The History of English in 10 Minutes

Presenting condensed history works well on so many levels. It’s interesting, it helps you retain knowledge and it’s just plain entertaining in most cases. As long as the facts are right and it’s done well, people of all ages tend to listen – and why not? Doesn’t everyone want more impressive dinnertime conversation? Well, I might be philosophizing too much here, but when I saw these short videos from the Open University about The History of English (language), I was compelled to share them.

Watch all ten (they around 1 minute 20 second each). I especially enjoyed Part 7, which features Oxford and the unique creation of the Oxford English Dictionary. I’m also partial to Part 8, which presents my own natural tongue – the flawed American English.


Part 1 – Anglo-Saxon

Part 2 – The Norman Conquest

Part 3 – Shakespeare

Part 4 – The King James Bible

Part 5 – The English of Science

Part 6 – English and Empire

Part 7 – The Age of the Dictionary

Part 8 – American English

Part 9 – Internet English

Part 10 – Global English

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