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Hey...You Speak English? Question could be an old one, A really old one.

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posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 04:40 PM
Hello ATSians,

I wanted to present this sight I stumbled.

I've dug into it a little and it seams to be backed up with reference's sited there in.

I am researching it as well, but thought I'd put it out and let you all study it too, or if we have any linguests in the house who might want to take a look. Enjoy


English was not imported by the Anglo-Saxons


This is how the events of the 5th century AD and the origin of the English language are declared in every history book, in every schoolbook, worldwide:

The Anglo-Saxons imported the English language in the 5th century into Britain. The Anglo-Saxons were initially invited as mercenaries. When their wages could not be paid, they rebelled and took over the east of Britain. The Britons reacted by fighting bravely, but their efforts were hampered by treachery and unlawful collaboration with the enemy by some of their most high ranking members. Eventually the Anglo-Saxons managed to subdue the eastern population. They imposed their culture and language. A major part of the population fled west where the British resistance proved to be successful for a while.

So far for the official story.
But official history has a major problems:
Strange enough, no contemporary source mentions a language change.
Why are there so few Welsh words in English? Why can we not explain the place-names east of the Pennines in Welsh (e.g. London) nor in Latin? Why was there no similar language change on the continent after the collapse of the Roman Empire?
How could a very limited number of Anglo-Saxons conquer most of England? Is it true that the British were cowards as Gildas wrote in the 6th century?
Did the Anglo-Saxons wipe out the eastern population in Britain? Or was the entire population chased to Wales? How were the Anglo-Saxons able to replace 2.5 million eastern Britons?
Did east-England change its language twice within approx.1000 years?

[1] Why was the alleged language transition so record-breaking swift?

Professor Simon James (University of Leicester) reminds us that the theory of the introduction of English was established in the 17th century under James I to suit the political needs of the time. The union of the crowns of Scotland and England was explained as re-union of (Celtic) Britain. State paid historians stated that Britain was ‘Celtic’ before the Roman age. This implied the existence of a Celtic language [2] all over Britain. The theory was used to quieten the critics who were against unification. The latter argued that the Scots always had been the eternal enemies of the English.

The English language was explained as an 'unfortunate and imported accident'.

Let there be no doubt: there is no historical proof whatsoever that the Anglo-Saxons imported English. I will also challenge the very existence of Celts as a distinct people, but not the existence of a Celtic culture.

Stating that (proto) English was there all the time does not only explains much better what happened during the 5th century, the later events, and the modern situation, it also can predict a number of facts. Assuming 2 languages in Britain, the 5th century puzzle can be solved and the modern situation makes far more sense.

For a brief summary click here .


posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 04:52 PM
This is one of my favorite subjects! Thank you for posting this!

I have a brilliant book suggestion that you may like. Language of Genes By Steve Jones. He talks about this very subject but more about Europe then the England.

I think it does explain it very well. I will be reading up more on this.

posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 04:56 PM


The Anglo-Saxons never imported English

The currently prevailing interpretation of events in the 5th century creates more problems than it solves. Where is the proof that:

Celtic culture is linked with Celtic language?
There was such a thing as 'a Celtic language' ?

Anglo-Saxons changed the language?

In reality, none of those statements have been ever proved. They are all assumptions. Continental sources confirmed that 'Angles' took power in Britain around the early 440's AD. But there is a major difference between obtaining power and a full scale conquest. The conquest or takeover of eastern Britain by Anglo-Saxons is a modern assumption, which sounds logical, but the reality was different. Remarkably, even early British sources (Gildas, Bede), although condemning the Anglo-Saxons (especially Gildas), never spoke of a classic conquest. Something else happened. The linked assumption (that the whole of Britain spoke a 'Celtic' language before, and that the population in the east was forced to learn English) is even worse: it is completely false.

This website explains that Britain always had two languages: proto-Welsh in the west and proto-English in the east.
After the last Ice Age ended (about 8000 BC) , there were two language families in Britain: primordial Germanic east of the Pennines and primordial Brythonic in the west [1]. When agriculture arrived (about 4500 BC) both languages were developed into the ancestors of proto-English and proto-Welsh respectively .

