- Can You Improve Your English With Shakespeare?
- Learning English Words with Shakespeare
- Shakespeare's English Words and Expressions
- The Changing Meaning of English Words
- Why Study Early Modern English?
- Immerse Yourself into the English Language
- How Is It To Study English Language in the USA
- English Lessons Without Shakespeare Are Not Complete
- Learn Old English With A Professional
Everyone has heard of the English language as "Shakespeare's language."
It's clear that Shakespeare must have had a unique skill for the lingo.
So, what are you waiting for? It's time to follow in his footsteps.
Read this article very carefully because you will learn a lot of new information on the English language, which will give you a head start to learn English.
Studying Shakespeare's language is not just interesting, but it can also be extremely fun!
Shakespeare's language is the most widely spoken language: 400 million people have English as their mother tongue, and 750 million speak it as their foreign language. So, it's pretty normal to want to be a pro at English!
But, the question is, what really is Shakespeare's language?
Can we learn English through Shakespeare's playwrights?
Are there any teachers who are experts in Shakespeare's theater and literature?
Can You Improve Your English With Shakespeare?
If you had or have an interest in English literature, there's one name you wouldn't have missed – William Shakespeare. The world of literature recognizes him as a great writer of English history.
However, since he belongs to the Elizabethan era and English has changed a lot since then, his work can be somewhat challenging to read for today's readers.
Therefore, it is possible that today's readers may end up extracting completely different meanings from it.
What Makes It Challenging To Understand?
One thing is sure, adapting spoken English from characters of Shakespearean won't go down too well. It will be hard to comprehend.
Even native speakers have a hard time understanding Shakespeare, and only a few people still speak Shakespearean English.
Just reading William Shakespeare's literary work can be challenging for most people because a lot of words have a different meaning now.
In addition, many students don't enjoy reading Shakespeare because of his complex writing style, making it a dull experience. No one can deny that his choice of words is a bit odd for today's generation.
A big chunk of his vocabulary seems entirely unfamiliar, and the way he uses nouns as verbs only makes it more challenging to grasp.
But, none of this means that Shakespearean writings are discredited in today's time or have no merit. On the contrary, it is still vital and can help readers in numerous ways.
Furthermore, the complexity of reading Shakespearean literature stimulates the reader's brain.
It unconsciously triggers a great deal of brain activity in the reader when they struggle to comprehend the meaning behind Shakespeare's words.
The Importance Of Understanding It Today
Even though Shakespearean English lacks the dramatic context present in modern-day English, his vocabulary is still notably used in language expressions today.
This is why his literary work is known to enhance the vocabulary of its readers, as you'll find so many words that are uncommon in modern everyday discourse.
The benefit of reading Shakespeare is that you can use the vocabulary you learn to read other works written in the same era. But, of course, other writers from the period also used the same version of English.
Moreover, you can use what you learn to enhance your vocabulary and incorporate it into your everyday language. If anything, it will make you sound smarter!
Furthermore, as Shakespeare's texts are complex and challenging to comprehend, many readers read his work aloud. Therefore, a lot of his work requires utilizing a certain rhythm.
One such rhythm is known as iambic pentameter. It helps readers improve their speaking skills by polishing their articulation, memorization, and delivery of the written word.
Getting through the reading of Shakespeare's work and comprehending it is the actual difficult task. Once you've been through the process of learning Shakespeare's language, it can improve your overall comprehension skill for any other complex literary text.
Moreover, after reading Shakespeare, students become more interested in Old English literature. Furthermore, they are encouraged to explore other literary works instead of just reading the same thing repeatedly.
Therefore, as difficult as it may seem, Shakespeare does hold the potential to improve your knowledge of English. Albeit, you can't certainly expect it to happen overnight.
It will require plenty of patience and motivation to get started with a kind of English you aren't familiar with.
Learning English Words with Shakespeare
William Shakespeare introduced between 1700-2200 words to the English language, but experts are still struggling to believe this fact. But, it is clear that he has had a great impact on English lessons today and all things to do with vocabulary, grammar, and anything to do with the history of the English language!
You must remember the words you used to invent with your friends when you were younger!
Well, William invented over 2000 words! This figure is pretty impressive and even more impressive than the fact that most of these words are still used today.
It is a known fact that only 5% of the words that Shakespeare used are no longer used nowadays. So, why are we always told to learn the language through Shakespeare's plays dating back to the 16th century? Why should we learn old English?
