ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

English: The Language That Isn't!

Updated on September 12, 2014
CuAllaidh profile image

Jeff Johnston is a medieval reenactor and avid history fan. He is also the publisher at Living History Publications.

Is The English Language the Hardest to Learn

See results

The Hardest Language Known To Man

I am sure you've heard it said that the English language is the hardest language to learn, assuming of course you don't grow up speaking it. I can't tell you if this is true or not, after all how do you determine this, there are just too many variables to consider in ranking the most difficult languages to learn to speak, but I have no doubt that it ranks high on the list despite (because of) its popularity. I do however have one minor nitpick about that theory, and that is that I will strongly assert and stick by my claim that English is not, in fact, a language at all, but a pidgin.

I am no linguist, I haven't made it my mission to know all about the English language, however I've always had a fascination for the subject. The more I learn the more I realize how absolutely ridiculous a language English really is.

Image used with permission from sxc.hu

Factors to Consider

How to determine which is the hardest language

Arbitrarily determining what could be considered the hardest language to learn is difficult at best. After all if you speak one romantic language learning another isn't that hard. Coming from an Asiatic language would most likely be much more difficult to learn any romantic language than say coming from a germanic language. Just as coming from a romantic language it would be easier to learn english than say cherokee.

So how does one truly determine it? Really in the end its up to the linguists to determine, they study the languages and structures, and while I find the subject of languages interesting I am far from a linguist.

What the Heck is Pidgin

A pidgin is a blending of languages so that people who speak different languages, but wish to communicate, to conduct business without difficulty. English unfortunately isn't a nice clean pidgin like the Creole language, but a hodgepodge blend languages. Imagine if someone took all the languages of the world, threw them in a blender and created a "language smoothy" what you would end up with is the English Language.

The English Language is a strange and wonderful beast, it has strict grammatical and spelling rules that it promptly ignores. Nothing about it is logical, it doesn't flow it oozes. As such here is my recipe for an English Language Smoothy.

Cast your vote for A Recipe for A Language Smoothy

Cook Time

Prep Time: 1500 Years

Total Time: 3000 Years

Serves: 375 Million

Smoothy
Smoothy

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Gaelic
  • 1 cup Roman Latin
  • 5 cup Anglo-Saxon/Danish
  • 1/2 cup Old Norse
  • 2 cups Norman French
  • pinch of Modern Latin
  • 1 Cup Greek
  • pinch of Modern French
  • dash of Modern Italian
  • 1 sprig of Hindi
  • pinch of Persian
  • 1/4 cup of Arabic
  • 1 tsp of Maylay
  • 1 tbsp of Modern Spanish
  • 1 tsp to 1 cup of Native American (depending on location)
  • Additional Lanugages to taste

Instructions

  1. Take out Gaelic and allow to thaw at room temperature for approximately 11 centuries.
  2. take half the Roman Latin and force it into the Gaelic, slowly mix in the rest of the Roman Latin over four to five centuries allow to simmer over low heat
  3. take the premixed Anglo, Saxon, Jute, Danes, and Fresian mix commonly available as Anglo-Saxon/Danish and mix it in over another three centuries while increasing the temperature to high
  4. acting quickly before the Anglo-Saxon/Danish mix can blend too completely quickly mix in the Old Norse and lower temperature slightly.
  5. increasing the temperature rapidly add in the Norman french without mixing and allow to mix in naturally over five centuries, do not turn down the heat, mixture may boil over, but that's to be expected, the unwanted bits will overflow first
  6. Over the next two centuries mix in the Modern Latin, Greek, Modern French, Modern Italian, Hindi, Persian, Arabic, and Maylay as you see fit, turning down the temperature as you go
  7. Throw in odd bits of Modern Spanish and Native American to taste.
  8. Season with additional languages to taste
  9. throw mixture into blender and blend on high until all semblance of logic and sanity are eliminated from the mixture
  10. Results may vary, the mixture is very unstable and will change depending on region, climate, and the hair colour of your mother's sister's roommate's uncle's hair.

A Brief History of The English Language

The English Language went through several distinct phases, each phase helped define the english language and grow it a little more.

Old English: 450-1000 CE

Middle English: 1100-1500 CE

Modern English: 1500-Present

Modern English can be further broken down into two distinct dialect groups:

Early Modern English:1500-1800

Late Modern English: 1800 - Present

How Many Languages Do You Speak?

Are you fluent in more than one language? If so how many?

See results

All Languages Evolve

What Makes English So Different?

