In this eight part series, Melvyn Bragg, explores the development of the English Language over the last 1500 years. The first four programmes explain how this insignificant German dialect has evolved into a global language now spoken and understood by more people than any other in the world. The remaining four programmes visit various countries around the world to show the differences in modern English.Written by
Mark Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I've enjoyed watching this program on the History Channel, here in the US. It is now being rebroadcast (10/1/06), beginning, oddly, with the Norman Invasion.
Being multilingual, I do enjoy the emphasis upon WORDS by Melvyn Bragg. Particularly helpful is the provision of the background historical context. The section on the English bible was enjoyed.
Missing are other aspects of language, such as changes in grammar, syntax, punctuation, et cetera. Notably glossed over is the "great vowel shift" which made Chaucer's English sound more familiar to our modern ears. During the time of Chaucer, vowels were pronounced differently, but with the changes that came afterwards, words took on sounds familiar to us today.
All in all, however, an enjoyable program. While I wish it was on DVD, there is a book available.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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