The History of English

                            School Research Paper

Jakoubson Julia
Grade: 9 “A”
School №9
Teacher Gorbacheva M.V.

                                Kolomna 2003.


I. Old English…………………………………………………………...3-17
a). Celtic Tribes…………………………………………………………3-4
b). The Romans…………………………………………………………4-10
c). Germanic Tribes…………………………………………………….10-15
d). The Norman French………………………………………………..15-16
II. Middle English……………………………………………………....16-19
III. Mordent English…………………………………………………...20-22
List of Literature………………………………………………………..26


Why do people all over the world learn foreign languages?  Perhaps because
the world is getting smaller, in a way:  nations are more closely linked
with each other than ever before, companies operate world-wide, scientists
of different nationalities co-operate, and tourists travel practically
everywhere.  The ability to communicate with people from other countries is
getting more and more important. And learning foreign languages broadens
your horizons, too!
Before learners of a foreign language are able to communicate, they have to
acquire many skills.  They must learn to produce unfamiliar sounds.  They
must build up a vocabulary.  They must learn grammar rules and how to use
them.  And, last but not least, they must develop listening, speaking,
reading and writing skills and learn how to react in a variety of

All people like to travel. Some travel  around  their  own  country,  others
travel abroad. Some like to travel into the future, others prefer to  travel
into the past. While I was working out my research paper  and  reading  many
books on English history, I had an exciting trip into a remote past. It  was
a fantastical journey our Imaginary Time Machine and a Magic Wand. The  Time
Machine took me into the  depth  of  the  centuries,  into  the  very  early
history of Britain. I waved the Magic Wand and  the  words  began  to  talk,
they disclosed to  me  their  mysteries,  I  discovered  secrets  hidden  in
familiar things. In other  words,  you  will  be  a  witness  of  making  of

                         I. Old English. (450-1100)

   a). Celtic tribes.

Make a first turn of the Time Machine and you  will  find  yourself  on  the
British Isles in the time of the ancient inhabitants, the Celts.  The  Celts
were natives of the British Isles long before the  English.  The  Celts  had
their language, which is still spoken by the people living in  the  part  of
Britain known as Wales. And though many  changes  happened  on  the  British
Isles, some Celtic words are still used in the English language.

Two thousand years ago there was an Iron Age Celtic culture  throughout  the
British Isles. It seems that the Celts, who had been  arriving  from  Europe
from the eighth century BC onwards, intermingled with the peoples  who  were
already there. We know that religious sites that had been built long  before
the arrival of the Celts continued to be used in the Celtic period.
For people in Britain today,  the  chief  significance  of  the  prehistoric
period (for which no written records exist) is its sense  of  mystery.  This
sense  finds  its  focus  most  easily   in   the   astonishing   monumental
architecture of this period, the  remains  of  which  exist  throughout  the
country. Wiltshire, in south-western England, has two spectacular  examples:
Silbury Hill, the largest burial  mound  in  Europe,  and  Stonehenge.  Such
places have a special importance for anyone interested in the  cultural  and
religious practices of prehistoric Britain. We know very little about  these
practices, but there are some organizations today (for  example,  the  Order
of Bards, Ovates and Druids – a small group of eccentric  intellectuals  and
mystics) who base their beliefs on them.

The Celts preserved their language in some parts of Britain,  but  they  did
not add many words to the English vocabulary. Those, that are  in  use  now,
are mostly place-names: names of regions, towns, rivers.  The  Celts  had  a
number of similar words to name rivers, like: Exe, Esk,  Usk.  All  of  them
come from a word meaning water (uisge). Later this word was used to  name  a
strong alcoholic drink made from barley or rye. It was first  called  “water
of life”. The  word  changed  its  from  and  pronunciation,  and  today  at
restaurants in the West one can see on the menu among other spirits  whisky,
a Celtic word formerly meaning water.

b). The Romans.
One more turn of our Time Machine and it took me into  the  1st  century  of
our era. At that time Romans came into Britain, they ruled the  country  for
400 years. So, you can guess that many  Latin  words  came  later  into  the
English language through Celts, because, as you know, Romans spoke Latin.
The Roman province of Britannia most of present-day England and  Wales.  The
Romans imposed their own  way  of  life  and  culture,  making  use  of  the
existing Celtic aristocracy to govern and encouraging this ruling  class  to
adopt Roman dress and Roman language. The Romans never went to  Ireland  and
exerted an influence,  without  actually  governing  there,  over  only  the
southern part of Scotland. It was during  this  time  that  a  Celtic  tribe
called the Scots migrated  from  Ireland  to  Scotland,  where  they  became
allies of the Picts (another Celtic tribe)  and  opponents  of  the  Romans.
This division of the Celts  into  those  who  experienced  Roman  rule  (the
Britons in England and Wales) and those who did not (the  Gaels  in  Ireland
and Scotland) may help to explain the development of two  distinct  branches
of the Celtic group of languages.
The  remarkable  thing  about  the  Romans  is  that,  despite  their   long
occupation of Britain, they left very little behind. To many other parts  of
Europe they bequeathed a system of law and administration  which  forms  the
basis of the modern system and a language which developed  into  the  modern
Romance family of languages. In Britain, they left neither.  Moreover,  most
of their villas, baths and temples, their impressive network of  roads,  and
the cities they founded, including Londinium (London), were  soon  destroyed
or fell into disrepair. Almost the only lasting reminder of  their  presence
are place-names  like  Chester,  Lancaster  and  Gloucester,  which  include
variants of the Roman word castra (a military camp).
Roman rule lasted for 4 centuries. There are many things  in  Britain  today
to remind of the Romans: wells, roads, walls.

To defend their province the Romans  stationed  their  legions  in  Britain.
Straight roads were built so that the legions might march quickly.  Whenever
they were needed, to any part of the  country.  These  roads  were  made  of
several layers of stones, lime, mortar and gravel. They were  made  so  well
that they lasted a long time and still exist today. Thomas  Hardy  dedicated
his poem to Roman roads. Here is the beginning.