All languages evolve and change over time, they adapt words from other languages into their own. German is a prime example, it developed over time from Gaelic languages and began to adapt in some Latin, Old French and more. Old German is not very similar to modern German, in the same way Old English looks nothing like modern English. So what's the difference?

Well German evolved in a random manner and incorporated words from other languages as necessary. English however did not have this natural evolution to begin with. English was a literal smashing of languages together in an attempt to be understood, English is and always was an invented language, but it was invented on the fly. In this way English stands out from the other popular languages of the world. It was never meant to be more than a way for all the hosts of cultures living in Britannia to communicate effectively with each other. It was not the language of the English court, in fact many many monarchs never bothered to learn English for this very reason, it was seen as a language for commoners, not for statesmen.

The Lingua Franca Fallacy

Lingua Franca simply means the primary language of business. The term derives from a time during the middle ages when the language of the day was French (Franca) so if someone was speaking a foreign language you could simply say to them "Lingua Franca" and there was a good chance they knew how to speak in French and would speak in that Language. Its much the same now, generally in most parts of the world you can simply say "do you speak English" and chances are they do, or someone near by does (not entirely accurate, but close).

Now that I've defined what Lingua Franca is, let me explain what the lingua franca fallacy is. Many have posted that it is obviously a language since so many people speak it. People that is not an argument. Most school children speak pig-latin with relative fluency, in fact I can still do so myself, doesn't make it a language. Defend your position, fine, I love a good debate, but please remember to take a stance that stands up to logical reasoning. The fact that it is the lingua franca means nothing to this debate.

In fact English being the Lingua Franca actually strengthens my case. Considering a pidgin usually evolves in order to make business transactions more efficient a pidgin becoming a Lingua Franca is not only logical, but almost inevitable.

So Why Do I Hate The English Language So Much?

What was my whole point? It seems I ruffled some feathers and some people even got offended by this lens. Let me just say this, I don't hate the English language, its great, it has so many subtleties you just can't find in some other languages. its fun to poke fun at the English language though because it is such a mess. I had fun with this debate, that's what it boiled down to, I truly believe every word of what I said, English is not truly a language.

Is English a Language?

See results

Got a beef with my assertion? Want to voice your opinion... or do you just love the way I have written this. I love feedback from my loyal (and not so loyal) readers. I'd love to hear your point of view, even if its different from mine (aka wrong) .

© 2012 Jeff Johnston

Have Your Say

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • BritFlorida profile image

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      I love my language - which is Yorkshire :) I suppose that broadly speaking, it is English but many English speakers (such as those from fifty miles away!) just can't understand us. We have many old Norse and Viking words in our language from the Danelaw days. I remember many years ago on the internet listening to a recording of people speaking a Scandinavian language - I forget which - and although I thought I didn't know a single word of that language, I found that I could understand it reasonably well. Of course, that's before I came to America and had to learn to make myself understood here - that was easier said than done!

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @LoriBeninger: lhbeninger, thanks for stopping by and reading my nonsensical rant ;). As for reporters knowing better, well they should, but most don't. As more media companies put the focus on advertising at the expense of real journalism fewer and fewer bother to put effort into their stories.

    • LoriBeninger profile image

      LoriBeninger 4 years ago

      I think English is a fantastic and versatile language (yes, a real language) -- I just wish the natives spoke (and wrote) it better. That's right, the natives -- too many Americans (mostly, although I'm sure it is true in other English-speaking cultures as well) don't know how to conjugate verbs or construct sentences. I am especially appalled at the news and sports people on TV. Shouldn't broadcast journalists be required to know better?

      I appreciate your wry sense of humor...great lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Fun lens. I do study linguistics and love it. I love to study language. I really enjoyed this lens.

    • tonybonura profile image

      Tony Bonura 4 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

      Here is my opinion. This was great and fun lens about one of the world's great languages. I did not become offended at all. You should hear how some of the folks I grew up with murder the language, and I'm only half joking here. Thanks for a fun look at English.

      TonyB

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 4 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      So long as we can communicate, that's all that matters.

    • JuneNash profile image

      June Nash 4 years ago

      Hi! I think this is a fun lens! I like your point of view. Makes for an interesting discussion!

    • profile image

      neoglitch17 4 years ago

      All I gotta say is that, if by all definitions and by linguistic consensus 'English' is actually a pidgin... I'm ok with that. I can read articles and books in this pidgin, I can watch YouTube videos and Ted Talks in this pidgin too, and I'm even able to write in this pidgin.

