Министерство образования и науки Российской Федерации
МБОУ ордена «Знак Почета» гимназия №5 им.А.В.Луначарского
Командный конкурс эссе
«Unity in Diversity: Russia and the English-Speaking World»
English-learning: how it helps to break boundaries
Бициева Элина, 10 класс
Савкуева Алина, 10 класс
Тобоева Зарема, 10 класс
Аршиев Магомед, 10 класс
Басиев Сармат, 10 класс
Кацера Георгий, 10 класс
Касаев Давид, 10 класс
Таказов Давид, 10 класс
Хутинаев Азамат, 10 класс
English with its utility as a tool of learning and its importance in science, technology and commerce is now incontestably the international language of the world.
It is claimed that English is the key to participation on equal terms as a full member of our society and the tool to break boundaries.
It is proved that the formation of the English language was influenced not only by Anglo-Saxon tribes, Romans and Vikings but by Russians too.
To be able to understand present and foresee future we should investigate our past trying to expand the boundaries of our awareness of being the integral part of the whole world and English will help us. Scythian- Sarmatian -Alan-Osetian history in the context of the Great Migration of Peoples can help us reveal some interesting facts about the interaction of our ancestors with each other.
Georges Demuzil in his investigations based mostly on Celtic and Germanic data built up his own theory according to which the myths about king Arthur,the legendary English hero, had much in common with the folk Osetian hero nart Batraz.
In the present history of our republic we also managed to find out and investigate some pages which again witness that those mythical or imaginary boundaries between our nations can be easily broken.
English being an international language has done a lot and continues facilitating the process of making people of different nationalities closer to each other thus breaking the all boundaries between them.
We have already got accustomed to the fact that English language dominates in the whole world. It has become a truly global language used in many spheres of our life. It is the predominant language for science, entertaining, trade and diplomacy. It is the language of aviation too. Moreover it is one of the tools that helps demolish the boundaries between different countries making real the possibility to unite so many various peoples.
We live in the era of globalization when the process of interaction among states is increasing. English makes it easier. More and more young people get interest in learning this language to be able to socialize with their contemporaries from various countries.
Where did this language come from? Nowadays more and more scientists and common people are trying to dig out the origin of that unique language. We cannot deny the fact that English itself has borrowed words from many different languages over its history. According to the data of historic and linguistic analyses based on comparison of Russian and European languages the ancestors of English people may be not only Italians(Romans), German (Angles and Saxon tribes),Scandinavians(Vikings) but Russians as well. For example, it is hard to believe but the English word «shop» descends from the Russian word «купить»,the word «birch» from «береза».
Some linguists among them Russian scientist of German origin Maximilian Fasmer made investigations and came to the conclusion that Scythians who were prehistoric Slavonic tribes from Iran came and settled on the territory of Kievskaya Russ in 9-7 centuries B.C. Later they moved to the north where they assimilated with Scandinavians who in some time made attempts to conquer England. M. Fasmer proved the similarity of these languages with the help of linguistic analyses.
According to many studies, the relationship between us and the United Kingdom goes to prehistoric times, when there was no writing. In those days, the British Isles were inhabited by the Celtic tribes. They were not indigenous to the islands. According to the Chronicles of Alfred the Great “the first inhabitants of the island were Britons, who came from Armenia and settled in southern Britain.” By the way, the island, as some scientists think, was named in honor of Brutus, Aeneas’ grandchild, who was the 1st British king. The scientists still have been disagreeing on the origin of the Celtic tribes. Some linguistic studies point out to the territory between the Danube and Rhine. As we know, our ancestors, the Scythians (later Sarmatians and Alans), inhabited this area. It tempts to certain conclusions, doesn’t it?
If we consider separately the origin of the peoples of Wales, Scotland, Ireland, for example in the history of the last one we can also find the traces of our ancestors. Let’s turn to The Book of Invasions (works of the mythical origins of the Irish people), that has been considered to be a true and real history of Ireland. It tells that Gaels (the ancestors of the Irish) are the descendants of Scythian prince Fenius Farsaid.