                               THE ROMAN ROAD

                    The Roman road runs straight and bare

                      As the pale parting line in hair

                    Across the health. And thoughtful men

                     Contrast its days of now and then,
                    And delve, and measure, and compare,
                         Visioning on the vacant air

                     Helmed legionaries who proudly rear

                The eagle as they pace again the Roman road…

One of the roads has a name – “KATLING STREET”. It is  a  great  Roman  road
extending east and west across Britain. Beginning at Dover, it  ran  through
Canterbury  to  London,  thence  through  St.Albans,  Dunstable,  along  the
boundary of Leicester and Warwick to Wroxeter on the Severn. The  origin  of
the name is not known and there are several other sections of  the  road  so
called. In the late 9th century it became the boundary between  English  and
Danish territory.
To guard their province against the Picts and Scots who lived in  the  hills
of Scotland the Romans built a high wall, a military  barrier  seventy-three
miles long. It was called “Hadrian’s Wall” because it was built  by  command
of the Emperor Hadrian. Long stretches of “HADRIAN’S WALL” have remained  to
this day.
In the capital of Britain you can see the fragments of the old  London  wall
built by the Romans.
What really happened in AD 61? In AD 61 the king of the Celtic  tribe  Iceni
died. Before he died he had named Roman Emperor Nero as his heir.  He  hoped
that this would put his family and kingdom under the  Emperor’s  protection.
But the result was  the  exact  opposite  of  his  hopes.  His  kingdom  was
plundered by centurions, his private property  was  taken  away,  his  widow
Boadicea was flogged,  his  daughters  were  deprived  of  any  rights,  his
relatives were turned into  slaves.  Boadicea’s  tribe  rose  to  rebellion.
Boadicea stood at the head of a numerous army. More than 70,000 Romans  were
killed during the revolt. But the  Britons  had  little  chance  against  an
experienced, well-armed Roman army. The rising was  crushed,  Boadicea  took
poison to avoid capture.
Her monument on the Thames Embankment opposite Big Ben remind people of  her
harsh cry: ”Liberty of death” which has echoed down the ages.
Some of the English words relating to meals are of Latin origin,  they  were
borrowed from the Romans in ancient times.  The  Romans  in  the  period  of
their flourishing and expansion came into contact with the Germanic  tribes,
or the Teutons, who later moved to Britain  and  formed  there  the  English
nation. The Romans were a race with higher  civilization  than  the  Teutons
whom they considered barbarians. They taught the Teutons many useful  things
and gave them very important words  that  the  forefathers  of  the  English
brought with them to Britain and that remained in the  English  language  up
to now. Kitchen and table are Latin words borrowed in  those  far-off  days,
that show a revolution in culinary arrangements; dish, kettle and  cup  also
became known to the Teutons at that time.
The early words of Latin origin give  us  a  dim  picture  of  Roman  trades
traveling with  their  mules  and  asses  the  paved  roads  or  the  German
provinces, their chests and boxes and wine-sacks full  of  goods  that  they
profitably bargained with the primitive ancestors of the  nowadays  English.
Wine was one of the  first  items  of  trade  between  the  Romans  and  the
Teutons. That’s how this word came into use.
The Teutons knew only one fruit – apple, they did not grow  fruit  trees  or
cultivated gardens, but they seem to have been  eager  to  learn,  for  they
borrowed pear, plum, cherry.
The Teutons were an agricultural people, under the influence of  the  Romans
they began to grow beet, onion.
Milk was one of the main kinds of food with  the  Teutons,  but  the  Romans
taught them methods of making cheese and butter for milk.
Among other culinary refinements that came to the Teutons  from  the  Romans
are spices: pepper, mint.
Judging by the Latin borrowings of that  period  the  ancestors  of  English
were very much impressed by Roman food, weren’t they?

The word “calendar” came to us from Latin. In the Latin  there  was  a  word
“calendarium”. It meant “a record-book”. Money-lenders kept a special  book,
in which they recorded to whom they lent money and how  much  interest  they
will get. This book was called “calendarium” because interest  was  paid  on
the “Calends”. By the Calends the Romans named the first day of each month.

