The Arian language, which was in course of time differentiated into all these languages, or as the same fact is generally expressed in a metaphor of dubious value, was the parent - language from which all these languages have descended, must by no means be imagined as a language characterized by a simple and regular structure. On the contrary it must have been, grammatically and lexically, extremely complicated and full of irregularities.
It was not Roman philosophy or the higher mental culture that impressed our Germanic fore-fathers; they were not yet ripe for that influence, but in their barbaric simplicity they needed and adopted a great many purely practical and material things, especially such as might sweeten everyday life. It is hardly necessary to say that these words were learnt in a purely oral manner, as shown in many cases by their forms; and this too, is a distinctive feature of the oldest Latin loans as opposed to later strata of loan words. They were also short words, mostly of one or two syllable.
These early words were easy to pronounce and to remember, being of the same general type as most of the indigenous words, and therefore they very soon came to be regarded as part and parcel of the native language, indispensable as the things themselves which they symbolized.