William The Conqueror: An Illiterate Influence On English

833 Words 4 Pages
An Illiterate Influence on English When a “bastard” reclaimed the crown of England, he infused France into England. The English language went on a roller coaster of changes to accommodate the French culture and language that was flowing in. This all began with one man, and his name was William I. William I, better known as William the Conqueror, was the first Norman king of England when he was crowned in 1066. “William the Bastard” was born to the duke of Normandy and his mistress in France in 1028. His father died unexpectedly and handed him the throne when he was only eight years old. Feudal barons saw his young age as a huge advantage to try and seize the crown. Mini wars waged as they fought for control of Normandy. Young William had …show more content…
The Middle English period began when William I became king of England, and was separated into three parts, Early Middle English (1100-1250), Central Middle English (1250-1400), and Late Middle English (1400-1500). The Central Middle English was when French influence became more prominent and a new writing system and London dialect were developed. During the Late Middle English, London dialect spread and basic grammatics of Modern English, as we know it today, was created. One third of all English words have some type of French influence in them. Words such as beautiful (wittig in Old English), people (leod), and crime (firen) all have French influence. Animals kept their English name (sheep and cow), but when they are cooked, their name changes to French (mutton and beef). The reason why so many words were borrowed was because of William the Conqueror himself. When he became king, he changed the language for law, education, government, and upper-class life to French since he was illiterate in English. English was still spoken by the lower class for daily tasks such as trading food. However, in 1362, Parliament passed a bill stating that all official government papers had to be in English, a result from Normans having a fallout with France in the Hundred Years’ War. The most

Related Documents