      To me, that is all that matters :D

    • profile image

      Gatortail2 4 years ago

      Raspberry honey, I might have to trade with my family some of my bees orange blossom honey to get some to try it. The heaviest darkest meade I make is with a honey no one likes which has little commerical value, brazilian pepper honey, a honey most bee keepers here in the sutropics leave in the hive for the bees to live on. Orange blosson inparts too fruity of a taste, I traded my honeys for apple, peach and clover honeys all produced to light of a brew. I tried keeping a hive in the mountains at my cabin, I got fantastic wild flower honey from it made great meade, I can't keep a hive there any more the bears found it. For a light meade I use palmetto honey from my hives. Some families trade baked goods my family trades honey. I line my differnt honeys up and admire them like a wine collecter might do, I would display them but my wife would run me out of the house. Good brewing, I am down to less than a dozen bottles from the last batch. PS. Try finding a commerical bee keeper ask him if he has any late season honey for sale even in your short seasons the honey changes throught out the summer. In general the later in the season the honey produced is darker and richer even golden rod makes a heavier darker honey and also darker honey sells at a lower price, that is if you like a heavy dark brew. Meade is interesting because every honey type adds an extra variable to make each batch unique.

    • profile image

      Gatortail2 4 years ago

      Thank- you a very good reply. Canada a nation I have always enjoyed my time visting. You are 100% correct England started the transistion from Middle English to Modern English and all the crown colonies helped to finalize the process. For me it is not a question of nationalism rather it started with my first trip to the UK, until then I held your view after reading documents in Cambridge, Liverpool and London I started to change my thinking in the past several years I have read a great deal on Middle English including a few books and Doctoral papers from your own country. Academics are changing their views on this matter. I had to use the line about nationalism to allow me to judge the base from which you draw your views, I think you gave me an honest answer not clouded with an egocentric position we are just differing on the academics which we are applying to the question. A personal note I always keep bees part of their product I use to brew Meade, nothing like it is ever brewed commerically what brewers call honey larger is clearly not Meade. Using store bought honey never produces the range of flavors that home produced honey provides because store honey is uniform in taste, home produced honey can be light to dark acid to sweet depending on the time of year and where the hives are kept. I like to use a heavy dark acid honey for most of the meade I brew. Enjoyed your lens and good brewing, fall will reach my area in a four more weeks so it will be time to fill the crocks and start some Meade..

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @Gatortail2: Nothing quite like home made mead. Its fantastic stuff. I have a batch of raspberry melomel down right now just clarifying, can't wait to taste the stuff. Starting another batch with blueberry blossom honey.

      I can't keep bees myself, I live in an apartment. That being said, I always go straight to an apiary for my honey, never use grocery store honey.

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @anonymous: First of all you said it was recorded in 1670, which does imply it was written in 1670, you did not say rewritten.

      As for the notation, just because its labeled as Middle English by a bureaucrat doesn't make it so. Many people refer to works by Shakespeare as being written in Middle English which is simply not true, he wrote in Modern English.

      As for the manifest of Longermaine, Liverpool is a bit of a drive for me, and there is an ocean in the way, so ya I won't be able to verify that one.

      As for my views being a question of nationalism, well since I am Canadian, and thus one of the colonies in question, I find that scenario highly unlikely, don't you? I do have to wonder if your insistence that the colonies had a hand in the founding of english isn't a question of nationalism on your end, a need to pump up the importance of the United States.

      I am not questioning that the US had an impact on the evolution of Modern English, just simply stating the simple fact that English, Old to Modern, all began in England.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I did not say the documents were written in 1670 I said they were being rewritten in 1670, these documents were land grants recorded from 1620 to 1635. I know what I was viewing even if I didn't they were displayed with a notation that they were recorded in Middle English. Again I will stress this point language does not change uniformally some pockets retain old forms longer than others. Your myopic slant on the evolution Modern English leaves me to wonder if for you it is more of a question of nationalism rather than academics. The English frigette, Longermaine that sank off the coast of the Isle of Mann in 1594 the ship's manifest was recorded in Middle English, go see it for yourself in the National Naval Museum in Liverpool, I did.

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @anonymous: I find it highly unlikely that you saw documents dating from 1670 in Middle English, I think it more likely that what you saw was documents written in early Modern English, not Middle English. Marlowe, Shakespeare, Thomas Kyd, all wrote in Modern English, all in the late 16th to early 17th century, Middle English was dead and buried by 1670. Even if there were such documents, documents were still being written in Latin in some cases, doesn't mean Latin was still the preferred language of the people.

