owe a lot of that to Shakespeare and the Renaissance theatre in England? Or maybe we owe intonation and English regional accents and dialects to the previous Celtic cultures.

  • I think that french and English are so different from the other languages of their respective families that they should be classified in a sort of germano-romance family.

  • Hybrid language yes, but the simplification of English began earlier than the Norman conquest.
    Old Danish was widely spoken in the east (the Danelaw) two centuries before, where Viking settlements were interspersed with the English, while many old Norse words entered the language from the north. These North Germanic languages simplified the Old English grammar in common use then. Bede wrote that five languages were spoken in Britain at the time, the three Germanic and the two Celtic. Even today place names mark the settlement pattern.
    Modern English has also kept many regional words and dialects still in use today amongst ordinary people which preserves something of this past complex pattern.

  • In colloquial English (I am English and from SE London) we use a lot of words derived from Romany gypsy and Yiddish languages.

  • In the German language, we have a lot of Latin or Romanic words but they are mostly used in a formal context, such as in news, interviews or political campaigns.
    But we still have and mostly know and use the german equivalent of these words in common language.

    The modern English instead seems to have replaced the original old Englisch (germanic) words with the Latin, instead of keeping them only as formal.
    So following that modern English used to be more germanic only until it submerged more and more with Latin.

    In Germany nowadays slang becomes more anglicized, (anglicization) means that hybrid words between German and English are been used such as: gefighted, gecancled, chillen, ein Nogo, voll easy, etc.

  • I looked at this video and compared my understanding of English to my knowledge of other languages (Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Swahili, Arabic, and Urdu). I personally found that English is not so much a "Germanic" language (as it is classified) but a language of trade. Like Swahili, it is an amalgamation due to the necessity of commerce. I have found both have the ability to be very accommodating to other languages when they meet together. English is amazing in it's ability to incorporate other words into it's base very easily. So, I wish there was a way to classify English, Swahili, and the like as "Trade Langues" and not limit them to the present system we use. It is just a thought.

    Thank you for another great video and I am looking forward to seeing more of your good work.

  • This is the first time I watch one of your videos and I must say, I love your accent and pronunciation! And the video is extremely interesting and has great and useful information. Gracias!

  • Clearly germanic.
    One word that remained in englisch is ''window'', which disappeared in german, where the word ''Fenster'', coming from latin "fenestra", is used.

  • Hi langfocus, I say, english is a german language, I go by grammar! Anyway it is not a romance language, romance meaning love affair!!! It may however for others be a roman language.

  • Having spent time studying both Spanish and German, I definitely think english tends towards being a Germanic language. Although it's easier to pick out spanish text, sentences and larger structures roll off the tongue much easier, especially when you know the words. Although it is easy to string sentences in Spanish, german syntax mirrors english almost perfectly, especially with the v2 construction and the inversion of subject and verb in questions. For example, it took me much less effort to say "Ich sah ein Gemälde im Museum" than "Vi una pintura en un museo"

  • To me English really can be considered a Germanic-Romance hybrid language! As a French girl, I noticed that learning only German allowed me to understand almost every English word : once it comes from Latin (similar to French), once from Proto-Germanic (similar to German). And only French cannot let me grasp the meaning of everything, but neither does German alone. English really feels like a mashup ☺️

    Edit: nevertheless, the words that come from French barely sound like French, while (with training) you could easily link the words coming from OE with their German equivalent (orally). So it feels like using Roman words is only a borrowing, but the English language itself remains a Germanic one…

  • Modern English vs German.
    Mein haus ist grun.
    My house is green.
    I work with medieval manuscripts regularly. Our working vocabulary, the most common every day words, are mostly germanic.
    Within a few generation of 1066 the originally french nobility barely spoke it anymore. The masses did not speak french for the most part at all.

  • Regardless of grammar structure, it can't be ignored that the average English speaker is going to understand MUCH more French or Spanish than they would understand German.

  • In about 10 years time from now English will be a monster of middle eastern, somali/sub saharan African and Jamaican. "Aaait blaaaad yo!"

  • As a French native speaker, but also speaking English and Dutch, I consider that English is a germanic language. Even if a simple sentence have the same structure in French and English (also shared with other european languages), when making more complex sentences the structure is close to Dutch or German and different from French or other Romance languages.

  • but paul, you said in another video that in case of creole,only vocabulary is affected and not the grammar(viking effect on english video)
    but we see in this video that english grammar is much affected by the latin/french one

  • In my opinion, despite the fact that English has been deeply influenced by non-Germanic languages throughout History doesn’t mean that it’s no longer a Germanic language. I think that a language is mean to remain to its family, regardless what changed in its vocabulary or its syntax. For example : French has been deeply influenced by Greek but it doesn’t mean that it should belong to the Greek languages family. Japanese has an enormous amount of Chinese words and contains thousands of Chinese characters, however it hasn’t become a sino-Tibetan language and remains fully part of Japonic languages.

  • English is a Germanic languish it’s roots after my opinion, but as explained in this and other excellent videos by Paul, it has been influenced by many languishes over time, not least Latin and other Romance languages. You have for instance many double expressions and words like holiday/vacation, unbelievable/incredible and so on.

  • Literally to me English is German + French, all of of the verbs and words are either french or germans. You could tell me a sentence and I could show you that around 30~45% of the word used are from French and the rest german(ic). Probably the easiest language to learn on earth, don't ask me why French people don't speak it, that's another question.

  • Image the scene: Portuguese language are speaking with her twin sister, Spanish and her oldest aunt, Italian. English comes up. They complained: that weird cousin again. (It's just a joke, I really like how English sounds =D)

  • To me it is more latin (romance) than anything else, since the huge majority comes from French (romance) and Latin (romance). A Spanish speaker can read something in English and understand more than half the words. English speakers too with Spanish. But, of course, English speakers would want to associate themselves with Germans rather than with Latin people.

  • Just consider where the word English comes from, Anglish i.e. Angle as in Angles, Saxons and JutesThen remember Latin is the language used by the church and French the language of the upper classes from the Norman conquest. The common man spoke British and Celtic then grew into Anglish.

  • I have recognized that some North Americans use "well" instead of "when". For example: Well I came hone, it was already dark. I think it is a dialectical phenomenon around Toronto, but I am not sure. Can anybody tell more exactly where this happens?

  • English is absolutely a Germanic language. It has added vocabulary from other languages (as all languages do) but structurally it is Germanic. All languages continue to add vocabulary and new words are often borrowed from other languages. I was forced to learn Latin in grammar school (because I was told the it was the "mother tongue") – but it is only the mother tongue to the Romance languages. When I started learning German it was immediately and overwhelmingly clear how close it is to English. I would have to say that structure is the hardest part to master in a foreign language, and German is relatively easy for English speakers to learn because it has the same underlying structural patterns.

  • I always thought the word "my/me" came from the Celtic languages predating English as well as the word "in" – oh well I guess nothing of the Celtic languages survived into English. I guess the invaders did completely wipe out all the Celts and any trace of their existence in Angleland, which I find quite sad. A bit like calling the indigenous peoples of "Wales" and calling them foreigners – great.

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