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 the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria. Following the economic, political, military, scientific, cultural, and colonial influence of Great Britain and the United Kingdom from the 18th century, via the British Empire, and of the United States since the mid-20th century, it has been widely dispersed around the world, become the leading language of international discourse, and has acquired use as lingua franca in many regions. It is widely learned as a second language and used as an official language of the European Union and many Commonwealth countries, as well as in many world organizations. It is the third most natively spoken language in the world, after Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.
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 by the 5th century - with the word English being derived from the name of the Angles. A significant number of English 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. The language was further influenced by the Old Norse language with 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 vocabulary and spelling conventions began to give the superficial appearance of a close relationship with Romance languages to what had now become Middle English. The Great Vowel Shift that began in the south of England in the 15th century is one of the historical events that mark the emergence of Modern English from Middle English.Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_language
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Afrikaans is a West Germanic language, spoken natively in South Africa and Namibia. It is a daughter language of Dutch, originating in its 17th century dialects, collectively referred to as Cape Dutch. Although Afrikaans borrowed from languages such as Malay, Portuguese, French, the Bantu languages or the Khoisan languages, an estimated 90 to 95 percent of Afrikaans vocabulary is ultimately of Dutch origin. Therefore, differences with Dutch often lie in a more regular morphology, grammar, and spelling of Afrikaans. There is a large degree of mutual intelligibility between the two languages—especially in written form—although it is easier for Dutch-speakers to understand Afrikaans than the other way around.
With about 6 million native speakers in South Africa, or 13.3 percent of the population, it is the third most spoken mother tongue in the country. It has the widest geographical and racial distribution of all official languages, and is widely spoken and understood as a second or third language. It is the majority language of the western half of South Africa—the provinces of the Northern Cape and Western Cape—and the primary language of the coloured and white communities. In neighbouring Namibia, Afrikaans is spoken in 11 percent of households, mainly concentrated in the capital Windhoek and the southern regions of Hardap and Karas. Widely spoken as a second language, it is a lingua franca of Namibia.
While the number of total speakers of Afrikaans is unknown, estimates range between 15 and 23 million.Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afrikaans_language
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