Sunday, June 6, 2010

Fluency In English

Fluency in English is a must for all lovers of this language. You need this invaluable tool to express yourself and communicate confidently and effectively. Merely knowing English isn't enough. You must be able to speak English fluently. Fluency in spoken English comes with constant practice in listening and speaking.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

History of the English language

  • There is an astonishing close relationship among English, most of the European languages and Sanskrit.
  • All these languages are of common origin.
  • They belong to the Indo-European Family of languages.
  • Linguists like Albert C. Baugh, Grimm, Verner and others explain this relationship.
  • Baugh shows the common origin of many words in these languages.
  • Grimm explains the general consonant shift in these languages.
  • Verner explains certain consonant shifts unintelligible to Grimm. In other words, Verner deals with the exceptional consonant shift.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Types of English Language

  • The King's (Queen's) English is standard, correct English.
  • Today Standard English means the form of English language generally used by the majority of well-educated, cultured native speakers of Great Britain, the USA and the rest of the English-speaking world. 
  • Old English, also known as Anglo-Saxon, was used down to the Norman Conquest. It was the language of the Germanic settlers in England and Scotland, including Angles, Saxons and Jutes, or of their descendants.
  • Beowulf, supposed to be the first epic poem in English, is an anonymous piece of Old English poetry. Though the story of this epic was introduced by Angles, it is actually about Scandinavians. Most of the manuscript of Beowulf was lost in a fire accident. The undamaged remains of the poem are preserved in the British Museum.
  • King Alfred, a major prose writer of the Old English period, is called 'the father of English prose'.  
  • Middle English was used after the Norman Conquest till about 1500 AD. Or it was used from about 1100 AD to about 1500 AD. This period is known as the Anglo-Norman period.
  • Geoffrey Chaucer, whose poetry seems to mark the end of the Middle Ages in England, is regarded as 'the father of English poetry'. The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer's poetic masterpiece, represents a cross-section of the society of his age.
  • Chaucer wrote in the East Midland Dialect of his country. He refined it into standard English.     
  • Modern English is being used from about 1500 AD.
  • Received Pronunciation (RP) is the standard form of British pronunciation. It is based on the speech of the educated natives of Southern England. It is the spoken language taught in the world-famous Public Schools there, such as Harrow, Eton and Rugby. BBC news readers invariably use RP.