Thursday, 7 February 2013
THE HISTORY OF LANGUAGES
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday
If the whole world would speak the same language it would be much easier to create a peaceful world because we all would understand each other and no translator can do a mistake or translate wrong on purpose !
For instance lots of people don't know that "Allah" means "God" in Arabic and is exactly the same God as in all other languages. And when men fight they all ask the same God to win the battle ! We ask Dieu, Dio, Gott, in our mother tongues. A language is very important as it is a tool for communication.
The European languages are divided into two origins, Romance and Germanic.
The oldest of all languages is called Proto-Germanic (also known as Common Germanic), which was spoken in approximately the mid-1st millennium BC in Iron Age northern Europe.
The most widely spoken Germanic languages are English and German. They belong to the West Germanic family. The West Germanic group also includes other major languages, such as Dutch. The North Germanic languages include Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, and Icelandic.
The Romance languages developed from Latin in the sixth to ninth centuries. The five most widely spoken Romance languages are Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, and Romanian.
That's why it is so difficult for people with a Germanic language to learn a Romance language. It's much easier for an English to learn German than French for example and of course the other way around. I personally learned English quiet easily, but with French it was another story ! That took me some time ! But then once learned it helped me to learn Italian, because it is of the same "family". German also helped me for Dutch.
For a long time French was the official language for diplomats. It also was the official language when the Common Market was created in 1958, which today is called European Union. With the British joining in 1973 slowly the English language moved in too, and today has become a sort of "Esperanto", more and more Europeans speak English and it became the first foreign language to be taught in schools. Meanwhile it also has become the diplomats and politicians tool to communicate.
Amongst all languages English is the easiest one and the most precise one in short phrases.
For example :
Where is the next bus station ?
Où se trouve l'arrêt du bus la plus proche ? (French)
Wo ist die nächste Bushaltestelle ? (German)
Dove si trova la prossima fermata dell' autobus ? (Italian)
You don't need to know the language to see which is the shortest one. That's why more and more English words are moving into the other languages like Weekend, Babysitting and Kidnapping which are just coming into my mind and which are not translated anymore in French, German or Italian.
Today you say "Bon weekend" instead of " Je vous souhaite une bonne fin de la semaine !
I am sure that in the next 100 years there will be more and more English words used in other languages, the Frenchs complain already that their language becomes too English ! When I listen to the modern German, it is a big difference to the German I spoke almost 50 years ago ! There are so many English words !