• 博客等级:
  • 博客积分:0
  • 博客访问:7,162
  • 关注人气:1
  • 获赠金笔:0支
  • 赠出金笔:0支
  • 荣誉徽章:
正文 字体大小:


(2007-08-08 00:21:03)


          Foreign Culture Affect English Words
    We speak English but we do we know where it comes from? I did not know until I started to study on this subject and I learned where it comes from and how it has developed, The history of English begins a little after A.D 600, the vocabulary was very weak then, but now it has about 170 thousands words. From that time, the origin of English, it absorbs loanwords constantly. We can say, every country in the world has contributed English vocabulary, however, it belongs to Germanic branch after word, so some language in the worlds have deeper relations to English than others, like German, Latin and French. In this thesis, I mainly formulate the3 languages that affect British English and American English words so as to we can find some relation from these languages and study English words easily.
Keywords:The origin of English; The conquest of Norman; The effect of Latin; The effect of French; British English; American English



The history of English begins a little after A.D.600, and the language is origin from Germanic branch. Generally speaking, the history of the language divided into three: Old English (7th century-1100), Middle English (1100-1500), Modern English (1500-now).In some books Modern English is divided into two: Early Modern (1500-1700), Late Modern (1700-now), This dividing pattern has its convenience, but you could not consider there are some obvious differences among the three periods—the evolution of a language always evolves continuously.
People can easily deem it a Teutonic with a number of preposition that from Latin and Greece, as the condition of development of English in the 11th century, However, Modern English is not adapt this, the reason is Norman conquered English in 1066, consequently, French has enormous influence to English. However, you could not think the structure of English changed. It is also a Teutonic: The conquest of Norman create advantageous condition for the evolution of English, as far as words concerned, the influence is immense and this would be disused in chapter One.
As form 1066, great deal of French words was brought in English, and French which derives from so-called common Latin belongs to Indian-European language family. So, Latin had great influence to English word through the medium of French. This aspect would be formulated in Chapter two.
In addition, American English also plays an important role in Modern English and it has its special history and culture. I would concern some vital ingredients in chapter Three, that affect modern American English words and this word may also contribute to the vocabulary.

