If you’re thinking about learning a language it’s always good to know a little about the origins and history of the language you are learning. Here, Cactus Language offers up our most interesting English language facts:
English originates from what is now known as North West Germany and the Netherlands. English has its origins in Old High German, Old Norse, and Anglo Norman. Modern English started being used in the 14th century and the closest languages to English are Dutch and West Flemish.
English is spoken by 952 million people around the world, with 339 million speak it as a first language and 603 million speaking it as a second language. It is the official language in 67 countries and 27 non-sovereign countries such as Hong Kong.
Most English grammar and spelling follow the standardised rules set out in Dr.Johnson’s Dictionary of 1755. This dictionary was the first to comprehensively document the English lexicon and is one of the most famous dictionaries in history, taking over 8 years to compile.
The most commonly used adjective in the English language is ‘good’ and the most common noun is ‘time’. The most mispronounced (and often misspelt) word in the English language is ‘Pronunication’.
English is the language of the sky – all pilots must identify themselves in English during international flights and all air traffic controllers at international airports must also be able to communicate with the pilots in English.