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The English language, which takes its name from its origins as the native tongue of the people of England, is today the most widely spoken language in the world.[5] It is spoken as a first languageby a majority of the inhabitants of several nations, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand. It is the third most commonly spoken language in theworld in terms of native speakers, after Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.[6] It is widely learned as a second language and used as an official language of the European Union and many Commonwealthcountries, as well as in many world organisations.
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under theinfluence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria. Following the extensive influence of Great Britain and the United Kingdom from the 18th century, via the British Empire, and of the United Statessince the mid-20th century,[7][8][9][10] it has been widely dispersed around the world, becoming the leading language of international discourse and the lingua franca in many regions.[11][12]Historically, English originated from the fusion of languages and dialects, now collectively termed Old English, which were brought to the eastern coast of Great Britain by Germanic (Anglo-Saxon) settlers bythe 5th century – with the word English being derived from the name of the Angles, and ultimately from their ancestral region of Angeln (in what is now Schleswig-Holstein).[13] A significant number ofEnglish words are constructed based on roots from Latin, because Latin in some form was the lingua franca of the Christian Church and of European intellectual life.[14] The language was furtherinfluenced by the Old Norse language due to Viking invasions in the 8th and 9th centuries.
The Norman conquest of England in the 11th century gave rise to heavy borrowings from Norman-French, and...
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