      Middle English is a completely different language, not a different dialect. Middle English begins with the Norman Conquest and is long dead before England colonizes the Americas. The transition to Early Modern English begins as early as the 15th century, before Columbus even set sail. By 1609 (the founding of Virginia Colony) pretty much everyone was speaking early modern english

      Modern English has grown up in all english speaking nations, however it was born in England.

    • profile image

      Gatortail2 4 years ago

      I have to disagree again the vowel shift and a finalized alphabet were the reasons the King's apointed Colonial Governors ordered the rewrites of Government laws, codes, marriage licences and land deeds. Remember there were no English colonies in North America before 1609 so Middle English was the official language of government. As I said there is always areas of delayed transistion of new language forms and language is always in flux so 1550 or 1670 could be dates of langauge change for a given region." Strangly the first German coloniest started arriving around 1670 though very few in number, they found making the language change from German to English easier than later German settlers of the late 18th century because the first arrivals needed to learn Middle English rather than Modern English, Middle English has greater similarities to Germanic than Modern English." Colonial North America and Language, James Listerman, University of Toronto. We all had a hand in the making of Modern English. I admit I need a stronger foundation to base my agruement on the language used in Pacific Colonies, I am currently in search of better references. I enjoyed your lens, if I agreed everything in the lens I would not have enjoyed it as much. Sometimes we all need to dust off the grey matter and put it to work.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      When two language forms coexist they feed back into each other creating transistional forms. I understand your point and it clearly makes sence when discribing Old English giving way to Middle English but Middle English being replaced Modern English is a different matter, by the early 17th century english was spreading world wide. Often trading posts, colonies and garrisons were seperated from the homeland for decades, depending on what they produced for trade, geographical importance and war allowing language forms to change at differnt rates and take their own directions but when persons living in these remote locations were called back to England they seeded their speech back into the homeland. Two things you may not know is that second generation coloniests after they aquired wealth many returned back to England to live this return lasted until the middle of 17th century. Secondly after America's War of Independence many colonists that remained loyal to the crown either moved to Canada or returned to England, this second wave made less changes in langague because by late 18th century Modern English was firmly in place. Modern English point of adoption is another debateable point because until 1776 America was a part of the Brittish Emipre and all documents were written in the Empires standard script. When a important document was produced it was copied given the Governor's seal and sent to England to be recorded, so why was these documents recorded in Middle English to be sent back to the King if Modern English was then the standard form, remember most Govenors were dispatched directly from England by the King? I went to the United States Library of Congress I saw offical documents that still exist that were recorded until 1670 in Middle English, Modern English is a language created by all english speaking nations, period.

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @Gatortail2: I understand your point of view, however we are just talking the linguistic history, not when it was adapted as an official language. You have to remember, Old English was actually looked down on by the nobles as a base language of the commoners and was never adapted at all, doesn't mean it was not the language spoken throughout the land. Wasn't really until Chaucer came along that English was ever seriously adopted by any government official in England.

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @sherioz: yes this is purely an academic issue. I speak english, and in my day to day life I don't really care if its a language or a pigdin.

    • profile image

      sherioz 4 years ago

      Yes, this was fun to read. I never heard it proposed that English is not a language. Seems like there's a lot to learn before one can state an educated opinion. So this is merely an academic issue, right? I mean, the billions of people speaking and having to learn to speak English are not the least concerned with whether it is a genuine language or pidgin, right? Now the French Canadians may have some investment in the definition of their language, eh?

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @Gatortail2: I can see why you would have used the dates you did, excellent points, however I was putting the date around 1550 because that's when the formalization of the alphabet and the vowel shift stabilized, and since the dropping of thorn as letter and the shifting of the vowels is generally considered to be the primary difference between Middle and Modern English.

      Shakespeare wrote in Modern English, by his time it was pretty much formalized.

      Yes I believe you are right about there not being a specific rosetta stone, which is why I think the end of the shifting of the alphabet is the clearest marker of the beginning of Modern English.

