Apr 30, 2009

The vocabulary

I was very interested in Old English and i did a little research about it. This is what I've found :

The vocabulary of Old English consisted of an Anglo Saxon base with borrowed words from the Scandinavian languages (Danish and Norse) and Latin. Latin gave English words like street, kitchen, kettle, cup, cheese, wine, angel, bishop, martyr, candle. The Vikings added many Norse words: sky, egg, cake, skin, leg, window (wind eye), husband, fellow, skill, anger, flat, odd, ugly, get, give, take, raise, call, die, they, their, them. Celtic words also survived mainly in place and river names (Devon, Dover, Kent, Trent, Severn, Avon, Thames).

Many pairs of English and Norse words coexisted giving us two words with the same or slightly differing meanings. Examples below.



























In 1066 the Normans conquered Britain. French became the language of the Norman aristocracy and added more vocabulary to English. More pairs of similar words arose.




















wrath / anger

Some words for most domestic animals are English (ox, cow, calf, sheep, swine, deer) while the words for the meats derived from them are French (beef, veal, mutton, pork, bacon, venison).

The Germanic form of plurals (house, housen; shoe, shoen) was eventually displaced by the French method of making plurals: adding an s (house, houses; shoe, shoes). Only a few words have retained their Germanic plurals: men, oxen, feet, teeth, children.

French also affected spelling so that the cw sound came to be written as qu (eg. cween became queen)

I hope you like it ....

Apr 29, 2009

English around the world

Since I live in Croatia , it is perfectly normal for me to speak English.People in small countries have no choice but to learn other languages , because certanly noune will trouble themselves by learning a language that only 4 million people use.
I've visited many countries so far.I guess I've been lucky.And in most of them people spoke English.It doesn't matter whether they are fluent or not.What matters is that people today think that best chance of communicating with someone is by using English.Simple as that.They are usually right .English is all around us.Most of the world knows famous American singers or bands.The films we watch are usually in English.French used to be a diplomatic language,but now it is only an extra point to speak it.
Knowing English well is important.I have gained a lot by knowing and using English language.It helped me during my voyages and voyages helped me in learning English better.To know a different language allows one to also recognise another cultures.It helps to broaden one's views.Learning languages and using the know ledge after-wards enriches the spirit and at the end of the day brings people closer to one another.

Apr 28, 2009

Learning English

I first started learning English in kindergarden at the age of five. I remember learning tons of catchy songs and just loved being able to understand everything after the lesson. Now, I would probably have to thank my parents who have known that learning second language would pay off eventually.
I remember being one of the best kids in the group, with a great potential of learning foreign languages. I have always been selected to play the main role in various plays our teacher Nada was preparing for us. She showed me the beauty of learning foreign languages and because of her I have never stopped learning English.
As a primary school student I decided to take up some private classes to improve my language skills even more. I remember having classes twice a week with a few students who hated it. To me that was completely incomprehensible. The English in school was a complete disaster; I was happy to have the opportunity to attend also the Private School of English and get to learn more vocabulary, more about the use of English and culture. I was much better at reading skills than my friends in school. I wanted more and more from it so I just started reading in English, watching movies without subs, talking to my English speaking friends and realized that the lessons provided very solid base. Now it feels almost natural.
As my love for English never went away and I did the maximum courses one private school might have, it was time to get the confirmation for the 12 year education in it. Before taking any special exams, I was granted a trip to Canada. It sounded like a dream come true but it was even better. It was probably a month that will never fade away and I would dare to say the most wonderful and exciting one I’ve had so far. Not only I have been using English quite a lot but I got to know the culture on my own. It helped me a lot with understanding English.
I joined various extracurricular activities that are containing some part of English that I enjoy working with. First Certificate in English was my goal that I accomplished.
To sum up, learning English is of big importance nowadays and the main language of any kind of interaction wherever you go abroad. I personally see it much more interesting than the “must know” thing. The differences in accents, the uses and vocabulary, the people …make it more fun.