Middle English

Middle English
Englisch, Inglis, English
RegionEngland, some parts of Wales, south east Scotland and Scottish burghs, to some extent Ireland
Eradeveloped into Early Modern English, Scots, and Yola and Fingallian in Ireland by the 16th century
Early form
Language codes
ISO 639-3enm
ISO 639-6meng
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For a guide to IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Middle English is an older type of the English language that was spoken after the Norman invasion in 1066 until the middle/late 1400s. It came from Old English after William the Conqueror came to England with his French nobles and stopped English from being taught in schools for a few hundred years. Over this time, English borrowed several French words.

In the 1470s, the Chancery Standard, a type of English spoken in London, started to become more common. This was partly because William Caxton brought the printing press to England in the 1470s. The type of English that people spoke in England between then and 1650 is called Early Modern English. There were many different dialects of Middle English.

Geoffrey Chaucer wrote The Canterbury Tales in Middle English.

  • sources


  1. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Middle English". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  • Brunner, Karl (1962) Abriss der mittelenglischen Grammatik; 5. Auflage. Tübingen: M. Niemeyer (1st ed. Halle (Saale): M. Niemeyer, 1938)
  • Brunner, Karl (1963) An Outline of Middle English Grammar; translated by Grahame Johnston. Oxford: Blackwell
Other Languages
asturianu: Inglés mediu
brezhoneg: Krennsaozneg
Cymraeg: Saesneg Canol
español: Inglés medio
français: Moyen anglais
Frysk: Midingelsk
한국어: 중세 영어
Bahasa Indonesia: Bahasa Inggris Pertengahan
íslenska: Miðenska
Limburgs: Middelingels
Nederlands: Middelengels
日本語: 中英語
norsk nynorsk: Mellomengelsk
occitan: Anglés mejan
português: Inglês médio
slovenščina: Srednja angleščina
svenska: Medelengelska
Türkçe: Orta İngilizce
中文: 中古英语