For example, in 2014, thousands of parents named their newborn children "Olivia." Fun fact: Shakespeare was the first person to spell this name this way by calling one of his characters in the play, Twelfth Night Olivia.
With more than 1.5 billion English speakers, English is the most widely spoken language.
Shakespeare's English Words and Expressions
William Shakespeare has done a lot more than just bringing his stone to the Edifice of the English language. He has also influenced the British culture.
It is certain that you will definitely find the words that Shakespeare created in contemporary English.
This is a perfect way to improve your English pronunciation and your level in the language. What is the best way of mastering the art of the English language? Immerse yourself in English books!
This is why learning the English language is so interesting. You can look at it as a way of learning English literature. Here are a few examples that I'm sure you will learn in your intense English lessons:
- "Heart of gold"
- "Wild-goose chase" (Romeo and Juliet)
- "Faint-hearted" (Henry IV part I)
- "Brave new world" (The Tempest)
- "Break the ice" (The Taming of the Shrew)
- "For goodness' sake"
- " Foregone conclusion"
- "Love is blind"
Some of these expressions are also used in many other languages, such as in French. For example, the word "manager" is more or less used in every language.
Discover the most famous English quotes used throughout the world.
The Changing Meaning of English Words
Be careful of the false friends! Over the years, many words have evolved, and their meanings have changed.
Before attending your English lessons, you should familiarize yourself with the following list. You'll definitely impress your English teacher! Here are 11 words that were once used in Shakespeare's playwrights, that have a different meaning today:
- "Revolve » once meant "be careful", but nowadays, it means "turn"
- "Wherefore » was once a synonym for "why", but nowadays it means "where"
- "Naughty » once meant "nasty" and "immoral". Nowadays it means "naughty"
- "Stand on ceremony » once meant "superstitious". Nowadays it means "have good manners"
- "Quick », nowadays means "fast". But, in the 16th century, it means "lively"
- "Weird », as you are aware, this word means "bizarre" or "strange." But in Shakespeare's time, it meant "fatality"
- "Prodigies, nowadays means, "prodigies." But, before it meant "non-natural events"
- "Minion » is not only the name of the famous cartoon, but before it meant "slave"
- "Quaint » is nowadays a synonym of "seducing" or "charming". But, in Shakespeare's time, it meant "competent"
- "To the manner born » nowadays means "naturally at ease," but for Shakespeare, this expression meant "being well trained"
- "Unthrifty" nowadays means "a big spender," but many centuries ago, it meant "bad"
According to Shakespeare, this is the best way to learn English: familiarize yourself with the different meanings of Shakespeare's vocabulary. 95% of the words used by William Shakespeare over 400 years ago are still used today; some have even changed their meanings, which is why we call Shakespeare's English: "Old English."
Find out how to learn English with our Great Selection of Anglophile News Outlets.
Why Study Early Modern English?
Studying early modern English comprises more than just learning the literature. This was the language of the British from the 15th through the 17th centuries.
Therefore, it tells you a lot about the old UK's contemporary culture, traditions, and norms. Here are a few more reasons you would want to take it up:
- The literature in early modern English comes from when the printing press wasn't that common, but it was spreading quickly. Hence, most Shakespearean texts were hand-written at first, naturally, making them rare and fascinating collectibles
- It includes uncommon vocabulary that people no longer use today
- Some research dictates that 26% of Modern English constitutes words driven from Germanic languages
- Modern English has adopted many irregular verbs directly from early Englishroughly around 200 commonly used ones
- The way early English poetry is structured is different from modern English. Poets of that time used alliteration (repeating of sounds at the words' beginning) and two halves with a caesura in the middle to make up each line
- Early Modern English poetry is full of kennings. These are conventional figurative phrases that are even used today, e.g., wave-floater = ship, First Lady = the president's wife, and pig-skin = a football
- The Protestant Reformation had a significant impact on how English has changed. During this period, the writers provided readers with sophisticated vernacular texts
- With the development of the printing press, a certain self-consciousness was observed in the texts of the early modern English writers as the language was shifting towards standardization
Besides early English, if you are interested in learning Old English online, you can turn to Superprof. It is a platform where you can find a tutor for almost any subject.
Immerse Yourself into the English Language
With around 37 theater pieces and 154 sonnets, William Shakespeare has played a massive influence on the English language.
