Unit2：THE ROAD TO MODERN ENGLISH
At the end of the 16th century, about five to seven million people spoke English. Nearly all of them lived in England. Later in the next century, people
from England made voyages to conquer other parts of the world and because of that, English began to be spoken in many other countries. Today, more people speak English as their first, second or foreign language than ever before. Native English speakers can understand each other even if they don’t speak the same kind of English. Look at this example: British Betty: Would you like to see my flat? American Amy: Yes, I’d like to come up to your apartment. So why has English changed over time? Actually all languages change and develop when cultures meet and communicate with each other. At first the English spoken in England between about AD 450 and 1150 was very different from the English spoken today. It was based more on German than the English we speak at present. Then gradually between about AD 800 and 1150, English became less like German because those who ruled England spoken first Danish and later French. These new settlers enriched the English language and especially its vocabulary. So by the 1600’s Shakespeare was able to make use of a wider vocabulary than ever before. In 1620 some British settlers moved to America. Later in the 18th century some British people were taken to Australia too. English began to be spoken in both countries. Finally by the 19th century the language was settled. At that time two big changes in English spelling happened: first Samuel Johnson wrote his dictionary and later Noah Webster wrote The American Dictionary of the English Language. The latter gave a separate identity to American English spelling. English now is also spoken as a foreign or second language in South Asia. For example, India has a very large number of fluent English speakers because Britain ruled India from 1765 to 1947. During that time English became the language for government and education. English is also spoken in Singapore and Malaysia and countries in Africa such as South Africa. Today the number of people learning English in China is increasing rapidly. In fact, China may have the largest number of English learners. Will Chinese English develop its own identity? Only time will tell.
在 16 世纪末，大约有五至七百万人讲英语。几乎所有这些讲英语的人都住在英格兰。 在其后的一个世纪中， 英格兰人为征服世界航海到了世界其他一些地方， 结果世界的其他地 方的人们也开始说英语了。今天，把英语作为自己的第一语言、第二语言或外语来使用的人 比以往任何时候都多。
以英语作为母语的人，即使他们所讲不是同一种英语，他们也能彼此听懂。请看看这个 例子： 英国人贝蒂：来看看我的公寓吗？ 美国人艾米：好的，我来看看你的公寓吧。
那么， 随着时间的推移英语为什么发生了变化呢？实际上， 当不同文化相互交流渗透时， 所有的语言都会有所发展和变化。开始，英格兰人在大约公元 450 年到 1150 年之间所说的 英语与我们今天所说的英语很不一样。 当时的英语更多的是以德语为基础的， 不像我们现在 说的英语。后来，大约在公元 800 年至 1150 年之间，英语慢慢变得不那么像德语，因为统 治英格兰的那些人开始是说丹麦语，后来说法语。这些新来的定居者丰富了英语语言，尤其 是丰富了英语词汇。所以到 17 世纪初的时候，莎士比亚能够得以使用比以往任何时候都丰 富的词汇。1620 年一些英国定居者来到了美洲，后来到了 18 世纪的时候，一些英国人还被 带到了澳大利亚。英语也就开始在这两个国家使用。
最后到 19 世纪的时候，英语这种语言就变得稳定了。当时，英语的拼写发生了两个很 大的变化：先是塞缪尔?约翰逊编写了他的英语词典，后是诺亚?韦伯斯特出版了《美国英语 词典》。后者使得美式英语的拼写有了其独特的个性。
现在英语在南亚地区也被作为外语或第二语言使用。 比如， 印度就有很多人说英语说得 很流利，因为在 1765 年到 1947 年之间英国统治着印度。在此期间，英语成了印度政府和教 育所用的语言。在新加坡和马来西亚以及像非洲的南非，人们现在也说英语。当今，在中国 学英语的人数正在快速增加，事实上，中国可能是学英语人数最多的国家。中国式英语是否 也能发展成一种具有自己独特个性的语言？这还有待时间去证明。