A key link in the communication of Scythian, Sarmatian, Alan tribes with the peoples of the British Isles was the Roman Empire, to be exact with the conquest of Britain by the Romans in 43 AD. Sarmatians were the first who reached Danubian provinces of Rome in their raids. Being courageous and brave horse riders, they were also subjected to defend the Roman borders. But relations with Rome strained in 60-70’s. Under this agreement Sarmatians subsequently granted the right to move to the Roman side of the Danube to trade. Thousands of Sarmatians (according to Harmatta J.( “Studies in the history and language of the Sarmatians”. Szeged, 1970. p. 50) were adopted in the Roman army and 5500 of Sarmatians were sent to Hadrian Wall to serve there. This event, according to scientists, has contributed to the dialogue of cultures of our ancestors and Britain. Meanwhile Anglo-Saxons, as the Scythians, were mercenaries of Roman Empire in the British Isles.
Another important event that connects not only the history of Sarmatians and the people of Britain, but also the entire population of Europe was the Migration Period. Namely the invasion of the Huns and Alans in Europe in 375 AD gave rise to Migration Period. According to Ammianus Marcellinus: “ Huns passed through the land of Alans, killed and robbed many of them, and made an alliance with others…entered the spacious and fertile ownership” of Gothic tribes. And in 406 AD, Alans, together with the Vandals pushed Franks from the Rhine.
During the Migration Period Alans were the only non-Germanic people with a great number of settlements in the Western Europe. Today scientists are focused on linguistic studies that show some similarities in English, Russian and Ossetian (“to call” from Russian “звонить”; “true” – “друг”; “view” — “видеть”)
Furthermore, toponyms and hydronyms of the UK attract scientists’ attention. They are surprised by presence of suffixes, prefixes –don-, that are found both in Ossetian and Russian.(towns: Abingdon, Basildon, London, Clevedon, Croydon, Swindon, Hillingdon, Hoddesdon, etc.; rivers: Calmdon, Little-don, etc.)
Judging by the facts ,the basis of cultural influence of Alans on Western Europe is warfare. The tradition of сavalry, military equipment, the moral code- everything goes to Scythian, Sarmatian and subsequently to Alans culture.
We also excavated one interesting fact about the origin of the word “Scotland”. It is believed that the part of Scythians who lived in prehistoric time on the territory of contemporary Russia and Ukraine moved to England under the name of Scots. Scythians were mostly cattlemen and raised cattle (in Russian this word is translated as ‘скот’). But in English ‘скот’ ‘scot’ is a citizen of Scotland. It is known to everyone that Scotland = Scot + Land =Scots’land . Less well known is that in the old English chronicles Scots are also called Scythians (Scithi) We may conclude that consequently Scotland is a country of Scythians = Scithiland.
Some years ago the past of the native people of Osetia was not so much investigated. It remained obscure. But in the middle of the twentieth century Joel Grisvard and Georges Demuzil made attempts to analyze different legends and myths of Scythian and Sarmatian people, the ancestors of Osetians. They discovered the coincidences in the legends about King Arthur and Nart Batraz. Some episodes from both myths are so much alike that it is hard to believe that these heroes stand so far away from each other in time and space. They have the same cult of their magic swords, the description of their death varies only in tiny details. For example, after the battle, mortally wounded Arthur orders to throw the sword Excalibur into the lake, Batraz asks to throw it into the sea. Such similarity cannot be explained by mere coincidence. It is hard to say whether it is some borrowing or common cultural heritage.
In conclusion we would like to sum up all the ideas and thoughts which were touched upon in our essay. We have been learning English for 9 years already but it has never occurred to us that the origin of this language is so mysterious and entailing. And we can say that thanks to this work we have learnt a lot not only about the origin of English but we managed to clear up some obscure pages of our own history. That fact pushed us to the idea that in prehistoric times due to some circumstances people belonging to one unity, to one family language had to migrate and settle on some unknown lands. In years their native language assimilated and acquired some features of their close neighbours and became different. But that diversity should not be looked upon as some disadvantage. Just on the contrary, it is our treasure which should be valued and cherished. It is high time we were aware that the English language may be the one that will help us break all boundaries.
The migration period map
Barbaricum in AD 125
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Dumézil G. Mythe et epopee. L`idéologie des trios fonctions dans les epopees des peoples indo-européens. P., 1968.
Dumézil G. Romans de Scythie et d`alentour. publié aux éditions Payot, 1978.
Fund 11, inventory №62, file 475.
Fund 224, inventory №1, file 275.
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