So, you will find many intensive English courses in the United States of America that concentrate on Shakespeare's playwrights. There are many students who seek to learn English (all things to do with grammar, expressions, words, pronunciation, reading comprehension, and the alphabet) in all four corners of the States.
And whilst you're there, taste the English gastronomy!
If you're interested in becoming bilingual and learning Shakespeare's language, there is no better place to do so than in the United States! Many English teachers are waiting for you!
But don't worry, if you can't pay a visit to the US, you can still participate in many virtual courses on Shakespeare for learning English online.
Take online ESL classes on Superprof.
How Is It To Study English Language in the USA
Where and how should you learn English? When it's time to choose where you fancy learning English, the choice is vast.
Nowadays, we are fortunate to live in a world where we can travel easily. So, let's have a look at the different possibilities where you can speak English abroad.
And a significant number of these international students are non-native English speakers from regions with English as their second language, such as South America, East Asia, and the Middle East.
Most of these ESL students consider studying English from the United States as the best decision they ever made. America offers you a life-changing experience of learning English as it is one of the world countries with English as their native language.
Moreover, American English is also considered a standard form of English like UK English.
Secondly, to live the American Dream, pay a visit to the USA and immerse yourself into their culture, participate in English language classes, get to know their different accents and pronunciation. There is also Canada, Australia, and New Zealand! There is literally no excuse to not visit an Anglophone country!
How Is Studying English in the USA Different?
You will find that studying English in the USA comes with numerous advantages. However, these benefits depend on your goal of learning the language.
America can be a great place to learn old English if you want to experience it in a native English-speaking country.
Read ahead to discover some reasons why English students commonly consider learning English in America:
First and foremost, English spoken in America comes directly from the natives. That means getting to stay in and study English in the US can give you an in-depth experience incomparable to anything else
Even though the country is known for its prominent population of native English speakers, it is also culturally diverse. But, of course, big cities like Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles have the most diverse population.
But even besides these cities, others also have a multicultural background, making the USA a great place to live and learn.
Therefore, students will get to learn the language and benefit from the multicultural society of the country.
This diversity also prevents the students from feeling homesick. You might even be able to meet people from your own country and get to enjoy the food from your hometown.
Besides being a country of native speakers, America enjoys a far more prestigious place in the world of English-speaking nations. This is because it has English speakers from all over the world.
The global standard for English is based on the English spoken in prominent native-speaking countries.
Among these countries, American and British English are the two most well-recognized varieties of the language.
However, the rest of the world follows and accepts these two as a standard for the English language.
And out of all the countries that speak it, America has the most significant number of English speakers, which means its impact is greater than anywhere else.
Make international professional connections
Considering that America is such a diverse place with so many international visitors, students, and settlers, it allows you to make global professional connections.
Making global connections will help you have exposure to global English besides just the US version. Besides that, you can also attain business opportunities from these connections once you complete your studies.
Since the United States is an established destination for English learners, the resources for learners are endless. In addition, they can take both online and in-person help.
Here are a few resources where you can find help in studying English in the USA:
- There are so many websites that can provide you with options to study English in the USA
- Plenty of universities in the USA provide you a degree in English. To utilize this resource, you might need to get in touch with organizations in your country to help you get admission to an American university
- The government of America is very keen to take on international students, so it provides a lot of information and support to foreigners who may want to study English in the US. Additionally, the Department of State's website offers all the information students need. Moreover, international students can also turn to the embassy in their country for further information
English Lessons Without Shakespeare Are Not Complete
Shakespeare has had a profound impact on the English we speak today; studying his work is an important part of the English culture and language.
Learning English is not just useful and fascinating, but it's also a lot of fun.
Herman Melville, William Falkner, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and Charles Dickens have strongly been influenced by Shakespeare. He even led George Steiner to conclude that the English romantic poets were "slight variations of Shakespearean themes."
Learn Old English With A Professional
Shakespeare is a roadmap of English for new learners; it has contributed significantly to Modern English.
Therefore, even those adept at regular English cannot undermine his contribution as you can't claim to have wholly learned English without learning Shakespeare.
However, his texts cannot be read and understood in isolation. You will need guidance from an expert, and Superprof can get you in touch with one. Whether your query is, "How to learn Old English" or "How to learn Shakespearean English," Superprof will solve it all.
Just visit Superprof and enter your choice of subject – instantly, you'll see numerous options of private tutors in your area. Choose the best-suited one and start learning
The platform that connects tutors and students