- English is the child of German.
- In the US alone, depending on who you are talking to, there are 3-24 dialects of the English language.
- There’s an entire wiki on dialects alone: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dialects_of_the_English_language
- Everyone who speaks English is speaking a dialect.
- There are more people in the world speaking English than there are people in native-English speaking countries
- The N. American “standard” or media pronunciation is much closer to the English pronunciation of Shakespeare than current UK English. here’s a nice article on that, but you can find it in the Cambridge as well. http://www.pbs.org/speak/ahead/change/ruining/
- Yorkshire is generally considered the closest to Old English.
- The Normans, who spoke French, changed the English writing system from runes to the alphabet we use today.
- They also set most of the spellings. English wasn’t really standardized until the KJV bible.
Yay for English! A couple of thoughts though:
English is actually the cousin of German (they’re descendants of a common ancestor Proto-Germanic; German does not predate English). Runes were phased out from the ninth century, after the introduction of the Latin alphabet by Irish missionaries two centuries before the Normans invaded. The Normans did bring their French spelling though, and a ton of words and even morphemes, clever things.
Aside from that YES everyone who speaks English speaks a dialect. There isn’t a kind of English which gets special original or correct status. So important to remember.