Time passed, the old meaning was forgotten. “Calendar”  began  to  mean  the
record of days, weeks, months within a year.
This is a story of the word “calendar”. But the story of how a calendar  was
made is still more interesting indeed. We know that a calendar  provides  an
easy way to place a day within the week, month or year. But it is  not  easy
to make a calendar. The trouble is that the length of a year  is  determined
by the length of time the earth takes to revolve once on its own  axis.  But
the earth does not take an equal number of days to  complete  its  year.  It
needs 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds.  Obviously  you  cannot
divide a day of 24 hours into that. And the problem is  further  complicated
because the month is determined by the length of time it takes the  moon  to
go around the earth, which is 29 Ѕ days into 365 ј days,  minus  11  minutes
and 14 seconds. The result is that most calendars were messes.
The English got their calendar from the Romans. But at first the Romans  had
a very bad calendar. They had ten month of varying  length,  and  then  they
added  enough  days  at  the  end  to  make  the  year  right.  Besides  the
politicians changed the length of the months  as  they  wished.  They  could
change the length of the month to keep themselves in office  longer  and  to
leave less time for their opponents. I  can’t  imagine  that  somebody  will
reduce June, July, August to two weeks each, and will take  away  more  than
half my summer vacation? Will you like that? Of course, not.
The calendar varied so much that by the time of Julius Caesar  January  came
in August.
Meanwhile a very good calendar had been worked out in Asia Minor and was  in
use in Egypt. Julius Caesar, a great Roman emperor, changed it a  little  to
fit the Roman customs and introduced it in Rome. This  calendar  was  called
after him “the Julian Calendar”. As a matter of fact, Caesar only  gave  the
orders; he had the advice  of  a  Greek  astronomer  named  Sosigenes.  This
calendar worked well for hundred years.  But  it  provided  only  for  exact
figure of 365 days a year and an extra day in every four years, it  did  not
count minutes and seconds. So, once more,  the  calendar  year  was  getting
farther and farther from the year of the earth’s revolution around the sun.
Then in 1582 another change of calendar took place. The Roman  Pope  Gregory
XII suppressed ten days in  1582  and  started  new  calendar.  The  English
people adopted the Gregorian Calendar in 1752. And  for  a  time  all  dates
were given two ways: one for the New Style, one for the Old Style.
Now nobody uses the Old Style any more, but of course the  calendar  is  not
quite accurate yet. Still it will be a long time before we have  to  add  or
subtract another day.
The year is divided into months and every month has its own name.  Now  we’d
like to investigate how the names  of  months  appeared.  But  first,  let’s
think of the word  “month” itself.
A month is a measure of time. It is a very old word. It goes back  to  Indo-
European base. Long time ago people probably- had  only  three  measures  of
time  - year, which was the four seasons; a day which was  the  period  from
one sunrise to the next; and a month, which had the period from one moon  to
the next.
So, the Indo-European base “me-“ came into Old English, and  became  “mona”.
The word meant "a measure of time". Then it began to mean “moon”, since  the
moon measured  time. Later suffix "-th" was added to the end  of  the  word;
the word "monath" meant the period of time which the  moon  measured.  Still
later the English people dropped the "a" and called it "month”.
    And now, stories of the names of months. The Modem English names for the
months of the year all come from the Latin. But before  the  English  people
adopted the Latin names they had their native names. And, in fact,  in  some
cases the native names are more interesting than the Latin ones.
    The first month of the year is January. January is the month  of  Janus.
Janus was a Roman God of the beginning of things. Janus had  two  faces:  on
the front and the back of the head. He could look backwards  into  the  past
and forward to the beginning year. January is a right  name  for  the  first
month of the New Year, isn't it? On the New Year  eve  we  always  think  of
what we have done in the past year and we are planning to do better  in  the
New Year.
    Now, the Old English  had its  own  name  for  January.  It  was  “Wulf-
Monath",  which   means  “month  of  wolves".  To-day  England  is   thickly
populated and a very civilized country and  it  is  hard,  to  imagine  that
their was a time when wolves roamed the island. In  the  cold  of  the  deep
winter they would get so hungry they would come into the towns to  look  for
food, and so January was called “the month of the wolves".
    The name of February  comes from the Latin “februa” - "purification". It
was a month when the ancient Romans had a festival of purification.
    Before the English adopted  the  Latin  name,  they  called  this  month
“Sprate-Kale-Month”. “Kale” is a cabbage plant, "sprote"  means  to  sprout.
So, it was “the month when cabbages sprout”
    March is a month of Mar's, the Roman God of war. March was the  earliest
warm time of the year when the Romans could start a war. Before the time  of
Julius Caesar the Roman year began with  March  which  was  then  the  first
month of the year.
    The Old English name for March was "Hlyd-Monath", which means "the month
of noisy winds". March in Britain often comes  with  strong  winds.  By  the
way, this explains the saying: "If March comes in like a lion,  it  will  go
out like a lamb".
    There are a few stories about the meaning of the name “April”!  The most
spread one is a pretty story that the month was  named  from  a  Latin  word
“aperire" – “to open”. It is a month when buds of trees  and  flowers  begin
to open.
    The English before they adopted the Latin names, called  April  "Easter-
Monath”, the month of Easter.
   “May” is named for the Roman goddess of growth and  increase,  Maia.  She
was the Goddess  of  spring,  because  in  spring  everything  was  growing,
flourishing, increasing.
    The English name is not so poetic. They called  the  month  "Thrimilce",
which means something like “to mi1k three times”. In May the  cows  give  so
much milk that the farmers had to milk them three times a day.
    Month of "June" was so called after the Junius family of  Rome,  one  of
the leading clans of ancient Rome. Besides, the Roman festival of Juno,  the
Goddess of Moon, was celebrated on the first day of the month.
    We think of June as the month of brides and roses,  but  to  the  Anglo-
Saxons it was "Sere-Monath", the “dry month”.
    “July” is the month of Julius Caesar. The month began to be called  that
in the year when Julius Caesar was killed.
    The English called  July  “Maed-Monath”,  “meadow  month”,  because  the
meadows are in bloom in July.
    Now, comes “August”. This month was once called “sexillis”,  as  it  was
the sixth month from March, with which,  as  you  remember,  the  year  once
opened. It was then changed into August  in  honour  of  the  Roman  emperor
Augustus Caesar, the nephew of Julius Caesar. This man was chosen by  Julius
Caesar as his heir, he took  the  name  Caesar,  and  was  given  the  title