    • profile image

      Gatortail2 4 years ago

      I see our problem is a problem of of dates, I use the dating period given by Dr. James Listerman, University of Toronto he dates the start of Modern English somewhere between 1650 and 1700. In the colonies that became the United States many colonial government legeal papers were rewritten by orders of the King's appointed governors because the language had changed so greatly their meanings became unclear to the reader, this process started around 1670. If 1550 was the beginings of Modern English then there would not be suffient time to for language feedback loop to change the English language as spoken in England but if the true transistion in Modern English began in the mid 17th century then the one hundred to one hundred and twenty years could create a strong feedback loop. I use 1650-1700 because of government language rewrites and if you examine English language trading reports the language had altered a great deal during this period. America's first colony was in 1609 and the first lasting colony was in 1620 well before 1700. English trading colonies in the East Indides were established in 1500 well before even 1650. Secondly some colonies langered behind other colonies with language change due to their remoteness or their products trading value, if you had something europe wanted ships stopped by more often, in short some colonies spoke language closer to Middle English others closer to Modern English. Language does not modifiy with a flick of a switch there are always transistion forms. Also consider this, new language forms are considered gutteral until enough time has passed and enough people have adopted the new form. On this continent the first writter that used common street language was Mark Twain, language professoers were horified by the common person loved this new form of writting. Ain't which I find disgusting after one hundred years found it way into the dictonary. Setting a date for language change often resides in the ear of the beholder. Don't look to Shakespear to mark language transistions he wrote in the what might not be considered high brow but not as commonly spoken look rather at common every day records, trade sheets, profiet loss statements, language used in legeal documents and church records. You will learn more a language as how it was used a given period of time reading what is placed on tombstones than reading Hamlet. Therefore depending on dates used either of us could be correct, but I am sticking to my guns until a diffinative archival proof is presented to prove me wrong. I don't believe a rosetta stone of English exists so we are at an impass.

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @Gatortail2: I think we are mainly disagreeing on the definition of origin. I am not claiming that english hasn't developed and grown since its origins, nor that the colonies didn't play a part in the development, it has changed considerably since 1550 when most can agree that Modern English can be considered to have become a separate language from Middle English. However the fact remains that Modern English was formed in England and THEN went out into the world and grew. The colonies all played their part in the evolution of the english language, of this there can be no doubt.

    • profile image

      Gatortail2 4 years ago

      England is the only one part of the orgin of modern english, all the crown colonies were also the origin, so we will agree it is totally impossible to agree. I find it hard to believe you haven't looked into the sorces of words used in modern english the caribean basin, india and the spice islands. Even phrases used commonly in english are not of the island nation's origin. England unlike the rest of Europe has differences steming from it's crown colony trading years, cinamon a spice used more often in the rest of european cooking than England this difference resulted from of the Dutch controling the islands on which the spice is found and England had little access to the islands because of the trade wars or all out war, enter plays of England and it's trading colonies produced modern english, history bares absolute truth. I have many English friends and business partners and they all as you suffer from a myopic view of our common language. It is your lens, I repect that but the your story is unfinished. As I said before we did not rent, borrow or steal modern english we codeveloped it. To all the former crown colony nations New Zealand, Austrialia, Canada, Jamacia, USA and the rest we all had a hand in forming modern english, it is for every one of us our language, each nation is constantly enriching the language. I enjoy hearing our language spoken by so many tongues each adding their accents, phrases and conventions, it is our baby and I hope it never grows up.

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @Gatortail2: No I have to disagree with you, England IS the country of origin for the English Language, Old, Middle, or Modern. Doesn't matter, England is the founder.

    • AshleyCarew1 profile image

      AshleyCarew1 4 years ago

      Really good article, congrats on such a fine piece of work!

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @adragast24: Thanks... I enjoyed writing it.

    • adragast24 profile image

      adragast24 4 years ago

      Enjoyed this article, thanks for it.

    • mufasa003 profile image

      mufasa003 4 years ago

      enjoyed reading this and feel it was creatively constructed but I would have to disagree, I believe English is a language. Languages themselves are as fluid and adapting as the cultures that creat them. As the cultures evolve so do their languages.

    • profile image

      kayla_harris 4 years ago

      English is hard to learn because of three things: words, phrases, and grammar!

    • profile image

      Gatortail2 4 years ago

      During my trips to England I observed your country is becoming a melting pot in the same manner as the USA, except for the French inclusion which is lessing in Canada both of our countries are more of a melting pot than Canada. When I am in Canada it makes little difference what the out ward appearence of the person speaking, their english is always an easy to identify Canadian form of english. In England street corner shops with asians as the propriators, Italians with resturants and persons from former eastern block countries and ect. are all providing changes to the english language and culture. You are living in a melting pot trust me I know one when I experince one. When you are speaking of the orgin of English are you speaking of old, middle or modern English. Old english has more in common with germanic tongues than it does to modern english, so north central europe could claim it's orgin. Middle English I might agree with you is a blend of many language roots so rather than call England the orgin of middle english I would rather call it the first place it was blended.The era of Modern english started about the 16th century when both England for the matter all of the Uk, the future USA and the rest of the crown colonies including Austrailia and New Zealand were all speaking a language which was becoming modern english. England sent speakers of what was about to become the modern english language out into the world and people born elsewhere under British rule sent their speakers to the mother country to live and work, generally involving the trading business, adding their forms of speech to modern blended english. In short we are all the orgin of modern english. Thanks for saying I am keeping your lens alive, it is thought provoking even if I find it quite impossible to agree with you.

