My Mother Tongue

Tony Beckwith

“My Mother Tongue” is a brief account of the origins and evolution of the English language. Written by Tony Beckwith, this essay appeared in April 2011 in the ATA Chronicle, among other publications.

“We all have a mother tongue,” says Beckwith, explaining that his is English. “But what exactly is English? Where does it come from? How did it start? To answer these questions, we must travel back in time. The roots of the English language can be traced to a succession of migrations and conquests that took place a long time ago in the area we now call the British Isles.”

Read the full text here:

Another of Tony’s pieces, “Add Arabic and Simmer for Eight Centuries,” explores how modern-day Spanish was shaped by the Moors who invaded the Spanish peninsula in the 8th century. Read the article here: