About the film archive
Learn about the history behind our documentary film archive from the 1940s.
Acting as an excellent layman's introduction to the origins of one of the most common languages on the planet, History of the English Language demonstrates how language changes over time, and presents England as being multicultural right down to its roots.
'English was brought to Britain in the fifth and sixth centuries. Already it contained words taken from other languages, and it has never ceased to borrow. Its rich vocabulary, now totalling about half a million words, included additions from all the chief languages of the world, though most come from Latin, Greek, French, Italian and Dutch. Maps and diagrams show the growth of this mother-tongue of millions.
(Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1946-47)
All films are subject to the Creative Commons licence guidelines.
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