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @Gatortail2: I am going to start by saying, thank you for staying so active in this thread, I have been enjoying it greatly :D.

      Now to the points.

      I agree any language has to continually adapt grow and evolve or it dies. English has been the language of commerce for quite some time and has shown no signs of slowing down.

      As to the point of origin of the English language its point of origin is Britain, there can be no doubt of that, history is VERY clear about it.

      As for my country is also a melting pot, we actually are quite proud of the fact that we are not, we embrace multiculturalism and don't expect the newcomers to blend it to our society but rather hope they will bring something to Canadiana instead.

    • profile image

      Gatortail2 4 years ago

      @CuAllaidh: Any language's point orgin is were it is activly spoken, languages are always evolving in truth there isn't a diffinative begining date to a language nor an end point. If it is a written language it remains the same unified language until it has changed so much that writtings from the past can not be read by those living in the present. Using your own argument English contains latin, anglo-saxon, celtic and ect. Any of these speakers could lay claim to be the orgin of English, none of which were first spoken on the island nation. As long as we can speak to each other and our written thoughts are clear we all contribute to the orgin of English as we find it spoken today. Your nation has also become a melting pot with all the crown colony recent arrivals. I wonder will the evolution of English accelerate with English adopted as the speech of commerce, adding many new speakers or slow because pockets of English speakers can no longer exist in isolation with our world wide net. It is almost like saying where is the center of the universe, it is every where, just as saying where is the center of English, every where it is spoken. Building a language is never a finished project until it becomes a dead language.

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @Gatortail2: No you did not, but the poster who commented and started that discussion implied that the reason English was the way it was had much to do with the reason people refer to the US as a "melting pot". My point was simply that it makes no sense since English did not originate in the US nor was the melting pot concept something that derived from the speaking of the language.

    • profile image

      DebMartin 4 years ago

      I enjoyed my time here. Thank you for the fun read. d

    • BowWowBear profile image

      BowWowBear 4 years ago

      Fun and thought provoking lens! Should spark some good debate... in English!

      Thanks for sharing and allowing us to do the same here.

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 4 years ago from Washington KS

      Interesting concept, presented in an entertaining way. English is a language in the same way I am a person -- a blending of many different backgrounds, variables, and compositions. If not for the Irish, English, Scottish, German, Polish, Native American, Scandinavian, Latin genes in me, I would not exist. Ditto my language.

    • SheilaVine LM profile image

      SheilaVine LM 4 years ago

      I really enjoyed this lens even though I do not agree with you. English is a well defined language with its rules, one of the biggest problems is that we explain our language rules with Latin Grammar not with feeling and that makes it more difficult to progress past a specific level.

    • profile image

      Gatortail2 4 years ago

      I did not suggest that English belongs to the USA nor does it belong to England, the language can be represented by an organic structor like a tree, one limb finds the speakers of English in the UK, one limb for USA, one for Canada, Ireland, Austrailia, ect. It is impossible to lay claim to an organic evolving language. You seem to thing that England has exclusive rights. I am also a history nerd I enjoy the study of England and consider it to be my symbolic home.

    • profile image

      Gatortail2 4 years ago

      I did not suggest that English belongs to the USA nor does it belong to England, the language can be represented by an organic structor like a tree, one limb finds the speakers of English in the UK, one limb for USA, one for Canada, Ireland, Austrailia, ect. It is impossible to lay claim to an organic evolving language. You seem to thing that England has exclusive rights. I am also a history nerd I enjoy the study of England and consider it to be my symbolic home.

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @Gatortail2: absolutely agree :D I much prefer comments that add to the debate. Thanks for participating and adding the other comments you have made below, I really appreciate it :D.

    • profile image

      Gatortail2 4 years ago

      I wish to see comments that add to the lens too many comments are just thanks, great lens,ect. Opinions make the lens interesting.

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @Gatortail2: I know a fair amount about the history of the United States of America. My statement that it is not your language stated simply that English does not belong to USA and that the melting pot point was not really relevant since English did not originate in the USA.

