ESERCIZIO NUM: 2850 - CATEGORIA: comprensione > comprensione - DIFFICOLTA': ****

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How many people around the world speak English? According to research, approximately 1.5 billion people - that's 20% of the world's population! However, most of those people aren't native English speakers. About 440 million people speak English as their first language, and the rest speak English as a second language. The evolution of the English language dates back to the 5". century. At that time, the inhabitants of Britain spoke a Celtic language. When Germanic invaders arrived, their languages combined to form Old English. This is the earliest form of English and almost half of the words we use today have their roots in Old English. The Normans then brought a form of French and Latin with them in the 11th century, and in the 16th century the printing press helped to create a more standard form of English. During the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, people needed more words to describe new products, machines and processes. The expansion of the British Empire between the 16th and the 20th century also gave English lots of new, foreign words, like pyjamas (India), trek (South Africa) and kangaroo (Australia)
DOMANDE: 1 Approximately how many people around the world speak English? 2 How many people speak it as a first language? 3 Where do lots of modern English words have their roots? 4 What language did the Normans bring? 5 What did the printing press do? 6 Why did people need new words during the Industrial Revolution?