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motatalea
02-10-09, 12:29
Why Normans couldnot make england speak completely french language? I mean why modern english inherited mostly of vocabulary from them but it is still germanic language ?

Chris
10-10-09, 22:51
Why Normans couldnot make england speak completely french language? I mean why modern english inherited mostly of vocabulary from them but it is still germanic language ?

The Normans introduced approximately 1/3 of the words used in modern English - almost all used by the 'elite' in law, politics and religion. The Norman overlords had to be bi-lingual even to communicate with their servants.

Today, the top 100 words in everyday use are Old English/Anglo Saxon in origin, with the exception of three Old Norse words (they, their, them) and the French-derived word 'number' at 76. (copyright Melvyn Bragg "The Adventure of English" plus other sources).

The Norman French spoke French - a minute percentage of the population, the rest of which continued to speak English, when it re-emerged as the official language (Middle English) in medieval times - best exemplified by Chaucer.

haithabu
26-04-11, 19:21
One very common expression in English which I believe comes from Norman French is "me too" <= the Norman "moé itou". Still used in Haitian creole and Quebec joual, where many believe it is a borrowing from English, but I think it is more likely the other way around.

http://www.larousse.com/en/dictionnaires/francais/itou/44583

MOESAN
03-06-12, 18:49
The Normans introduced approximately 1/3 of the words used in modern English - almost all used by the 'elite' in law, politics and religion. The Norman overlords had to be bi-lingual even to communicate with their servants.

Today, the top 100 words in everyday use are Old English/Anglo Saxon in origin, with the exception of three Old Norse words (they, their, them) and the French-derived word 'number' at 76. (copyright Melvyn Bragg "The Adventure of English" plus other sources).

The Norman French spoke French - a minute percentage of the population, the rest of which continued to speak English, when it re-emerged as the official language (Middle English) in medieval times - best exemplified by Chaucer.

approximativly, yes
but I think the part of the angevin dialect of Oil french (send by the Plantagenêt family) is heavier in modern english than the true 'high normand' dialect of the previous normans of Normandy that became the labelled anglo-norman dialect, i believe
the high normand in France yet, as the picardish dialect, retain the old K before A, when angevin an other Oil dialects of France was already passed to the TCHA or TCHË sound - at the contrary the normand dialect pronounced CHË when other oil dialects pronounced /SË/ ("çe") -
as a whole I think that the weight of french origin words is closer to 45-50% in the modern english language ("high" standard) - I don't speak here about the technical lexic nor the exotic stoffs lexic -