During the 5th century, three Germanic tribes (the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes) invaded Britain. The Celtic speakers that lived there were pushed west and north and the language spoken became known as “Englisc”, also called Old English.
In 1066, Frenchman William the Conqueror invaded England and brought with him a kind of French, which became the language of the Royal Court and the ruling classes, whereas the lower classes spoke English.
In the 14th century English became dominant in Britain again, but with many French words added.
During the Renaissance, many new words and phrases entered the language. Also, with the invention of printing, books became cheaper and people learned how to read. The dialect of London, where most of the publishing houses were, became the standard.
From around 1600, the English colonization of North America resulted in the creation of a distinct variety of English. American English (and subsequently British English) was influenced by Spanish, French (through Louisiana) and West African languages (through the slave trade).
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