Official Language of England – French?

Live and learn – it’s never late… Every schoolchild knows about close relation between France and England.  The countries were at war (one against another and together against a common enemy), traded with each other, shared their cultural traditions, etc. However, the French language (Norman, if to be more correct) had been an official language of England for a period of three centuries (!!!) Just imagine! Shock?! 🙂

As we already know, the countries were at war for ages. It even may seem that it was a kind of national amusement for the British and the French to fight against each other. So, it appears that in 1066 a very symbolic event for the history of the island state took place – Battle of Hastings, where the local army suffered a crushing defeat from the army of Norman Duke William I the Conqueror and the country had lost its independence – England became French!

French became an official language of Albion. English remained the language of craftsmen and commoners.

But, there is nothing permanent under the moon. Every invader is defeated and banished sooner or later. In 1362, the Pleading in English Act was passed in England – one of the first steps to the independence of the state.

Nevertheless, 300 years is a long period of time. And we have to recognize that even nowadays (when French is not official in England) there are many lexical borrowings from the language of the other side of the English Channel. And even on current National Emblem of England we can find two inscriptions in French – «Dieu et mon droit» and «Honni soit qui mal y pense».

Well, we hope it was interesting.

Learn foreign languages! 🙂