So what exactly is English? The answer may not be as simple as you think. Language is an evolving thing that changes to suit the culture that's using it. The following texts are all English:

Beowulf (8th-11th century)

Hwæt! We Gardena in geardagum,

þeodcyninga, þrym gefrunon,

hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon.

Oft Scyld Scefing sceaþena þreatum,
5
monegum mægþum, meodosetla ofteah,

egsode eorlas. Syððan ærest wearð

feasceaft funden, he þæs frofre gebad,

weox under wolcnum, weorðmyndum þah,

oðþæt him æghwylc þara ymbsittendra


Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (late 14th century)
Passus IV
NOW neȝez þe Nw Ȝere, and þe nyȝt passez,
Þe day dryuez to þe derk, as Dryȝtyn biddez;
Bot wylde wederez of þe worlde wakned þeroute,
Clowdes kesten kenly þe colde to þe erþe,
Wyth nyȝe innoghe of þe norþe, þe naked to tene;
Þe snawe snitered ful snart, þat snayped þe wylde;
Þe werbelande wynde wapped fro þe hyȝe,
And drof vche dale ful of dryftes ful grete.

Chaucer: The Miller’s Tale (late 14th century)
Ful softe out at the dore he gan to stele,

And wente unto the carpenteris wal.

He cogheth first, and knokketh therwithal

Upon the wyndowe, right as he dide er.

This alison answerde, who is ther

That knokketh so? I warante it a theef.

Why, nay, quod he, God woot, my sweete leef,

I am thyn absolon, my deerelyng.

Of gold, quod he, I have thee broght a ryng.




Edmund Spenser: The Faery Queen (16th century)

Which when the valiant Elfe perceiu'd, he lept

As Lyon fierce vpon the flying pray,

And with his trenchand blade her boldly kept

From turning backe, and forced her to stay:

Therewith enrag'd she loudly gan to bray,

And turning fierce, her speckled taile aduaunst,

Threatning her angry sting, him to dismay:

Who nought aghast, his mightie hand enhaunst:

The stroke down from her head vnto her shoulder glaunst.

Henry Fielding: Tom Jones (18th century)
A short description of squire Allworthy, and a fuller account of Miss

Bridget Allworthy, his sister.
In that part of the western division of this kingdom which is commonly called Somersetshire, there lately lived, and perhaps lives still, a gentleman whose name was Allworthy, and who might well be called the favourite of both nature and fortune; for both of these seem to have contended which should bless and enrich him most. In this contention, nature may seem to some to have come off victorious, as she bestowed on him many gifts, while fortune had only one gift in her power; but in pouring forth this, she was so very profuse, that others perhaps may think this single endowment to have been more than equivalent to all the various blessings which he enjoyed from nature. From the former of these, he derived an agreeable person, a sound constitution, a solid understanding, and a benevolent heart; by the latter, he was decreed to the inheritance of one of the largest estates in the county.

George Eliot: Middlemarch 19th century
Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress. Her hand and wrist were so finely formed that she could wear sleeves not less bare of style than those in which the Blessed Virgin appeared to Italian painters; and her profile as well as her stature and bearing seemed to gain the more dignity from her plain garments, which by the side of provincial fashion gave her the impressiveness of a fine quotation from the Bible,--or from one of our elder poets,--in a paragraph of to-day's newspaper. She was usually spoken of as being remarkably clever, but with the addition that her sister Celia had more common-sense. Nevertheless, Celia wore scarcely more trimmings; and it was only to close observers that her dress differed from her sister's, and had a shade of coquetry in its arrangements; for Miss Brooke's plain dressing was due to mixed conditions, in most of which her sister shared.


Nowadays, thanks to globalization, you can find as many kinds of English as there are cultures, including "Hinglish" (a mix of Hindi and English) and "Denglish" (which you all should be familar with :-) ). Each native speaking country also has there special brand of English. Here are some links to articles about some of them:


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-14285853 (American English)

http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/cactus-or-crackerjack-the-state-of-australian-english/ (Australian English)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/6122072.stm ("Hinglish)

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1060704--looking-for-true-canadian-english-there-go-north (Canadian English)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/3324703/Kiwi-English-from-Britain-not-Australia.html
(New Zealand English)

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,1395083,00.html ("Denglish")

http://www.fluentin3months.com/speak-like-the-irish/ (Irish English)

http://lealdaza.wordpress.com/2010/02/24/hong-kong-english-conversing-with-the-locals-in-chinglish/
("Chinglish)