A Brief History of English
The furthest back English can be traced is Proto-Indo-European that evolved at least 6000 years ago and probably originated in the Caucasian Mountains bordering Turkey. Our ancient ancestors gradually moved north and westward into Europe and some wandered still farther north and settled in southern Scandinavia and northern Germany. By about 1000 B.C., the language of these Germanic tribes had evolved into Proto-Germanic or Primitive Germanic or Common Germanic. In turn, the Proto-Germanic language evolved into 11 Germanic languages:
The people who moved north (North Germanic) and stayed, spoke Danish, Faeroese, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Swedish. The Proto Germanic speaking tribes that moved west (West Germanic) developed German (high and low), Dutch, Flemish, and Frisian.
Frisian is the most closely related language to English. Frisian was formerly spoken from the province of North Holland in The Netherlands to Schleswig in northern Germany.
Frisian is now spoken only in three small areas, each with its own dialect. West Frisian is spoken in the province of Friesland in The Netherlands and is considered an official language by the Dutch government. East Frisian (Saterfreisen) is spoken in the Saterland, a municipality in the German state of Lower Saxony, west of Oldenburg. It is the smallest minority recognized by the German government. North Frisian is spoken along the North Sea coast of Germany and on the Frisian Islands. Written records in Old Frisian date from the end of the 13th century.
Many features of Old English (OE) look a lot like German because the roots of Old English are in Proto-Germanic, a subset of the Indo-European (IE) family of languages. Like modern German, all the nouns in Old English, including inanimate objects, are neutral, feminine, or masculine. Old English has no Latin or French words, there are hundreds of strong (irregular) verbs, the word order is not fixed, and nouns change their form or endings when they are the subject or the object or if they are possessive.