“Augustus” by the Roman Senate. This month was “a lucky Month” for  Augustus
Caesar. By the way, Augustus refused to have fewer  days  in  his  month  of
August than there were in the month of July.  So  he  borrowed  a  day  from
February and added it to August; that is why August has 31 days.
    The Old English name for August was "Wead-Monath", the month  of  weeds.
You know, the Old English word "weed" meant vegetation in generale.
    “September”, “October”, “November” and “December” are  just   "seventh",
"eighth", "ninth" and "tenth" months of the year. You remember  that  before
the Romans changed their calendar, March was the first month.
    The English had more descriptive names for these  month.  September  was
called "Harfest-Monath", "the  harvest  month".  October  was  "Win-Monath",
"the wine month".  November  was  "Bloo-Monath",  because  in  November  the
English sacrificed cattle to their gods. December  was  “Mid-Winter-Monath”,
because this month was the middle month of winter.

C). Germanic tribes.

At the beginning of the 5th century the Romans left the  islands,  they  had
tо save their own country from barbarians. If you want to know  what  events
followed after that, turn on the Time Machine again. So,  here  we  are,  in
the 5th century, This is the time of the birth of the English language.  Тhe
Germanic tribes of Angles,  Sаxоns  and  Jutes  invaded  thе  misty  fertile
island. Some of the native Britons were killed, mаnу others  fled  from  the
invaders "аs from fire" into the hillу parts of the country. Anglеs,  Saxons
аnd Jutes spread all over the fertile lаnds of  the  Isles.  Gradually  thеу
bесаmе one nation - English. They  developed  one  language  -  English.  As
historians write, "thе English language arrived in Britain on the  point  of
а sword"! The реорlе оf that timе of thе history  аrе  called  Аng1о-Sахоns,
their language is оld English оr Ang1о-Saxon as well.
Тhе  next  destination  оf  оur  Тimе  Масhinе  is  the  7th  century,  when
Christiаnity  was  introducеd  in  Britain,  monasteries  with  sсhools  аnd
libraries were set uр  all  оver  thе  соuntry.  Тhе  English  language  was
considerably enriched bу the Latin woгds.
Now, with the help of the Тimе Масhinе we'll fly over into the 8th  сеntuгу.
Аt this time the ancient Scandinavians, cаlled the Vikings,  began  to  гаid
Britаin. Тhе Vikings continued thеir wars with the English  until  the  timе
the Ang1о-Saxоn king Alfred thе Great made а treaty with them аnd gave  them
а раrt of the country,  that  was  саlled  "Danelaw".  Тhе  Vikings  settled
thеrе, married Еnglish wives аnd bеgan peaceful life  on  the  territory  of
Britain. Later military conflicts resumed again, but  by  the  11th  century
they were over. The influence of these events оn the  English  lаnguagе  was
great, indeed. А lаrge number of Scandinavian words саmе intо  Еnglish  from
"Danes" as thе Ang1o-Saxons called all the Vikings.
One reason why Roman Britannia disappeared so quickly is probably  that  its
influence was largely confined to the towns. In the countryside, where  most
people lived, farming methods  had  remained  unchanged  and  Celtic  speech
continued to be dominant.
The Roman occupation had been a  matter  of  colonial  control  rather  than
large-scale settlement. But, during the fifth century, a  number  of  tribes
from the north-western  European  mainland  invaded  and  settled  in  large
numbers. Two of these tribes were the Angles and the  Saxons.  These  Anglo-
Saxons soon had the south-east of the country in their grasp.  In  the  west
of the country their advance was temporarily halted by  an  army  of  Celtic
Britons under the command of the legendary  King  Arthur.  Nevertheless,  by
the end of the sixth century, they and their way  of  life  predominated  in
nearly all of England and in parts of southern Scotland. The Celtic  Britons
were either Saxonized or driven westwards, where their culture and  language
survived in south-west Scotland, Wales and Cornwall.
The Anglo-Saxons had little use for towns and cities. But they had  a  great
effect on the countryside, where they introduced  new  farming  methods  and
founded the thousands of self-sufficient villages which formed the basis  of
English society for the next thousand or so years.
The Anglo-Saxons were pagan when they came to Britain.  Christianity  spread
throughout Britain from  two  different  directions  during  the  sixth  and
seventh centuries. It came directly from Rome when St Augustine  arrived  in
597 and established his headquarters at  Canterbury  in  the  south-east  of
England. It had already been introduced into Scotland and  northern  England
from Ireland, which had  become  Christian  more  than  150  years  earlier.
Although Roman Christianity eventually took over the whole  of  the  British
Isles, the Celtic model  persisted  in  Scotland  and  Ireland  for  several
hundred years. It was less centrally organized, and  had  less  need  for  a
strong monarchy to support it. This partly explains  why  both  secular  and
religious power in these two countries continued to  be  both  more  locally
based and less secure than  it  was  elsewhere  in  Britain  throughout  the
medieval period.
Britain experience another wave of Germanic invasions in  the  8th  century.
These invaders, known as Vikings, Horsemen or Danes, came from  Scandinavia.
In the ninth century they conquered and settled the extreme north  and  west
of Scotland, and also some coastal regions of  Ireland.  Their  conquest  of
England was halted when they were defeated  by  King  Alfred  of  the  Saxon
kingdom of Wessex. This resulted  in  an  agreement  which  divided  England
between Wessex, in the south and west, and the “Danelaw” in  the  north  and
However, the  cultural  differences  between  Anglo-Saxons  and  Danes  were
comparatively small. They led roughly the same way of  life  and  spoke  two
varieties of the same Germanic tongue (which combined to form the  basis  of
modern English). Moreover, the Danes soon converted to  Christianity.  These
similarities made political unification easier, and by the end of  the  10th
century England was one kingdom with a Germanic culture throughout.
Most of modern-day Scotland was also united by this time, at least in  name,
in a Gaelic kingdom.
Paopla in Anglo-Saxon times.  Living  uncomfortably  close  to  the  natural
world, were wall aware that though creation is inarticulate it  is  animate,
and that every created thing, every “with”, had its own personality.
The riddle is a sophisticated and harmless for of invocation  by  imitation:
the essence of it is that the poet, by an act of imaginative  identification
assumes the personality of some crested  thing  -  an  animal,  a  plant,  a
natural force.
The specialists consider that they know not enough  about  The  Exeter  Book
collection of riddles. Ridding was certainly a  popular  pastime  among  the
Anglo-Saxons,  especially  in  the  monasteries,  and   there   are   extant
collections (in Latin, of course,) from  the  pens  of  Aldhelm,  Bishop  of
Sherborne, Tatwin, Archbishop of Canterbury and others.
The provenance and genesis of the collection are unknown, and from  internal
evidence one can only  draw  the  modest  conclusion  that  the  ninety-five
riddles were not written by one man.

