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Akorbi Answers, “Where does the English language come from?”

English label on top of old books

English is one of more than 170 languages Akorbi utilizes with our translation and interpretation services. It’s a complex language, with origins going back 1,500 years to Old English. In today’s blog from Akorbi, we answer the question, “Where does the English language come from?”

Geographic Origins

English comes from the Fifth Century A.D. when Germanic tribes crossed the English Channel and landed in Britain. This occurred after the Roman influence on London faded away during the decline of the Roman Empire. When William of Normandy conquered England in 1066, the English language began to take root thanks to French vocabulary and German syntax.

Related Post: Why Is English a Germanic Language? Akorbi Explains

How many English words are there?

The exact amount of words in the English language vary.

The Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, published in 1989, lists more than 171,000 words currently used in English. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, contains more than 470,000 entries. 

As new words are added to the language every year, English expands and evolves. Although Akorbi uses more than 170 languages, we recognize that English is one of the most heavily utilized in the business world today.

French Words

English gets 29% of its vocabulary from French words! Although French doesn’t really sound like English, you may see some similarities from common words we use every day. 

  • Beef in English from “Boeuf” in French
  • Judge from juge 
  • Arcade is spelled exactly the same way in French and English!
  • Treasure from trésor
  • Blue from bleu (the color and the salad dressing)
  • Author from auteur 
  • Dolphin from dauphin
  • Automobile is spelled precisely the same in both languages

The list goes on! Akorbi can translate and interpret between French and English readily. All you need to do is book what service you need through our ADAPT platform.


Another 29 percent of English vocabulary comes from Latin. That’s a full 58% of English words coming from Romance languages. Latin doesn’t exist as a living language anymore, but its influence is still felt worldwide in science and medicine. Akorbi can help you with medical and life sciences translation and interpretation services. 

Some English words derived from Latin include:

  • Villa
  • Antique
  • Terra
  • Nova
  • Sub
  • Aqua
  • Scholar
  • Obscure
  • Quiet
  • Maritime
  • Is
  • Have
  • Long

Related Post: Akorbi Explains: How Romance Languages Dominated the West


German comprises 26% of English vocabulary. That means 84% of English comes from three separate languages. German words make sense since English is a Germanic language, according to linguists, and English follows German syntax.

Here are some English words that come from German:

  • Angst
  • Feast
  • Kindergarten
  • Plunder
  • Cobalt
  • Seltzer
  • Bagel
  • Hamster

Translation and Interpretation Services by Akorbi

Akorbi is one of the top language service providers in the United States. We’re also proud to be women-owned and women-led. Contact Akorbi or call 1-877-4AKORBI for more information on what we can do for your business.

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