Celtic to English: A Trace of the Global Perception on English Language


The 21st century is a time for growing communication and traffic at its peak. Technology is constantly updating. The world views the English language as a language with a global impact. English is the first choice of foreign language in most countries of the world, and it is used as the global international language. It is estimated that almost a third of the world’s population uses English as their international communication language. English is seen as a language with global scope as implicated in the history and present-day existence of societies all around the world.

How did the English language obtain global importance?

History is not simply about the passage of time. It is what people do, and the changes that occur in society as a result of people’s actions over time. The history of English can therefore be seen as a record of the changes that occurred in the populations of those who speak the language. 

The English language started with the arrival of three Germanic tribes who invaded Britain during the 5th century AD. These tribes, the Angles, the Saxons, and the Jutes, crossed the North Sea from what is now Denmark and Northern Germany. At that time the inhabitants of Britain spoke Celtic language. But most of the Celtic speakers were pushed to the west and north by the invaders – mainly into what is now Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. The Angles came from “Englaland” and they spoke “Englisc” from which the words English and England were derived. The period of the development of English was divided into three periods – Old English (450-1100 AD), Middle English (1100-1500 AD), and Modern English (1500 AD – now). However, the period of Modern English is again classified as Early and Late Modern English periods. 

Language plays a very prominent role in peoples’ identities. The attitude of people towards a particular language is part of their personal history. There might be so many reasons why English is considered to be an international language. The book ‘English as a World Language‘ states that English has become a world language because of its establishment as a mother tongue outside England, in parts of all the continents of the world.

John Stuart Mill, an English philosopher, said that Language is the light of the mind. With over 6000 languages spoken across the globe, languages are undoubtedly the most important part of our being; they form an integral part of our identity. Languages serve as the best channels to understand and explore the nuances of different cultures and traditions. New words come into being as time passes and old words acquire changed meanings rendering a dynamic touch to the world of languages.