In English a student and the little black circle in the center  of  the  eye
are both called “pupils”? And the connection between them is  a  doll.  Both
the words came into the English language through French from the  Latin.  In
Latin there was a word “pupa” – “a girl”, and “pupus” – “ a boy”.  When  the
Latin ending “illa” was added to “pupa” or  “pupus”,  the  word  meant  “  a
little girl” or “ a little boy”. Since little girls and little boys went  to
school, they became “pupils”.

But “pupilla”, a little girl, also meant “a doll”. It is easy to  understand
why, isn’t it? Now, if you look into the pupil of  someone’s  eye  when  the
light is just right, you can see your reflection. Your figure, by  the  way,
is very, very small like a tiny doll. The Romans named the black  circle  in
the eye “pupilla” because of the doll they could see  there.  And  the  word
came into the English as “pupil” as well. And thus, we have in  the  English
language two words that are spelt the same and have  the  same  origin,  but
mean different things: “pupil” – a student, and “pupil” – a black circle  in
the center of your eye.
Professor casts a quick glance at the wall and noticed a  map  there.  “This
map is made of paper. But the word itself meant cloth once. This  word  came
into English from Latin, the Latin mappa was cloth. First  maps  were  drawn
on fabrics. In Latin the combination of the words appeared:  mappa  mundi  –
“cloth of the word”. It was the first  representation  of  the  world  as  a
drawing on the cloth. Later maps began to be made of  paper,  but  the  word
By another route the same word came into English for  the  second  time.  In
Late Latin this word was corrupted into nappa, and  later,  through  French,
it entered the English language with the new meaning of napkin.”
“When a teacher asks you a question. She expects you  will  give  a  correct
answer. Answer is a very strange word. Its spelling  makes  no  sense  until
you know its origin. This is a very old word. In Old English  the  noun  was
andswaru and the verb – andswearing.  So,  you  see,  it  consisted  of  two
parts: and and swear. The word and at that time meant against;  swear  meant
to give a solemn oath. In the youth of the English language  andswaru was  “
a solemn oath made against an accusation”. A man had to pronounce  a  solemn
in reply to an accusation, to prove that it  is  wrong.  In  the  course  of
historical development the word lost  its  solemnity  and  it  means  now  a
reply, to reply. Any little child answer you back today.”
Professor History remarks, “ I see that some of you write with  a  ballpoint
pen, others with a pencil, and there are some  who  write  with  a  fountain
pen. So, you can’t do without ink, after all.  A  simple  three-letter  word
ink comes from a nine-letter ancestor that meant a branding iron. And now  a
few steps away from the skill  of  writing  towards  the  skill  of  healing
wounds. When we have a wound we cauterize it, we burn it with heat  or  with
a chemical in order to close it and prevent it from becoming  infected.  The
ancient Greeks used to cauterize a wound as we do, and the grandparent  word
of cauterize is kauterion, a  branding  iron.  The  Greek  not  only  sealed
wounds with heat, but they used much the same process  in  art  for  sealing
fast the colours of their  painting.  It  was  customary  then  to  use  wax
colours fixed with heat or, as they expressed it, encauston, burned  in.  In
Latin this word changed to encaustum, and it became the name for a  kind  of
purple  ink  that  the  emperors  used  when  they  signed  their   official
documents. In Old French encaustum became enque. English  adopted  the  word
as enke or inke, that is how today we have our  ink,  coloured  liquid  used
for writing or printing.”
“The start of spoken language is buried  in  mystery  and  in  a  tangle  of
theories,” Professor History begins his lecture.  “The  history  of  written
language also disappears in the jungles, in the deserts and  far  fields  of
unrecorded time. But at least the words that have to do  with  writing  tell
us much about the early beginning of the art and the objects that were  used
to record the written symbols.
The word write was  spelled  writan  in  Old  English.  It  first  meant  to
scratch, and it is exactly what the primitives did on  their  birch-bark  or
shingles with sharp stones and  others  pointed  instruments.  In  the  more
sophisticated lands that surrounded the Mediterranean the papyrus plant  was
used instead of the bark of the trees; as you already  know,  that  gave  us
the word paper.
Pen with which we write now, in its Latin form penna, meant  a  feather  and
in some ancient collections you can still see quill pens.  And  pencil  that
we hold inherits its name from the Latin penicillum, meaning a little  tail,
and this refers to the time when writing was done with  a  tiny  brush  that
looked indeed like a little tail.
The term letter designating a written symbol, a letter of  the  alphabet  is
thought to be relative to the Latin word linere, to smear, to leave a  dirty
mark on some surface. Isn’t it a good  description  of  some  of  the  early
But what is written should be read. In read we  have  an  odd  little  word,
from the Old English raedan, which meant first to  guess,  to  discern.  And
again it is just what you had to do  to  interpret  what  was  scratched  on
wooden shingles. Anything that had to be interpreted was called  a  raedels.
Later on people began to think that the word raedels was  a  plural  because
of the “s” on the end. A new singular, raedel was formed  and  here  is  the
ancestor of our word riddle. Finally  the  word  read  took  on  its  modern
meaning: if you can read, you have the ability to  look  at  and  understand
what is written.
Of course the basis of all writing is language. But it is first  of  all,  a
spoken activity, and hence this noun is derived from  a  word  referring  to
the organ of speech primarily involved. In this case it is the  French  word
language, which goes back to the Latin lingua, tongue. The English,  though,
retained their native word to name that soft movable part inside your  mouth
whish you  see  for  tasting  and  licking  and  for  speaking”,  a  tongue.
Sometimes you may hear the word tongue used in the meaning of language,  but
it is an old-fashioned and literary use.
If you want to read what is written  in  a  foreign  language,  you  need  a
dictionary. The term dictionary comes  from  the  Latin  word  dictio,  from
dico, say or speak. A dictionary is really a record of what people  say,  of
the pronunciation, spellings, and meanings that they give to words.”
In Old English there was a different word with which the  Englishmen  called
bread, it was half. But then  as  a  result  of  the  Vikings  invasion  and
Scandinavian influence on the English  language  a  new  word  of  the  same
meaning entered the English vocabulary from Scandinavian:  cake.  Since  the
English had already their own word (half), they  started  to  use  the  word
cake for a special type of bread. First it  referred  to  a  small  loaf  of
bread of flat and round shape. From the 15th century it began to mean  sweet
food, as it does now.
To the Scandinavians, living in Britain, called  their  bread  by  the  word
brauth. The English had a similar word – bread meaning a lump,  a  piece  of
bread. Under the influence of  the  Scandinavian  language  the  word  bread
widened its meaning and began to mean bread in general, while the word  loaf
(from Old English half) narrowed its meaning, now it  is  a  large  lump  of
bread which we slice before eating.
The Great Englishman Caxton, who introduced printing  in  Britain  in  1476,
wrote in a preface to one of the books about a funny episode with  egg.  The
thing is that in Old English  the  word  egg  had  a  different  form  which
spelled as ey in Middle English; its plural form was eyren.  And  again  the
Scandinavians brought with them to Britain their word egg. It  first  spread
in the northern English dialects, the southerners did not know it  and  used
their native word.
Caxton tells the readers that  once  English  merchants  from  the  northern
regions were sailing down the Thames, bound for the Netherlands.  There  was
no wind and they landed at a small southern village. The  merchants  decided
to buy some food. They came to a house and one of them asked a woman if  she
could sell them eggs. The woman answered that she  did  not  understand  him
because she did not know French. The merchant became  very  angry  and  said
that he did not speak French either. Then another merchant helped.  He  said
they wanted eyren, the woman understood him and brought them eggs.
For rather a long period of time two words  existed  in  Britain:  a  native
English word eyren was used in the South, and the Scandinavian  borrow  eggs
in the North. The Scandinavian word has won after, as you can see.

D). The Norman French.

I made another excursion into the past. The  Time  Масhinе  has  саrried  me
into the 11th century, into the year of 1066. An аwful picture ореns  before
my eyes: а great battle at Hastings, the English king Наrold is killed,  the
English are defeated, the Norman invaders have won а  victory.  Тhe  Normans
саmе frоm across the  British  Сhannеl,  from  the  part  of  France  called
Normandy. Тhеу conquered the English under the head of  their  leader,  Duke
William, who later got the  name  of  William  the  Conqueror.  Тhе  Normans
brought into Britain not оn1у their  king,  but  their  French  language  as
well. So it еxplаins why there are so  many  French  words  in  the  English
The successful Norman invasion of England in 1066 brought Britain  into  the
mainstream of western European culture. Previously most links had been  with
Scandinavia. Only in Scotland did  this  link  survive;  the  western  isles
(until  the  thirteenth  century)  and  the  northern  islands  (until   the
fifteenth century)  remaining  under  the  control  of  Scandinavian  kings.
Throughout this period the English kings also ruled over areas  of  land  on
the continent were often at war with  the  French  kings  in  disputes  over
Unlike the Germanic invasions, the Norman invasion  was  small-scale.  There
was no such thing as a  Norman  area  of  settlement.  Instead,  the  Norman
soldiers who had been a part of the invading army were given  the  ownership
of land – and of the people  living  on  it.  A  strict  feudal  system  was
imposed. Great nobles, or barons, were responsible  directly  to  the  king;
lesser lords, each owing a village, were directly responsible  to  a  baron.
Under them were the peasants, tied by a strict system of mutual  duties  and
obligations  to  the  local  lord,  and  forbidden  to  travel  without  his
permission. The peasants were the English-speaking  Saxons.  The  lords  and
the barons were the French-speaking Normans. This was the beginning  of  the
English class system.
The existence of two words for the larger farm animals in modern English  is
a result of the class divisions established by the  Norman  conquest.  There
are the words for the living animals (e.g.  cow,  pig,  sheep),  which  have
their origins in Anglo-Saxon, and the words for the meat  from  the  animals
(e.g. beef, pork, mutton.), which have their origins in the French  language
that the Normans brought to England. Only the  Normans  normally  ate  meat;
the poor Anglo-Saxon peasants did not!
The strong system of government which the Normans introduced meant that  the
Anglo-Norman kingdom  was  easily  the  most  powerful  political  force  in
British Isles. Not surprisingly therefore,  the  authority  of  the  English
monarch gradually extended to other parts of these islands in the  next  250
years. But the end of the  thirteenth  century,  a  large  part  of  eastern
Ireland was controlled by Anglo-Norman lords in  the  name  of  the  English
king and the while of Wales was under his direct rule  (at  which  time  the
custom of naming the monarch’s eldest son  the  “Prince  of  Wales”  began).
Scotland managed to remain politically independent in the  medieval  period,
but was obliged to fight occasional wars to do so.

