Josué M asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 8 years ago

is english the most latin of the germanic languages?

I found that 28% of english comes from old French, 28% directly from Latin, and only 25% from germanic origin. Has Latin also had this much influence on other Germanic languages, or is it only with English? Has English or any form of it ever been considered a Latin or romance language?

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  • 8 years ago
    Best Answer

    Except for Icelandic and Faroese which have been very isolated, all of the Germanic languages have their share of Latin and French borrowings. English has by far the most Latin borrowings largely because Christianity came to England (in 597 A.D.) earlier than it did to Germany and Scandinavia.

    It goes without saying, that the Norman conquest (in 1066) is responsible for the majority of French words in English. The Normans were originally Danish Viking raiders who adopted the French language in the 10th century.

    Frederick The Great in the 18th century was a francophile and had a major influence on introducing French words into German. Catherine the Great, also a German and a francophile did the same thing for Russian in the latter 18th century.

    One of the earliest Latin borrowings into Germanic was the word "caupo" (shopkeeper / inn-keeper). It is the source of the English word "cheap" and the German word "kaupfen" (to buy or purchase). Another was "prunus" which became modified into English plum (Anglo-Saxon plume) and German Pflaum. Words like these were borrowed from Roman or Gallo-Roman traders working along the Rhine River.

    The numerous Latin and French loanwords in English however still do not make it a Romance language or even a semi-Romance language. There seem to be no reputable scholars anywhere in academia who support that notion.

    An analogy can be made with Romanian. Some 60% of the words in the Romanian language are of Slavonic origin yet in actual spoken Romanian about 80% of the words used at any one time are of Latin origin. In other words, the numerous Latin and French words in English don't make it a Romance language anymore than the thousands of Bulgarian, Serbian, Russian and Old Church Slavonic words in Romanian make it a Slavic language.

    One look at a page of printed Romanian and any moderately educated person can tell that it' s basically a Latin type language with words similar to Italian, French and Catalan popping right out at you.

    Personally, I like the description that Colliers Encyclopedia once gave of English that it is "a Germanic language with some Romance modifications." I think that summs it up quite nicely.

    • B4 years agoReport

      About 14% of the Romanian language is of Slavic origin. Not 60%.

  • 3 years ago

    Is English A Germanic Language

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    is english the most latin of the germanic languages?

    I found that 28% of english comes from old French, 28% directly from Latin, and only 25% from germanic origin. Has Latin also had this much influence on other Germanic languages, or is it only with English? Has English or any form of it ever been considered a Latin or romance language?

    Source(s): english latin germanic languages: https://shortly.im/YjEMy
  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Old English was 100% Germanic. It was the Norman Conquest of 1066 that started the wholesale 'Latinisation' of English language and culture. That English survived at all is a miracle, or a tribute maybe to the tenacity of the conquered English people.

    English exists in its bastardised form thanks to the Conquest, but it is still a Germanic language. The most common words are all Germanic, and it is still close to other West Germanic languages.

    'Has Latin had this much influence on other Germanic languages'

    If Sweden or the Nederlands had been conquered by a French/ Latin speaking elite their languages would have been just as mutilated as English is.

    'Has English or any form of it ever been considered a Latin or romance language?'

    No.

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  • Amy
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    Everything I have ever read on the subject considers English to be a Germanic language. True, both French and Latin have contributed many words to English. Most French words entered English after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 when Normans ruled England. However, English did not adopt French or Latin grammar.

    According to most experts, the first English grammarians believed Latin to be the perfect language. They then proceeded to apply Latin grammar rules to English to make it more perfect. The results include rules like "Never end a sentence with a preposition." That rule ignores the fact that usually it is just fine to end an English sentence with a preposition and that sentences can get awkward and convoluted trying to avoid a preposition at the end. As Sir Winston Churchill famously said of not ending sentences with prepositions, "This is the sort of English up with which I will not put.” (Several variations of Churchill's statement exist.)

    Source(s): retired ESL teacher for a timeline of English see http://www.danshort.com/ie/timeline.htm
  • JeeVee
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    Quiller couch thought that semantically ENGLISH was a ROMANCE language.

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