Blog - History of Language

The Latest Language Insights from SIMON & SIMON

English: The Evolution of the World’s Lingua Franca

27 July 2021

English is a lingua franca (bridging language) that enables people all over the world to connect personally and professionally. In the first article in this two-part series about the evolution of English over time, we explored the origins of English, from Old English in the 5th century to the post-Industrial Revolution world of the 20th century, when the social and cultural influence of English received a new boost from the United States becoming a global superpower.

In the second and final part of this series, we consider how technology, social media and future generations may influence the way that the English language continues to evolve.

English: The History of the World’s Lingua Franca

20 July 2021

The English language has evolved into a globally relevant means through which people can connect. Advances in science, industry and technology over centuries have added a wealth of complexity to the modern version of the English language.

In the first article of this two-part series about the evolution of English over time, we take a deep dive into the history of the English language – from its earliest forms to how the 20th century saw the social and cultural influence of English increase.

The Origin of Words: Interesting Examples from Science and History

12 July 2021

Many words from history have their roots in Latin, while the Ancient Greeks, famous for their love of philosophy, drama, and mathematics, have gifted us with many of the words that contribute to our scientific lexicon. Don your spectacles (from the Latin spectaculum – a form of specere, meaning ‘to look at’), pull on your lab coat (laboratory also has its roots in Latin – from labor, meaning ‘to work’) and come with us into the lecture hall as we zone in on the special terminologies of science and history.

Out with the Old! Dusting Off Some Near-extinct English Words

30 March 2021

In a recent article, we took a look at some of the new words that have entered the lexicon in the past few years, and how language is constantly evolving. But, as in the animal kingdom, where exciting new species are discovered every year, it is inevitable that the opposite also occurs and there are some extinctions too. Certain words inevitably become casualties, cut from the dictionary as others crowd them out.

In this article, we reverse our approach and take a light-hearted look at some older words that have fallen out of favour. Join us as we shine a curious beam back in time to illuminate some fascinating words that are now all but obsolete.

In with the New! How and Why English Changes Over Time

16 March 2021

Languages are always changing, and English is no exception. With every year, new words are created and perhaps even added to the dictionary, giving them a sense of permanence in a changing world.
In this article, the first of two on how English has changed and continues to evolve, we explore how and why new words enter our lives. We also take a look at a few of the more unusual business terms that have appeared in recent times.

Language Links: Getting to Know Your Language Family Tree

16 June 2020

One of the most helpful ways to understand how languages are related to each other is to think of them as families, where closely linked ‘family members’ share more in common than distant relations – just like a family tree, where languages are grouped based on common linguistic ancestors.

In this article, we explore the way languages are linked through their family histories, with a special focus on the Indo-European family (home to English and many other European languages).

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