                       II. Middle English. (1100-1500)

The English which was used from about 1100 to about 1500  is  called  Middle
English. The cultural story of this period is  different.  Two  hundred  and
fifty years after the Norman Conquest, it was a  Germanic  language  (Middle
English) and not the Norman (French) language which had become the  dominant
one in all classes of society of England. Furthermore,  it  was  the  Anglo-
Saxon concept of common law, and not Roman law, which formed  the  basis  of
the legal system.
Despite English rule, northern and central Wales was never settled in  great
numbers by Saxon or Norman. As a result  the  (Celtic)  Welsh  language  and
culture remained strong. Eisteddfods, national festivals of Welsh  song  and
poetry, continued throughout  the  medieval  period  and  still  take  place
today. The Anglo-Norman lords of  eastern  Ireland  remained  loyal  to  the
English king but, despite laws to the contrary, mostly  adopted  the  Gaelic
language and customs.
The political independence of Scotland did not prevent a gradual  switch  to
the English language and customs in  the  lowland  (southern)  part  of  the
country. First,  the  Anglo-Saxon  element  here  was  strengthened  by  the
arrival of many Saxon aristocrats fleeing the Norman  conquest  of  England.
Second, the Celtic kings saw that the adoption of an Anglo-Norman  style  of
government would strengthen royal  power.  By  the  end  of  this  period  a
cultural split had developed between the lowlands, where  the  way  of  life
and language was similar to  that  in  England,  and  the  highlands,  where
(Celtic) Gaelic culture and language prevailed – and where, because  of  the
mountainous landscape, the authority of the king was hard to enforce.
It was in this period that Parliament began its gradual evolution  into  the
democratic body which is it today. The word “parliament”, which  comes  from
the French word parler  (to  speak),  was  first  used  in  England  in  the
thirteenth century to describe an assembly of nobles called together by  the
king. In 1295, the Model Parliament  set  the  pattern  for  the  future  by
including elected representatives from urban and rural areas.
Many food names in English are French borrowings. After the Norman  Conquest
under William the Conqueror (1066) French words began to enter  the  English
language increasing in number for more than tree centuries. Among them  were
different names of dishes.  The  Norman  barons  brought  to  Britain  their
professional cooks who showed to English their skill.
Learners of the English language notice that there is one name  for  a  live
beast grazing in the field and another for the same beast when it is  killed
and coked. The matter is that English peasants preserved  Anglo-Saxon  names
for the animals they used to bring  to  Norman  castles  to  sell.  But  the
dishes made of the meat got French names. That is why  now  we  have  native
English names of animals: ox, cow, calf, sheep, swine, and French  names  of
meals from whose meat they are cooked: beef, veal,  mutton,  pork.  (By  the
way “lamb” is an exception, it is a native Anglo-Saxon  word).  A  historian
writes that an English peasant who had spent a hard day  tending  his  oxen,
calves, sheep and swine probably  saw  little  enough  of  the  beef,  veal,
mutton and pork, which were gobbled at night by his Norman masters.
The French enriched English  vocabulary  with  such  food  words  as  bacon,
sausage, gravy; then: toast, biscuit, cream, sugar. They taught the  English
to have for dessert such fruits as: fig, grape, orange, lemon,  pomegranate,
peach and the names of these fruits became known  to  the  English  due  the
French. The English learned from them  how  to  make  pastry,  tart,  jelly,
treacle. From the  French  the  English  came  to  know  about  mustard  and
vinegard. The English borrowed from the French  verbs  to  describe  various
culinary processes: to boil, to roast, to stew, to fry.
One famous English linguist exclaimed: “It is melancholy to think  what  the
English dinner would have been like, had there been no Norman Conquest!”
The period of Middle English is the time of the fast development of  English
literature. The greatest poet of the 14th century was Geoffrey  Chaucer.  He
is often called the father of English poetry, although, as  we  know,  there
were many English poets before him. As we should expect,  the  language  had
changed a great deal in the seven hundred years since the time  Beowulf  and
it is much easier to read Chaucer than  to  read  anything  written  in  Old
English. Here are the opening lines of The Canterbury  Tales  (about  1387),
his greatest work:

          Whan that Aprille with his shoures swote

          The droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote
          When April with his sweet showers has stuck to the roots the
          dryness of March…
There are five main beats in each line, and  the  reader  will  notice  that
rhyme has taken the place of Old English alliteration. Chaucer was  a  well-
educated man who read Latin, and studied French and Italian poetry;  but  he
was not interested only in books. He traveled  and  made  good  use  of  his
eyes; and the people whom he describes are just like living people.
The Canterbury Tales total altogether about 17,000 lines  –  about  half  of
Chaucer’s literary production. A party of pilgrims agree to tell stories  to
pass the time on their journey from London  to  Canterbury  with  its  great
church and the grave of Thomas a Becket.  There  are  more  than  twenty  of
these stories, mostly in verse, and in  the  stories  we  get  to  know  the
pilgrims themselves. Most of them, like the merchant, the lawyer, the  cook,
the sailor, the ploughman, and the miller, are ordinary people, but each  of
them can be recognized as a real person with his or her own  character.  One
of the most enjoyable characters, for example, is the Wife of Bath.  By  the
time she tells her story we know her as a woman of very strong opinions  who
believes firmly in marriage (she  has  had  five  husbands,  one  after  the
other) and equally firmly in the need to manage husbands  strictly.  In  her
story one of King Arthur’s knights must  give  within  a  year  the  correct
answer to the question “What do women love  most?”  in  order  to  save  his
life. An ugly old which knows the answer (“to rule”) and agrees to tell  him
if he marries her. At last he agrees, and at the marriage she becomes  young
again and beautiful.
A good deal of Middle English prose is religious. The Ancren  Riwle  teaches
proper rules of life for anchoresses (religious women)  how  they  ought  to
dress, what work they may do, when they ought not to speak, and  so  on.  It
was probably written in the thirteenth century. Another work,  The  Form  of
Perfect Living, was written by richard rolle with the same sort of aim.  His
prose style has been highly praised,  and  his  work  is  important  in  the
history of our prose.
  john wycliffe, a priest, attacked many of the religious ideas of his time.
He was at Oxford, but had to leave because his attacks on the  Church  could
no longer be borne. One of his beliefs was that anyone who  wanted  to  read
the Bible ought to be allowed to do so;
but how could this be done by  uneducated  people  when  the  Bible  was  in
Latin? Some parts had indeed  been  put  into  Old  English  long  ago,  but
Wycliffe arranged the production of the whole Bible in English.  He  himself
translated part of it. There were two translations  !  1382  and  1388),  of
which the second is the better.
It is surprising that Wycliffe was  not  burnt  alive  for  his  attacks  on
religious practices. After he was dead and buried, his  bones  were  dug  up
again and thrown into a stream  which  flows  into  the  River  Avon  (which
itself flows into the River Severn):

