Considered to be the lingua franca of the world, Modern English has undoubtedly huge influence in a wide variety of fields, including computer coding, international business and higher education.
As we usually take a moment to appreciate different languages, today we have compiled a list of ten interesting facts about the English language. As common as it may be, we bet you’d be surprised at some of them. Let’s start with some basics!
The English language is an Indo-European language in the West Germanic language group.
As of 2022, there are more than 1.4 billion English speakers around the world (as a first or second language) .
More than 50 countries officially list English as an official language.
English is not the official language of the United States of America. The country does not have an official language on the federal level. Many states, however, have passed legislation that designates English as their official language. However, there are 24 different English dialects in this country!
The vocabulary of Modern English is approximately a quarter Germanic (Old English, Scandinavian, Dutch, German) and two-thirds Italic or Romance (especially Latin, French, Spanish, Italian), with increasing importations from Greek in science and technology and with considerable borrowings from more than 300 other languages.
Ready to discover the funniest ones?
The word “Goodbye” originated from the Old English phrase “God be with you”.
Words we always use even though they add no meaning or value to a sentence are called crutch words. “Then I was like, OMG, then like, he went there, and like…” Can you relate you this sentence somehow? “Actually,” “honestly,” and “basically” are also commonly used as crutch words. Expected, right?
English is claimed to be one of the richest languages in the world. However, there are a lot of terms missing from the English dictionary that perfectly describe many common aspects of everyday life. Click here to learn more about it!
Same word, different meanings. We are sure you already have one in mind, right? Just as an example, you may know a ‘twerk’ to be a popular, thrusting dance but in the 16th century ‘twirk’ (spelt with an ‘i’ not an ‘e’) meant ‘to twist the hairs of a moustache’.
Shakespeare was responsible for many of the things we say and write today in English. These include the words ‘fashionable’, ‘advertising’ and ‘laughable’, and the phrase ‘fight fire with fire’, which means to respond to attack with a similar form of attack.
Do you know any other fun facts about the English language? Leave us a comment below!