The proto-English zone was split into two regions: the Midlands and the Northeast were one zone, the South and Southeast were another.

Both initially spoke a different variant of the Germanic idiom.

The proto-Welsh language family zone gradually became divided into Cornwall (up to Wiltshire), Wales (including the valley of the Severn) and Scotland (+ Cumbria). The Germanic speaking population was genetically slightly different from the proto-Welsh speaking people. The reason is the relative isolation of both populations in their refuges on the Continent (Ice Age refuges) during the Ice Age, before they separately migrated into Britain. (more ...)

According to Stephen Oppenheimer [3], there is almost no genetic proof for an Anglo-Saxon presence or immigration in Britain. In fact, what was found is insignificant. There is certainly no genetic proof of a widespread wipe-out or genocide. Everything points in the opposite direction: continuation. Archaeological findings support that.

The language of the Anglo-Saxons was similar to the language of the eastern Britons. That's why Gildas [4] wrote: "The first order they received was to stay in the eastern part of the isle." (more ...) The Anglo-Saxons soldiers never had any difficulties to integrate themselves. They were merely catalysts, instruments of power for the local politicians and rich land owners. They never changed the local language. But their presence changed the local political system.

Even before the fall of the Roman Empire, Britain had been in turmoil. Gildas reported that the Romans came several times to restore law and order. Civil power and military power were strictly kept separate during the Roman Empire.

Britain had legions during the Empire, but used them on two occasions to fulfil Continental imperial ambitions (Maximus Clemens Magnus in AD 383 and Constantine III in AD 406). Those adventures failed and each time Britain lost its legal army. The island remained unprotected and raids and internal rebellions caused havoc each time.

The reaction of the east-British (land)lords was to form their own guards illegally with local people. This happened occasionally in the 4th century. When Britain was declared 'independent' by emperor Honorius (AD 410), the trend increased dramatically. Eventually, many eastern British lords had their own small personal armies. To lead those guardsmen, a limited number of professional and experienced Anglo-Saxon soldiers were called in.

Anglo-Saxons were chosen because they had an excellent reputation for absolute loyalty towards their lord. Today, we would say that they came as military advisors. They were gradually appointed as senior officers, a buffer between the rich landowners and the native Britons within the guard, some sort of bodyguards.

In 428, Vortigern, the chairman of the British senate, legalized the 'guard system'. Having Anglo-Saxons at your service had become highly fashionable. Soon, those loyal security servants would help to realize the personal ambitions of their lords. Most likely they were never more than a few thousand (German) Anglo-Saxons present in Britain. (more ... )
When landless British people rebelled (probably as a reaction to a food crisis which was worsened by raids [5] ), around AD 441, it became clear that the local lords with Anglo-Saxons at their service had the real power.

The rebellion was eventually crushed and the Anglo-Saxons were absorbed within the eastern upper class. This was the beginning of the aristocratic age: civil and military power were now firmly linked.

Eastern England was reorganized after the rebellion into military provinces (such as Kent). This was in fact a copy of the old Roman system but often redrawn along ancient tribal boundaries. Influential and prestigious Anglo-Saxon captains were appointed by local British upper class representatives as military governors or managers of those provinces (like Hengest 'the Jute' in Kent). Their task was to coordinate the local guards in order (a) to preserve law and order and (b) to protect the social status and power of the landowners.

From those regions would later emerge the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. Only a part of those military provinces were ruled by genuine Anglo-Saxons. Some regions were in fact ruled by local and powerful British families, although they too claimed to be Anglo-Saxons [6].
There never was a brutal takeover of eastern Britain.
The conservative Welsh lords in the West rebuffed this 'Anglo-Saxon system' or 'Saxon rule'.

The very different language, mentality and traditions hindered the acceptance. The Welsh also feared rightfully that the Anglo-Saxons would conquer their land. They eventually rebelled against the London senate. A civil war broke out around 450. The Welsh managed to stall the expansionist ambitions of the proto-English lords for almost a century.

posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 05:00 PM
reply to post by Lebowski achiever

The Duderieno

Thank you sir, I will take a look at that book suggestion for sure.

