When it comes to numbers, French influence, mainly as a result of the Norman Conquest, is much more significant: approximately 10,000 words were borrowed from French during the Middle English period (of which around 7,000 are still used), whereas there are about 2,000 Norse-derived terms recorded in medieval English texts. Of them, about 700 are still in use in Standard English, although many more can be found in dialects from areas such as the East Midlands, Yorkshire, Lancashire, and Cheshire. The significance of the Norse impact on (Standard) English lies instead in the fact that most of the Norse-derived terms do not have a technical character (consider, for instance, skirt, leg, window, ugly, ill, happy, scare, bask, die) and even include a number of grammatical terms, the most notable being the third person plural pronouns they, them and their (because personal pronouns are not easily borrowed between languages). The presence of these terms was probably facilitated by the similarity between Old English and Old Norse, both of which were Germanic languages. In fact, it seems very likely that the speakers of the two languages were able to understand each other by speaking their own language, of course with some careful lexical choices and a good deal of pointing and, when appropriate, smiling.
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