French Influence on English Language after the Norman Conquest!

Vikram Roy's Blog

1066, the Duke of Normandy, the famous William sailed across the British Channel. He challenged King Harold of England in the struggle for the English throne. After winning the battle of Hastings William was crowned king of England and the Norman Kingdom was established. Norman-French became the language of the English court. At the beginning French was spoken only by the Normans but soon through intermarriage, English men learnt French. Some 10,000 French words were taken into English language during the Middle English period and about 75% of them are still in use. In grammatical use the English suffixes and prefixes were freely added with the French words. e.g. ‘gentle’ borrowed in 1225 is found compounded with an English word ‘gentlewomen’ in 1230.

The English and Norman commoners learnt some each-others language. Result, the English nobility was not an English nobility but an Anglo-French aristocracy. William himself made an effort…

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