Wikipedia 10K Redux by Reagle from Starling archive. Bugs abound!!!

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English_language

The language spoken in the U.K., Ireland, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and sundry other places, and a second language for most Europeans and many in the rest of the world.

English descends from the language spoken by the Angles and Saxons who invaded Britain at the beginning of the [[Middle Ages]], usually referred to as OldEnglish.  It has had large amount of influence from OldNorse and, thanks to the [[Norman conquest]] which gave England a French nobility, the [[French language]].  This fundamentally transformed its character.  English has continued to assimilate foreign words, especially [[Latin language|Latin]] and [[Greek language|Greek]], to the present.