I find this stuff amazing. I don't know when exactly I started waking up, but one day I realized how easy it is to manipulate things with control of the perception of the past. Still waking up I guess...

Thank you again. appreciated.


posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 05:07 PM
I've visited this site before and I've always found this topic interesting. It annoys a lot of Celtic reconstructionists, particularly those not actually living in Britain who tend to romanticise the myth of Celtic-ness.

Even more so when they like to try and draw up neat lines across the Scottish, Welsh and Cornish borders with the rest, ie England, being this nasty brutish non-Celtic mess.

posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 05:34 PM
reply to post by Merriman Weir

Thanks Merriman

I hear ya, I'm a Mc on my fathers side and english/welsh on my mother, so this goes right up my family tree.

It's true when you think about it. Other then extreme dialects, how fast could a base language really change?

The site is saying a 1000 years is a fairly short time to change.

What do you think?

posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 05:37 PM
reply to post by Merriman Weir

Hey Merriman, sorry off topic, just wondering if that is you in the avatar. Do you play? Wondered if you had any music online. I'd like to hear ya.

I've played about 25 years.


posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 06:01 PM

Originally posted by letthereaderunderstand
reply to post by Merriman Weir

Thanks Merriman

I hear ya, I'm a Mc on my fathers side and english/welsh on my mother, so this goes right up my family tree.

I'm in a similar boat, I was born in England but I've got both English and Welsh roots.

It's true when you think about it. Other then extreme dialects, how fast could a base language really change?

The site is saying a 1000 years is a fairly short time to change.

What do you think?

I think there's a lot of merit to his argument and the genetics are a genuine factor here. Although, for the sake of playing Devil's advocate...

When you try and consider a whole population changing its base language, it does sound unlikely. However, I wonder what population factors might come into play that make this less unlikely? The actual size of the population? The smaller the population the more easy it would be to change.

The distribution of population? Change can take place fairly easily in town-sized settlements and if there's trade routes between towns it's proven that technology, language and culture is also traded too. This also creates what's known as 'ribboning', where things, over time build-up on the actual routes themselves, rather than at the end of the routes: how stopover points and rest-stops develop into small towns themselves. New settlements are never fixed things as such and therefore have little to actually change.

The actual reasons for change? Look how quickly the Norse after having pushed their way down the Seine and settled in what's now Northern France, were able - in the space of a few generations - to conquer Britain as Normans rather than Vikings: new language, new laws, new society structure, new goals, for some a new religion &c.

posted on Oct, 19 2008 @ 03:28 PM
Anglo-saxons's bases ly in saxon, or low-saxon, a germanic language spoken in a part of holland, germany and danmark at the time by saxon tribes. There are still traces of influences found in both english and the low-saxon dialects in northern holland and northern germany. Also the Hanseatic period has been a influence on anglo-saxon and scandinavian, deriving from the same low-saxon.

posted on Oct, 19 2008 @ 03:35 PM
I remember being taught at school we have a lot of french words in our language, although the spelling may differ. Its supposedly stole parts from a lot of languages rather just one specific one.

Im trying to learn the Norweigian language atm although Im at a basic level, there are a lot of similar words to english.

Also there are similar words in the scottish and the northern english accent, such as certain slang words that are the same as some norwegian words.

[edit on 19-10-2008 by Horus12]

posted on Oct, 20 2008 @ 10:21 AM
reply to post by Horus12

Yea, not so weird tho that there are similarities:

From the 8th century there are some writings left. But the time, when Low Saxon flourished the most, was the late Middle Ages. Low Saxon was the language of the mighty Hanseatic League, which was a leading alliance of traders in the North and Baltic Seas region. Low Saxon in this time had massive impact on the surrounding languages. Some scholars consider around 50% of the word pool of Scandinavian languages like Danish, Norwegian and Swedish as being of Low Saxon origin. Other languages such as English, Estonian, Icelandic, German and Russian experienced an influx of Low Saxon words. This time ended abruptly when the Hanseatic League dissolved and the Lutheran Bible made High German the liturgical language of the Low Saxon areas. Low Saxon was the language of the folks, but German was the language of the upper class and the church.


[edit on 20/10/2008 by d0p3d]

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