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @BunnyFabulous: There is germanic roots in the anglo-saxon, so no not really directly german, however since they both have the same root indirectly ;)

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @Johanna Eisler: Its always been a favourite subject of mine as well :D

    • The-Bard profile image

      The-Bard 4 years ago

      Very clever, very entertaining, and a very original lens. I'm delighted that talented writers still exist on Squidoo.

    • Ahdilarum profile image

      Ahdilarum 4 years ago

      Wrathful Lens of the day lens.. I liked it..

    • PositiveChristi1 profile image

      PositiveChristi1 4 years ago

      A very well deserved LoTD. I love the history lesson and I love the humour. Squid-liked, Facebook-liked, Tweeted and you also have my Angel Blessing.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 4 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Oh, that's it? I'm only showing as 1/3 way down the lens. Congratulations on Lens Of The Day.

    • sLsM profile image

      sLsM 4 years ago

      Fantastic lens! Passing it's link to my Italian "English teacher" friends, they'll love it!

    • Johanna Eisler profile image

      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      I love lenses about language! It's one of my very favorite subjects! Thank you, and warm congratulations for making Lens of the Day!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 4 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      V-e-r-y I-n-t-e-r-e-s-t-i-n-g! Congratulations on LotD! Angel blessings!

    • grj1647 profile image

      grj1647 4 years ago

      Great lens...Thanks for the smile!

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 4 years ago from Concord VA

      Great lens! I have to agree with you on this. Congratulations on LotD!

    • profile image

      Gatortail2 4 years ago

      @CuAllaidh: First English is our language, it is appearent you know very little about the history of the USA, you make it sound as if we are renting the language. When the Mayflower dropped anchor in North America there was over two hundred and fifty spoken languages. Today only a hand full of those languages are spoken. From 1609 until 1735 99% of the colonists were English. I don't know what your statement that English is not your language has to do with this discussion or for that matter why you said it. The Founding Fathers spoke English because they were English, the logic is clear if you are English you speak English then English is your native tongue no matter which side of the Atlantic you had lived on. The War of Independence found the colonies divided often borther against brother because the English colonists felt themselves traitors taking up arms against their on country, England.

    • EbooksFreeWeekl1 profile image

      EbooksFreeWeekl1 4 years ago

      This is a great lens. I have heard English language was harder to learn than a lot of other languages because of syntax and structure. What I do know is that it is still hard to learn others even after knowing English! :) Good work!

    • siobhanryan profile image

      siobhanryan 4 years ago

      Brillant-Blessed

    • Ardyn25 profile image

      Ardyn25 4 years ago

      Great lens...leaves much to think on!

    • Earnlat profile image

      Earnlat 4 years ago

      Cool lens, great food for thought!!

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @Gatortail2: Technically the Natives were the first colonists to the USA, but no need to argue semantics. Not really sure what your comment has to do with the points being made.

    • Dianna206 profile image

      Dianna206 4 years ago

      This was an awesome lens!

    • BunnyFabulous profile image

      BunnyFabulous 4 years ago from Central Florida

      LOVE the language smoothie recipe. So clever and informative at the same time. Isn't there some German thrown in there as well?

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 4 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Love this lens...very interesting. Blessed

    • profile image

      Gatortail2 4 years ago

      @CuAllaidh: I must remind you the first colonists in the United States were English and they brought our language with them so it is a shared language common too both nations. I will further remind you after our war of independence a German immigrant was asked what language would he support when the continental congress was voting on a national language he said "English is your language do not let the bitterness of war take it from you, I will speak English".

    • natalier1210 profile image

      natalier1210 4 years ago

      Well. This was quite impressive. I enjoyed it.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 4 years ago

      Love the smoothie recipe ... congrats on a thought provoking LOTD!

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Good fun, and congratulations on LoTD. Blessings too

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 4 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Such an interesting topic - my Mother was an English major in college and I couldn't get away with anything --great recipe too! ~~Blessed~~

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

      Very stimulating topic. Appreciate your creative presentation. Kudos on your LotD honor!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Wonderful lens about a subject I adore! Your smoothy recipe is fabulous. Blessed!

    • profile image

      soaringsis 4 years ago

      Congratulations on your LotD. The Smoothie is a knockout.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I love your creative recipe, very nice touch! I'm not sure if English is the hardest. Your pidgin theory explains why many English words are very similar to words in other languages such as Spanish. Congrats on the LOTD!

