Why is there French words in the English language?
I will deal here only with the historical aspect.
That is true, and contrary to my fellow french who think that
French is invaded by English, English has much more french words
than French has English. While the reasons English is used in
today's french are pragmatical as English is now the International
language, the reasons why English has so many french words in it
The reign of William the Conqueror brought the langue
d'oïl, an ancester of French, spoken in Northern France, which
enriched the anglo-saxon language.
This anglo-norman french was principaly used by the aristocracy,
the french influence was almost present in Law, civic affairs and
warfare. The aristoratric titles were, for example, directly coming
from french (Duke from Duc ....). The Clergy always used latin at
that time and the people used to speak anglo-saxon which could be
found several version (germanic, latin, dutch or celtic ...)
depending on the region.
This dichotomy between the people and their rulers is the main
reason why there are so many doublons in English. For example,
Mutton (from french mouton) is used to define the meat while Sheep
(sceap in Old English) from german is used to define the animal.
Incredible and unbelievable is also an example
The french growing influence lasted until the beginning of the
15th century and indelibly transformed the "Old English", not only
in the vocabulary but also in grammar.
I don't remember how linguists call the 16th and 17th english,
(modern maybe), but during this period, with Renaissance, English
had been also hugely influenced by ancient Greek and Latin.
And then, English has integrated much more than french. With
trade, English also borrowed vocabulary from Spanish, Dutch,
German, Italian.... And with time this melting pot has given the
English used today.
The subject here in vast and I thank everyone who could precise
or add informations. Do not hesitate to contact me for any