About FrenchEdit


French is the official/national language of many countries. Most of these countries were once colonies of France or Belgium including Côte d'Ivoire and French Guiana. Because of its backround, this language has significantly more similarities with other Romance languages such as Spanish, Italian, Portugese, Catalan, and Romanian than it it does with English [1]. Its number of speakers worldwide in 2010 totals to approximately 130 million. [2]

How French words made their way into EnglishEdit

Caesar, a Roman potitical leadar with high ambition, entered Britain. After many attempts, Britain was seized in 55 BCE and was ruled by the Latin-speaking Romans for hundreds of years until invasion and rebellion provoked the removal of Roman rule in the early 400s CE. The British were left vulnerable to northern invaders. To prevent this, many Germanic tribes settled there to either live or protect. These tribes spoke a Germanic language. [3]. In 1066, King Edward of England died. The king of Norway, the Duke of Normandy, and a high power advisor of England all claimed the throne. The power stuggle eventually resulted in the Battle of Hastings in now East Sussex. William and the French-speaking Normans won the battle. The French rule brought many French words into contact [4] with Latin and the Germanic languages that has once been spoken in Britain. The comination and borrowings from each of these main languages contribute to the languae of the following period in history, Old English.[5]

Some English words borrowed from FrenchEdit

c'est la vie c'est la vie
croûte crust
amoureux amorous
diplomatie diplomacy
establisse establish
façon fashion
jaque jacket
kiosque kiosk
maintenir maintain
médaille medal
nombre number
oignement ointment
pais peace
récépissé/ reçu receipt
essample sample
veue view

[6] [7]


  3. Dunmore,Charles W., Rita M. Fleisher. Studies in Etymology. Newburyport, Ma: Focus Publishing/ R. Pullins Company, 2008. Print.
  5. Dunmore/Fleischer 2-4


Etymological processes

        Word creation

                Eponyms · Toponyms · Onomatopoeia · Reduplication · Blend · Back-formation

        Word evolution

                Phonological: Assimilation · Dissimilation · Metathesis

                Morphological: Folk etymology

                Semantic: Semantic widening · Semantic narrowing · Elevation · Degeneration · Metaphorical extension

Languages which have influenced English

        Latin · Greek · French · German · Spanish · Arabic · Old Norse · Proto-Indo-European

Special topics

        Shakespeare's impact on English · Origin and evolution of the alphabet