Theoriginal Old English language was then influenced by two further waves of invasion: the first by speakers of the Scandinavian branch of the Germanic language family, who conquered and colonized parts of Britain in the 8th and 9th centuries; the second by the Normans in the 11th century, who spoke Old Norman and ultimately developed an English variety of this called Anglo-Norman. These twoinvasions caused English to become "mixed" to some degree.
Cohabitation with the Scandinavians resulted in a significant grammatical simplification and lexical enrichment of the Anglo-Frisian core of English; the later Norman occupation led to the grafting onto that Germanic core of a more elaborate layer of words from the Romance languages (Latin based languages). This Norman influence entered Englishlargely through the courts and government. Thus, English developed into a "borrowing" language of great flexibility, resulting in an enormous and varied vocabulary.
The languages of Germanic tribes gave rise to the English language (the Angles, Saxons, Frisians, Jutes and perhaps even the Franks, who traded and fought with the Latin-speaking Roman Empire in the centuries-long process of theGermanic peoples' expansion into Western Europe). Many Latin words for common objects entered the vocabulary of these Germanic peoples before any of their tribes reached Britain; examples include camp, cheese, cook, fork, inch, kettle, kitchen, mile, mill, mint (coin), noon, pillow, pound (unit of measurement), punt (boat), street and wall. The Romans also gave the English language words which theyhad themselves borrowed from other languages: anchor, butter, chest, copper, dish, sack and wine.
Our main source for the culture of the Germanic peoples (the ancestors of the English) in ancient times is Tacitus' Germania). While remaining quite conversant with Roman civilisation and its economy, including serving in the Roman military, they retained political independence. Some Germanictroops served in Britannia under the Romans (e.g. Saxon shore). We can be almost certain that Germanic settlement in Britain was not intensified (except for Frisians) until arrival of mercenaries in the 5th century as described by Gildas, since had the English arrived en-masse under Roman rule, they would have been thoroughly Christianised as a matter of course. As it was, the Angles, Saxons and Jutesarrived as pagans, independent of Roman control.
According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, around the year 449, Vortigern (or Gwrtheyrn from the Welsh tradition), King of the Britons, invited the "Angle kin" (Angles allegedly led by Hengest and Horsa) to help him in conflicts with the Picts. In return, the Angles were granted lands in the southeast of England. Further aid was sought, and inresponse "came men of Ald Seaxum of Anglum of Iotum" (Saxons, Angles and Jutes). The Chronicle talks of a subsequent influx of settlers who eventually established seven kingdoms, known as the heptarchy. Modern scholarship considers most of this story to be legendary and politically motivated, and the identification of the tribes with the Angles, Saxons and Jutes is no longer accepted as an accuratedescription, especially since the Anglo-Saxon language is more similar to the Frisian languages (some Frisians emigrated in Britain in the 3rd century) than any of the others.
It is possible that the invaders' Germanic language displaced in some areas the indigenous Brythonic languages of what became England. The original Celtic languages remained in parts of Scotland, Wales and Cornwall (where...