What is English?
Believe it or not, the English language actually began with the invasion of three Germanic tribes into Britain sometime during the 5th Century AD. These tribes were the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes who crossed the North Sea from Denmark and northern Germany. In the course of their invasion, they pushed the native Celtic-speaking inhabitants to the north and west of Britain, which are now Wales, Scotland and Ireland.
Of particular interest were the Angles who originated from “Englaland” and their language was called “Englisc” – the precursor to the words “England” and “English”.
Old English (405-1100 AD)
The new inhabitants of Britain, the Germanic tribes, spoke similar languages which then developed into what is commonly known nowadays as Old English, which most certainly did not sound or look like Modern English! If someone were to have time-travelled back a couple of centuries to Britain, they would have had great difficulties when it came to understanding Old English. Regardless, almost half the words that we commonly use have their roots in Old English.