Chapter One  The Conquest of Norman, the Great Influence to    English Words
I. In the 12th Century, the Greatest effect to English
Long before 1066, when Norman broke into England, French words began to merge into English. The common things like building castle and eating bacon were spread to England form France, so castle(城堡)and bacon(咸肉)were brought in English. From the 11th century, the influence have been eminent, some words like proud(荣耀), tower(塔), service(服务), prison(监狱), castle(城堡), market(市场), all coming to English in that time, which also are used today.
In the 12th century, the influence of France extended, except for daily words like beast(野兽), country(国家), cup(杯子), fruit(水果), letter(信), rose(玫瑰花), table(桌子), you may find some religious words (clerk(职员), hermit(隐士), miracle(奇迹), passion(感情), etc.), some aristocratic words (baron(男爵), court(法庭), duke(公爵), etc.), some words about culture(justice(正义), peace(和平), rich(富有), poor(穷), etc.), also a little verbs (catch(抓住), change(改变), pay(支付), prove(证明), etc.). About in the 13th century, French preposition poured into English, merging into Teutonic, Forming the peculiarity—a language with many sources. In this period, starting with the conquest, about 10,000 French words were induced to English, and about 75 percent are used by now. The preposition at this time related to many aspects and activities, it is easy see that the influence is very gigantic, especially in these aspects:
The words about government and administration came from French more than half, for example: government(政府), govern(统治), administer(管理), crown(王冠), state(国家), empire(帝国), realm(王国), reign(君主统治), royal(王室的), prerogative(军权), authority(权力), sovereign(君主), majesty(陛下), tyrant(专制统治者), usurp(篡夺), oppress(压迫), court(宫廷), council(地方议会), parliament(国会), assembly(议会), treaty(条约), alliance(联盟), tax(税收), subsidy(补贴金), revenue(税收), mayor(市长).
A great deal of religious words came from French, for example: religion(宗教), theology(神学), sermon(布道), baptism(洗礼), communion(圣餐), confession(忏悔), penance(苦行), prayer(祈祷), clergy(牧师), clerk(教士), cardinal(红衣主教), dean(教长), parson(教区牧师), vicar(教区牧师), crucifix(十字架), trinity(圣三位一体—圣父、圣子、圣灵), virgin(修女), faith(信仰), saint(圣人).
Legal words were mostly taken from Latin, for example: justice(正义), equity(公平), judgment(审判), crime(罪行), plea(抗辩), suit(诉讼), plaintiff(原告), defendant(被告), judge(法官), advocate(辩护者), attorney(律师), bar(律师业), petition(请愿), complaint(控告), summons(传票), verdict(裁决), sentence(判决), decree(裁决), award(裁决书), fine(罚款), forfeit(没收), punishment(惩罚), prison(监狱), pillory(连枷), jury(陪审团), evidence(证据).
Many words on military affairs were French words, for example: army(军队), navy(海军), peace(和平), enemy(敌人), arm(武器), battle(战役), combat(战斗), skirmish(小规模战斗), siege(包围), defense(防御), ambush(埋伏), stratagem(战略), retreat(撤退), soldier(士兵), garrison(卫戍部队), guard(卫兵), spy(密探),captain(上尉), lieutenant(中尉), sergeant(军士), archer(弓箭手).
Also some words about trappings came from French, for example: fashion(流行样式), dress(服装), habit(习惯), gown(长袍), robe(罩袍), garment(衣服), attire(服装), cloak(斗篷), coat(上衣), collar(衣领), veil(面纱), lace(花边), embroidery(刺绣), button(钮扣), tassel(流苏), plume(羽饰), satin(缎子), fur(皮毛).
Some about color: blue(蓝色的), brown(棕色的), vermilion(朱红色的), scarlet(猩红色的), saffron(藏红色的), russet(黄褐色的).
Jeweler: ornament(装饰), jewel(珠宝), ruby(宝石), pearl(珍珠), diamond(钻石).
Diet: dinner(午餐), supper(晚餐), feast(盛宴), mess(流食), beef(牛肉), veal(小牛肉), mutton(羊肉), pork(猪肉), boil(煮), fry(油煎).
Household: curtain(窗帘), chair(椅子), cushion(坐垫), blanket(毛毡), towel(毛巾), closet(壁橱)
Hunt: kennel(一群狗), falcon(猎鹰), chase(追逐), warren(小猎物), covert(隐藏处), quail(鹌鹑).
Art and science: art(艺术), painting(绘画), sculpture(雕刻), cathedral(宗教堂), mansion(大厦).
Medicine: medicine(医学), physician(内科), surgeon(外科), plague(瘟疫), pain(疼), remedy(修复).
At the same time, abstract noun poured into English, large quantities of intelligence and morality were brought into English (attention, duration, estimation) and thereafter, the number of preposition descended, because it may be saturated. These words were used by upper-class first, gradually became the civil words. They are accord to English words on spelling and pronunciation and many of these are essential in social life.
It is surprising that English borrowed so many foreign words, but it could absorb them so easily. Even some civilian can not believe the common words like curb, rob, poor, faith, government, tax, religion, payer, prison, goal, army, navy, peace, enemy, soldier, coat, button, blue, etc. were from France.
In modern English period, French words come to English constantly. In 1660, royal family worshiped French culture, and it is popular to say French then, so a good deal of words were taken in English, involve military, merchant, art, diet These words reflect the life style of aristocratic class, like dragoon(龙骑兵), parole(假释), ballet(芭蕾舞), burlesque(滑稽剧), champagne(香槟酒), coquette(卖弄风情的女子), laicism(联络), cortege(随从), demarche(外交新方针), decor(五台装置), forte(强音),soup(汤).
II. In the 18th Century, the Effect of French
In the 18th century, the words taken to English were mainly about military and diplomacy and some of these words were related to France capitalistic revolution. These words were in common use: guillotine(断头台), regime(政体), corps(军用), maneuver(演习), espionage(谍报), depot(仓库), salon(雅致的大会议室), bureau(局), canteen(小卖部), critique(文艺批评), nuance(细微差别), brochure(小册子), rouge(胭脂), liquor(液,汁), picnic(郊游), tiguette(礼节), police(警察), coup(突然的一击).
French words poured into English most in this time except medieval, especially in art, diplomacy and diet, these words are used more often than not: literature(文学), renaissance(文艺复兴), baton(指挥棒), matinee(日戏), premier(总理), attache(使馆官员), prestige(威望), debacle(山崩), dossier(一宗档案材料), menu(菜单), chef(厨房), chauffeur(汽车司机), elite(精华), fiancee(未婚妻).
After the 20th century, English absorbs French words none the less. England and France were allies in the World War I&II. So English borrowed some words on military, like camouflage, fuselage and hangar. We could say that French words enjoy a eminent station in English, they usually have a mean of elegance.
But the period English brought from French words has finished now, even the situation may be opposite. A great deal of English words   American English words pour into French, and this of course annoy the purism in French.
    On account of the preposition in English mostly taken from French in medieval, some words still in use in Modern English may disappear in French: bacon(Modern French: lard), nice(Modern French: delicat, beau), noise(Modern French: bruit), plenty(Ancient French: plente, Modern French: abondance); some other words developed freely in English and French separately, they accord in form but have different meanings: grange(English:农庄)/grange(French:粮仓), sock(English: 短袜)/sock(French: 木底鞋), sot(English: 醉汉)/sot(French: 蠢人).


阅读 评论 收藏 转载 喜欢 打印举报/Report
  • 评论加载中,请稍候...




    新浪BLOG意见反馈留言板 电话:4000520066 提示音后按1键(按当地市话标准计费) 欢迎批评指正

    新浪简介 | About Sina | 广告服务 | 联系我们 | 招聘信息 | 网站律师 | SINA English | 会员注册 | 产品答疑

    新浪公司 版权所有