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The Routes of English - BBC Radio 4
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1607 - The World of English
1607 In 1607, just over 100 settlers sailed into Virginia, USA. This wasn't the first attempt by the English to colonise the New World. Two earlier settlements had failed due to the hostility of the native Americans. This time, English took root and, even now, the speech patterns of the region owe more to Devon and Cornwall than Virginia.

Settlements were also founded in Madras and Calcutta in 1600 under the auspices of the East India Company. By the end of the eighteenth century, the company controlled virtually all aspects of Indian administration, and English was the language used on a daily basis, resulting in the import of many Indian words such as cheroot, bandana, toddy and verandah.

The slave trade led to the introduction of 'Black English' into the USA. It was a triangular scheme. Goods were brought to West Africa to buy slaves, who were then transported to the plantations of the West Indies and the southern states of the USA, where they were exchanged for cargoes of sugar and tobacco. The broken English spoken between the slaves and their masters became known as 'pidgin English'. It was also spoken between the slaves themselves and is the basis of the Caribbean Creole dialect.
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