    The Avon to the Severn runs,
    The Severn to the sea,
    And Wycliffe's dust shall spread abroad,
    Wide as the waters be.
An important Middle English prose work, Morte D'Arthur [=  Arthur's  Death],
was written by sir thomas malory. Even for the  violent  years  just  before
and during the Wars of the Roses, Malory was a  violent  character.  He  was
several times in prison, and it has been suggested that he  wrote  at  least
part of Morte D'Arthur there to pass the time.
Malory wrote eight separate tales of King Arthur and his  knights  but  when
Caxton printed the book in 1485 (after Malory's death) he joined  them  into
one long story. Caxton's was the only copy of  Malory's  work  that  we  had
until, quite recently f1933-4;. a  handwritten  copy  of  it  was  found  in
Winchester College.
The stories of Arthur and his knights have attracted many British and  other
writers. Arthur is a shadowy figure of the past. but probably really  lived.
Many tales gathered round him and his knights. One of the main subjects  was
the search for the cup used by Christ at  the  East  Supper.  (This  cup  is
known as The Holy Grail. Another subject was Arthur's  battles  against  his
enemies, including the Romans. Malory's fine prose can tell a  direct  story
well, but can also express deep feelings in musical sentences. Here is  part
of the book in modern form. King Arthur is badly wounded:
Then Sir Bedivere took the king on his back and so  went  with  him  to  the
water's edge. And when they were there. close by  the  bank,  there  came  a
little ship with many beautiful ladies in it; and among them all  there  was
a queen. And they all had black head-dresses, and all wept  and  cried  when
they saw King Arthur.

                III. Modern English (1500-to the present day)

By the beginning of 20th century, Britain was no longer the world's  richest
country. Perhaps this caused  Victorian  confidence  in  gradual  reform  to
weaken. Whatever the reason, the first twenty years of the  century  were  a
period of extremism in Britain. The Suffragettes, women demanding the  right
to vote, were prepared  both  to  damage  property  and  to  die  for  their
beliefs; the problem of Ulster in the north of Ireland led  to  a  situation
in  which  some  sections  of  the  army  appeared  ready  to  disobey   the
government; and the government's introduction of new  types  and  levels  of
taxation was  opposed  so  absolutely  by  the  House  of  Lords  that  even
Parliament, the foundation of  the  political  system,  seemed  to  have  an
uncertain future in its traditional form. But by the end of the First  World
War, two of these issues had been resolved  to  most  people's  satisfaction
(the Irish problem remained) and the rather un-British climate of  extremism
died out.
The significant changes that have taken place  in  this  century  are  dealt
with elsewhere in this book. Just one thing should be  noted  here.  It  was
from the beginning of  this  century  that  the  urban  working  class  (the
majority of the population) finally  began  to  make  its  voice  heard.  In
Parliament,  the  Labour  party  gradually  replaced   the   Liberals   (the
'descendants' of the Whigs) as the  main  opposition  to  the  Conservatives
(the 'descendants' of the Tories). In  addition,  trade  unions  managed  to
organize themselves. In 1926, they were powerful enough to  hold  a  General
Strike, and from the 1930s until the 1980s the Trades  Union  Congress  (see
chapter 14) was probably the single most powerful  political  force  outside
the institutions of government and Parliament.
From about 1600, explorers, adventurers,  settlers  and  soldiers  went  out
from Britain to found settlements  and  colonies  overseas.  They  took  the
English language with them.  At the height of their power, during  the  19th
century, the British could claim that the sun never  set  on  their  Empire.
Today almost all the countries of the old Empire  have  become  independent.
However, most of them are now members of the Commonwealth  of  Nations,  and
English continues to be an important language for them.
After the Second World War the United States became what  Britain  had  been
in the 19th century:  politically and economically one of the most  powerful
nations in the world. As its power spread, so the English language spread.
Five hundred years ago they didn't  speak  English  in  North  America.  The
American Indians had their own languages. So did  the  Inuit  (often  called
'Eskimos') and Aleuts in Canada. So did the  Aborigines  in  Australia,  and
the Maoris in New Zealand.
The English arrived and set up their colonies. And then  other  people  came
from all over the world, bringing many different languages and cultures.
The USA has the biggest mixture of all: it is often called a  'melting  pot'
of cultures. In 1619 a small  ship  arrived  in  Jamestown,  Virginia,  with
twenty slaves from  Africa.  For  over  two  hundred  years,  the  Americans
imported, bought and sold African slaves. Today there are  over  29  million
black Americans living in the USA.
In 1848 the population of the United States was still very small.  Then  two
important things happened: they discovered gold  in  California  and  a  new
law, the Homestead Act, gave free land  to  farmers.  Suddenly  millions  of
immigrants came to America, 'The Land of Opportunity'.
At first they were English, Irish, German and Scandinavian. Then  Italians,
Jews, Chinese, Japanese, Russians and  Poles  came.  Most  immigrants  came
because economic conditions at home were bad. But  there  were  also  other
problems in Europe. About three million Jews came to the USA  between  1880
and 1910 because of religious persecution in Russia and other countries.
Today the USA is still much richer than most of  its  neighbors.  Its  most
recent new citizens are many  Spanish-speaking  people  from  Puerto  Rico,
Mexico and South America.
The population of Britain is only about  58  million.  But  throughout  the
world English is spoken by over 700 million people.
About 350 million people speak  English  as  their  first  language  in  12
countries such as Britain, the USA. Canada Australia.  New  Zealand.  South
About 300 million use English as a second or official language in  over  60
countries, for example, in India. They usually use it when doing  business,
or when completing official documents and forms.
It is estimated that at least 100 million people throughout the  world  use
English fluently as a foreign language.
There are over 3.000 languages in the world.  So why has English become  so
widely spoken?
Today the English language is almost the same all over the world.  You  can
tell a person's nationality  from  their  accent  -  Australian,  Scottish,
Canadian and so on. But the words are more or less international.
It's strange that the differences in Britain itself are greater than  those
between Britain and other English-speaking countries. For a Londoner,  it's
easy to understand an American,  but  quite  difficult  to  understand  the
dialect of Newcastle in the North of England!
But not many people speak dialects in Britain these days. A  hundred  years
ago (before radio and television) all ordinary working people did. In Emily
Bronte's book  Wuthering  Heights  the  old  man  Joseph  speaks  Yorkshire
“Take these in tuh t'maister, lad. Un' bide theare. Aw's gang up tuh my awn
rahm.” (Take these in to the master, boy. And stay there. I'm going  up  to
my own room.)
Don't worry. Joseph doesn't say very much in the book  -  the  rest  is  in
normal English!
In a country like New Zealand, English is the first language. In fact  it’s
the only language for most people. About  100,000  Maoris  have  their  own
language, but they also speak English. Most of this book is about countries
where English is the first language – Canada, Ireland, the USA and so on.
But in more than sixty other countries English is a  second  language.  The
government, business and universities use it. Some of the people,  but  not
all, speak it well and use it for certain parts of their lives.