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 4 years ago from Shanghai, China

      Your recipe for English is fantastic. Love it! Blessings!

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @marigoldina: The Story of English isn't bad but there really isn't a great one I've ever come across.

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @Gatortail2: I don't recall ever stating that a language can't develop naturally.

      As for Esperonto, it did actually borrow from numerous languages both grammatically and phonetically. It is as much a pigdin as any other devised language.

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @Gatortail2: I don't recall ever stating that a language can't develop naturally.

      As for Esperonto, it did actually borrow from numerous languages both grammatically and phonetically. It is as much a pigdin as any other devised language.

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @anonymous: :D Thanks Tipi :D

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @Dressage Husband: that was my intent :D Glad you enjoyed it :D

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @goldenecho: me too :D thanks

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @mojoCNYartist: thank you :D

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @blessedmomto7: I presume you speak of the United States of America, I must remind you that English is not your language but the one that some of the founding fathers brought with them.

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @dlobel: I have the book.... its pretty interesting, but not as much about the history as Ild have thought from the title.

    • fugeecat lm profile image

      fugeecat lm 4 years ago

      I love that recipe for English! That's creative!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      My love for English just grows each day, and for me, it is a language, and perhaps the third most respected one after my mothertongue and national language.. And yes, I loved the recipe for English.. In Squidoo's words Awesomastic.. :)

    • dlobel profile image

      Debra Lobel 4 years ago from Oakland, CA

      I love the recipe format. It certainly supports your claim that English is not a language. Have you seen the documentary "The Story of English" or the book by the same name? They were both produced in 1986 and I was incredibly engrossed in each episode when it aired on PBS (OK. I am that old). Check out this link to see the documentary.

      http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/story-of-english/

    • blessedmomto7 profile image

      blessedmomto7 4 years ago

      We are the melting pot, why shouldn't our language be too?

    • mojoCNYartist profile image

      Dan 4 years ago from CNY

      Interesting way to do a lens.

    • goldenecho profile image

      Gale 4 years ago from Texas

      So happy to see you get lens of the day!

    • poldepc lm profile image

      poldepc lm 4 years ago

      congrats on the LOTD

    • SciTechEditorDave profile image

      David Gardner 4 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area, California

      Congrats on a Squidoo masterpiece! (And on being a LOTD!)

    • pheonix76 profile image

      pheonix76 4 years ago from WNY

      Interesting and thought-provoking lens. I think every language has its own peculiarities, but it's all relative. Congrats on LotD!

    • EpicFarms profile image

      EpicFarms 4 years ago

      As a sign language interpreter, I generally refer to it as a nightmare. No matter what label you wish to apply, however, it is annoyingly inconsistent, has a plethora of exceptions to its rules, and is all too often impossible to explain; particularly to those who have never "heard" it.

      Look what happened to "in" and "on" - We get IN a car, truck and van; but we get ON a bus, boat and plane. Seriously? Ugh!

      Yep, English makes me nuts (nice lens though ;o)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Cool recipe and informative lens! Congrats on LotD!

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      What is really funny about this lens is that despite it being tongue in cheek, it is close to the actual truth about how the language evolves!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Congratulations on LotD! - Interesting discussion and lens.

      English is my first language, don't know if its the hardest the learn.

      But, that's what "they" say. :)

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 4 years ago

      Your recipe is very clever. Love it.

    • profile image

      faye durham 4 years ago

      I enjoyed reading your lens and the discussions. Food for thought...

    • treehousebrando1 profile image

      treehousebrando1 4 years ago

      Sometimes I'm glad English was my first language!

    • profile image

      aiclogcabins 4 years ago

      Very interesting, never thought about it like that before

    • profile image

      Gatortail2 4 years ago

      The complexity of a langauge's roots does not rule it out as being a language. During 1920s a new langauge was created with the idea that it would become a universal langauge, Esperonto never caught on, by your defination it would be a first order language because it did not borrow from other languages it was created. The language police of France are one of the reasons French it is a dying langauge, it can not develop naturally following the needs of it's speakers. I never use french expressions in my speech because of the french speakers refusal to intergate new forms into their language and it makes an english speaker sound stuffy. Then also the rolling r sound is the second most difficult sound for an English speaker to produce, I have a friend her first language was french, I told her every time she made the rolling r sound her face looked like she bit into a lemon and then swallowed some seeds.

    • profile image

      Pete Schultz 4 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD, it was good fun, and creative. I especially enjoyed it because I speak both American English and Canadian, eh! Thanks.