About England — страница 6

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nations. However, the traditional and historic culture of England is more clearly defined. English Heritage is a governmental body with a broad remit of managing the historic sites, artefacts and environments of England. London's British Museum, British Library and National Gallery contain some of the finest collections in the world. The English have played a significant role in the development of the arts and sciences. Many of the most important figures in the history of modern western scientific and philosophical thought were either born in, or at one time or other resided in, England. Major English thinkers of international significance include scientists such as Sir Isaac Newton, Francis Bacon, Charles Darwin and New Zealand-born Ernest Rutherford, philosophers such as John

Locke, John Stuart Mill, Bertrand Russell and Thomas Hobbes, and economists such as David Ricardo, and John Maynard Keynes. Karl Marx wrote most of his important works, including Das Kapital, while in exile in Manchester, and the team that developed the first atomic bomb began their work in England, under the wartime codename tube alloys. VIII. Language Places in the world where English language is spoken. Countries are dark blue where English is an official language, de facto official language, or national language. Countries are light blue where it is an official, non-primary language or non-official primary language. Beowulf is one of the oldest surviving epic poems in what is identifiable as a form of the English language.As its name suggests, the English language, today

spoken by hundreds of millions of people around the world, originated as the language of England, where it remains the principal tongue today (although not officially designated as such). An Indo-European language in the Anglo-Frisian branch of the Germanic family, it is closely related to Scots and the Frisian languages. As the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms merged into England, "Old English" emerged; some of its literature and poetry has survived. Used by aristocracy and commoners alike before the Norman Conquest (1066), English was displaced in cultured contexts under the new regime by the Norman French language of the new Anglo-Norman aristocracy. Its use was confined primarily to the lower social classes while official business was conducted in a mixture of Latin and French.

Over the following centuries, however, English gradually came back into fashion among all classes and for all official business except certain traditional ceremonies, some of which survive to this day. Although, Middle English, as it had by now become, showed many signs of French influence, both in vocabulary and spelling. During the Renaissance, many words were coined from Latin and Greek origins; and more recent years, Modern English has extended this custom, willing to incorporate foreign-influenced words. It is most commonly accepted that—thanks in large part to the British Empire, and now the United States—the English language is now the world's unofficial lingua franca, while English common law is also the foundation of many legal systems throughout the English-speaking

countries of the world. English language learning and teaching is an important economic sector, including language schools, tourism spending, and publishing houses. Additional languages UK legislation does not recognise any language as being official, but English is the only language used in England for general official business. The other national languages of the UK (Welsh, Irish, Scots and Scottish Gaelic) are confined to their respective nations, except Welsh to some degree. The only non-Anglic native spoken language in England is the Cornish language, a Celtic language spoken in Cornwall, which became extinct in the 19th century but has been revived and is spoken in various degrees of fluency, currently by about 2,000 people. This has no official status (unlike Welsh) and is

not required for official use, but is nonetheless supported by national and local government under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Cornwall County Council has produced a draft strategy to develop these plans. There is, however, no programme as yet for public bodies to actively promote the language. Scots is spoken by some adjacent to the Anglo-Scottish Border, and Welsh is still spoken by some natives around Oswestry, Shropshire, on the Welsh border. Most deaf people within England speak British sign language (BSL), a sign language native to Britain. The British Deaf Association estimates that 250,000 people throughout the UK speak BSL as their first or preferred language, but does not give statistics specific to England. BSL is not an official language