                               IV. Conclusion.

I enjoy learning English, it is really great' I like to learn new words,  to
look up in the dictionary their meanings. English grammar is difficult,  but
I try hard to understand it, to learn the rules, to put them into practice.
I  think  it  is  very  interesting  to  read  English  books,   newspapers,
magazines. I came to know a lot of exciting facts  and  new  things.  It  is
like a new world where you can enter if you know the language.
English folklore is very rich.  I  believe,  it  is  good  to  know  English
proverbs and tongue-twisters, English rhymes and limericks. English  sayings
and songs.
When  you   learn   tongue-twisters,   it   helps   you   to  improve   your
I know quite a number of them. Here is a good one:
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper:
A peck of pickled pepper Peter Piper picked:
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper
Where's the peck of pickled pepper Peter Piper picked!

This one is my favorite:
A thatcher of Thatchwood went to Thatchet a-thatching
Did a thatcher of Thatchwood go to Thatchet a-thatching?
If a thatchcr of Thatchwood went to Thatchet a-thatching
Where's the thatching the thatcher of Thatchwood has thatched?

While writing my research paper report I had to  read  a  lot  of  books  on
English History I came to know a lot of English folk songs, they are  simple
and nice. Some of them help me to learn words.  Solomon  Grundy  is  a  folk
song it helps you to remember the days of the week. It is a sad song/ but  1
the same it’s funny too.
                               Solomon Grundy
                               Born on Monday
                            Christened on Tuesday
                            Married on Wednesday
                               Ill on Thursday
                               Worse on Friday
                              Died on Saturday
                              Buried on Sunday
                               This is the end
                         Of poor old Solomon Grundy.
English proverbs are useful in many situations. Here  are  a  few  examples.
When there's a will, there's a way. Or: All’s well that ends well. No  sweet
without sweat.  Lend money and lose a friend.  East or West, home is best.
English jokes are very funny. They  often  laugh  at  nationalities  of  the
British Isles.  Here is a typical one.  “An Englishman, a  Scotsman  and  an
Irishman were alone on a desert island.”  One day the  Englishman  found  an
old bottle.  He broke it and out came a genie. The genie  said:  “I'll  give
you  and your friends three wishes.  But choose  well, because you may  have
only one wish each” “My wish is  quite  simple”, - said the   Englishman,  -
“I wish to be taken home”.  “Your wish is my command”,  -  said  the  genie,
and the Englishman disappeared.  “Yes,  I'd  like  the  same”,  -  said  the
Scotsman.  And in a minute he was at home as well. Then the genie turned  to
the Irishman.  “And  what  about   you?  What's  your  wish?”  The  Irishman
thought a little and then said:  “I'm very  lonely  without  my  friends.  I
wish they were back here with me.”
English literature has very rich traditions.  English poetry is  well  known
in the world best Russian poets translated English poetry into Russian.  But
of course, when you study English it's a pleasure to learn English poems  in
the original.  My favorite poem is “If by R.  Kipling.  I  think,  he  gives
very good advice for the young people in this poem.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are loosing theirs and blaming it on you*
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master:
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim.
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same.

You can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build them up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch and toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginning
And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the will which says to them; “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, out non much;

If you can *ill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run.
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

Yes, to learn English is such a fun, indeed!!!

                             List of Literature
   1. Speak Out 3/2001 – pages 2-4 Издательство «ГЛОССА».
   2. Борисов В.С., Борисова Л.М. «Английский не для всех»
   3. Mark Farrell «The World Of English» England Longman 1995.
   4. James O’Driscoll «Britain» Oxford University England Press 1995.
   5. «Treasures Of Historical English» Борисова Л.М.
   6. «History And Mystery Of The English Words» Борисова Л.М.
   7. G.C. Thorney «An Outline Of English Literature» England Longman 1984.

|OE    |Gothic  |Description; Position;           |Examples       |
|      |        |Pronunciation                    |               |
|a     |a       |Short back vowel; Mainly in open |macian (to     |
|      |        |syllables, when the following one|make), habban  |
|      |        |contains a back vowel; English   |(to have)      |
|      |        |cup                              |               |
|б     |ai      |Long back [a] vowel; In any kind |stбn (a stone),|
|      |        |of syllables; English star       |hбtan (to call)|
|ж     |a       |Short back vowel; Met mainly in  |dжg (a day),   |
|      |        |closed syllables, or in open     |wжter (water)  |
|      |        |ones, if the next syllable       |               |
|      |        |contains a front vowel; English  |               |
|      |        |bad                              |               |
|ж '   |й, б    |Long back vowel; as Gothic й     |stж ' lon      |
|      |        |found only in some verbal forms, |(stolen), hж ' |
|      |        |as Gothic б is the result of the |lan (to cure)  |
|      |        |so - called i - mutation; German |               |
|      |        |za "hlen                         |               |
|e     |i, ai, a|Short front vowel; as Gothic i,  |sengean (to    |
|      |        |ai noticed only in some          |sing)          |
|      |        |infinitives, otherwise is result |               |
|      |        |of the mutation of i; English bed|               |
|й     |у       |Long front [e] vowel; resulted   |dйman (to      |
|      |        |from the i - mutation of у;      |judge)         |
|      |        |German Meer                      |               |
|i     |i, ie   |Short front vowel; can be either |bindan (to     |
|      |        |stable or unstable, the unstable |bind), niht -  |
|      |        |sound can interchange with ie and|nyht (a night) |
|      |        |y; English still                 |               |
|н     |ie      |Long front [i] vowel; also stable|wrнtan (to     |
|      |        |and unstable (mutating to э);    |write), hн - hэ|
|      |        |English steal                    |(they)         |
|o     |u, au   |Short back vowel; English cost   |coren (chosen) |
|у     |o       |Long back [o] vowel; English     |scуc (divided) |
|      |        |store                            |               |
|u     |u, au   |Short back vowel; used only when |curon (they    |
|      |        |the next syllable contains       |chose)         |
|      |        |another back vowel; English book |               |
|ъ     |ъ       |Long back [u] vowel; English     |lъcan (to look)|
|      |        |stool                            |               |
|y     |u       |Short front vowel; i - mutation  |gylden (golden)|
|      |        |of u; German fu" nf              |               |
|э     |ъ       |Long front [y] vowel; i -        |mэs (mice)     |
|      |        |mutation of ъ, German glu "hen   |               |
|a.    |o       |A special short sound met only   |monn (a man)   |
|      |        |before nasals in closed syllables|               |