A PBS documentary detailing the development of the English language. Initially arising as a mix of Gaelic, Norse and Saxon, the language gradually developed its own distinctive ... See full summary »
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Episodes

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1  
1986  
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
John Barton John Barton ...  Himself 1 episode, 1986
Richard Bebb Richard Bebb ...  Himself - Chaucer Reader 1 episode, 1986
Penny Downie ...  Herself / ... 1 episode, 1986
Peter Hall ...  Himself 1 episode, 1986
Michael Hordern ...  Himself / ... 1 episode, 1986
Robert MacNeil ...  Himself 1 episode, 1986
The Medieval Players The Medieval Players ...  Themselves 1 episode, 1986
Christopher Page Christopher Page ...  Himself - Old English Reader 1 episode, 1986
Mary Tamm ...  Herself - Chaucer Reader 1 episode, 1986
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Storyline

A PBS documentary detailing the development of the English language. Initially arising as a mix of Gaelic, Norse and Saxon, the language gradually developed its own distinctive characteristics. As time passed and native speakers began to spread throughout the world, different regions began to form their own dialects. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net> (revision by Albert Sanchez Moreno)

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Plot Keywords:

tv mini series | See All (1) »

Genres:

Documentary

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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 September 1986 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(9 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Do You Speak American? (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
DVD Release with An Update Please
8 April 2013 | by vaughngrishamSee all my reviews

There is no better resource for teaching the history of the English language. Unfortunately, this 1986 series has become sadly dated. The creators correctly honed in on the future of Asia and technology as driving factors in the ongoing creation of the English language. Yet the creators could not have known that the Internet and our ability for instant communication were right around the corner. What percentage of the world's websites are now published in English? E- mail? Tweets? Text messages? Now when I show this series to my students, I generally skip the technology episode because it is so dated (otherwise, I have to take time out from the lesson to explain telexes and telegrams).

I would love to see this series revised and updated for it's upcoming 30th anniversary.


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