Over the centuries, Latin directly and indirectly influenced the development of the English language, primarily by adding words to the English lexicon. Latin was the language of the Catholic Church, and when the Anglo-Saxons were converted to Christianity beginning in the early seventh century, Old English (the version of English used at the time) began to take on Latin words, especially in the areas of religion and law. Our word angel, for instance, comes from Latin, as do the words monk, bishop, priest, legal, and testimony.
Latin had already influenced English earlier than this, however, by its influence on the developing Germanic languages that eventually led to English. Very early on in the process, ancient Germanic languages borrowed Latin words, especially in the realm of trade, as Germanic peoples carried out business with the Latin-speaking Romans. Our word wine, for instance, comes from Latin and has been passed down to English through centuries of linguistic development.
In 1066, the French-speaking Normans conquered the Anglo-Saxons and brought their Latin-derived language into general use in England, especially in the areas of law, education, and commerce. Over time, English and the Anglo-Norman dialect of Old French combined in many ways to flow into Middle English and eventually our modern English.
The Normans' language had developed long before out of vulgar Latin (the Latin spoken by the common people of many areas of Europe), so while it was not Latin any longer, it was closely related. Therefore, Latin again, this time indirectly, influenced English. This combination of language explains some of the strange features of our modern English. We have the words beef and cow, for instance, as well as pork and pig. The first element in each pair comes from the Norman dialect of French (and ultimately from Latin), while the second element derives from Old English.