Infographic Category Education

A Visual History of The English Language

By | source:Here Jul 15th, 2023

The English language is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, with over 400 million native speakers and even more who are second-language learners. It’s also a language that has evolved greatly over time, starting as an early form of Germanic or Old Norse and evolving into a distinct dialect whose vocabulary and syntax changed over time. This evolution can be traced through four major periods: pre-English, Old English, Middle English, and Modern English—all of which have left their mark on modern American English.


If you’re studying the history of English, then it’s important to know what came before. Pre-English is a term that refers to any language spoken by people in England before the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons in Britain. These include Celtic languages such as Cornish and Welsh, but also Latin (which was spoken by Roman soldiers) and Old Norse (spoken by Vikings). The first written evidence of an English dialect comes from 725 CE when King Ceolwulf II signed charters using West Saxon runes. This was followed by Alfred’s translation of Boethius’ De Consolatione Philosophiae into Old English in 888 CE; however, this work was not widely read outside scholarly circles until later translations were produced during the 13th century renaissance period known as “The Age of Chaucer”.


Old English

Old English was spoken from about the 5th century to about the 11th century. It was a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England, and it later became an important literary language in the Anglo-Saxon period. Old English is also known as Anglo-Saxon, a term which refers both to its origin and its use as a written standard for writing poetry, prose and laws from around 800 A.D., roughly 100 years after Christian missionaries arrived on these shores from Rome (or “Romea” at that time).


Middle English

Middle English is a period in the history of the English language that was spoken from 1150 to 1500. It’s also called Anglo-Norman, and it was the language of the ruling class at that time. During this period, there were many changes to how people spoke English.


Modern English

Today, English is the most widely spoken language in the world. It’s also one of the official languages of 54 countries and is used as an international language by organizations such as NATO and the United Nations. The English language has changed a lot over time–and it continues to evolve today!


English is a West Germanic language that originates in England. Old English was spoken from around 400AD to about 1150AD, Middle English from around 1150AD to 1500AD and Modern English has been spoken since then. The English language is one of the most important in the world. It has become the lingua franca for business and commerce, as well as diplomacy and international relations. The history of this language is fascinating–and it shows us how much we owe to our ancestors who developed it over thousands of years!