When and Where Did English Begin?

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The quick answer
A brief but accurate answer to this would be “very roughly 1500 years ago, give or take a century or so, on the Eastern side of the island of Great Britain — in what we now call the East and South-East of England (but nobody called it ‘England’ then)”.

Perhaps this is too vague for you — you would like a date? As a respectable academic, I ought to say this is as precise as we can be. But if you press me — all right, then: in a symbolic sense, at any rate, perhaps we might say that English began in A.D. 449, at a place called Ebbsfleet on Pegwell Bay, near Ramsgate in Kent. I cannot give you a specific birthday, but it will have been in the summer rather than winter half of the year.

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