For how many years after 1066 did we speak French in England? I tried looking this up on many sites, but I couldn’t find anything. I'm hoping someone knows their history and can tell me when people stopped speaking French in England after 1066.


It depends on who "we" are. French (or rather, Anglo-Norman French) was never the universal language of England, but it was the first language of the ruling class. The kings were first-language speakers of French, but Henry IV was the first king to take the oath in English. For the elite, French became a second language by the end of the 15th century. However, the written language was Latin for a couple of centuries. Bits of French persists to this day, in a fashion, in legal language, though in common law, French was not banished until 1731 (4 Geo. II, c. 26).

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