French was the official language of England after the Norman Conquest of 1066 by William the Conqueror of France until 1362, when it was replaced by English. From 1066 to 1362, French was mainly used by nobility, and English was generally spoken by the lower classes. Latin was the main language for official documentation. Historians point to King John’s loss of Normandy, a region in France, in 1294 to the King of France as a main factor why England moved away from the French language. French also started to be viewed negatively because of the Hundred Year War against France, which began in 1337. By 1362, The Statute of Pleading had named English the official language of the courts.
More about languages:
- An estimated 25% of people in the world have at least some ability to speak the English language.
- There are about 7,000 languages worldwide, but they die out at a rate of one every 14 days, on average.
- Mandarin Chinese is the world’s most spoken language, with about 12% of the population speaking it.