The northern Chinese or Mandarin is spoken by almost double the number of people who speak English in the world. Mandarin is confined to China while English is in official use in many countries of the world. In many parts it is used as an inherited native language, a second language and a partial language for administrative, professional and educational purposes. Many of the modern ideas of science and technology are communicated only through English. Hence, English can be called the most important language in the world.
Modern English is only about 500 years old. Some five thousand years ago languages of the European family were spoken in European countries. They were also spoken by the people of southern Russia and by the wandering tribes between the Rhine river and the Aral sea.
The people who speak this ancient language had disappeared and their language got broken into several different dialects.
One of these dialects, Known as primitive Germanic or Teutonic, began to split up into their dialects about the beginning of the Christian era. It split up into two basic dialects: east Germanic and West Germanic. The west Germanic dialect split up again into two dialects: High German and Low German. From the high German originated the modern Language. And the Low German gave birth to Dutch and English. English, however, was derived from Low German after many changes and modifications over the years.
What first developed from low German in this direction was a dialect called Old English or Anglo-Saxon. It was introduced into Britain about the year 1150. From 1150 to 1500 AD some changes found a way into it and it came to be called Middle English. But from the year 1500 onward, Modern English came to be in use.