"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more
To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.
This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.
The echoes of Greek are heard in many modern languages. For example, the
abstract vocabulary of the modern European languages derives largely from
the vocabulary of the Greek philosophers and scholars, whether directly or
via Latin writers who were educated according to the Greek tradition. First
published in 1913, Antoine Meillet’s history of Greek shows how the
language, derived originally from Indo-European, developed over time in
response to sociological and geographical factors. Meillet argues that its
complexity is due to the constant borrowing of vocabulary and grammar from
contemporary languages and regional dialects. Despite - or because of - its
flexible and ever-changing nature, and the lack of consistency in usage
between individual city states, Greek eventually became the language of
great works of literature, philosophy and science.