Language is human speech, either spoken or written. Language is the most common system of communication. It allows people to talk to each other and to write their thoughts and ideas. The word «language» may be loosely used to mean any system of communication, such as traffic light or Indian smoke signals. But the origin of the world shows its basic use. It comes from the Latin word «lingua», meaning «tongue». And a language still is often called a tongue.
Wherever there is human society, there is language. Most forms of human activity depend on the cooperation of two or more persons. A common language enables human being to work together in an infinite variety of ways. Language has made possible the development of advances, technological civilization. Without language for communication, there would be little or no science, religion, commerce, art, literature, government and philosophy.
Scholars have determined that there are about 3000 languages spoken in the world today. This number does not include dialects (local forms of a language). Many languages are spoken only by small groups of a few hundred or a few thousands persons. There are more than a hundred languages with a million or more speakers. Of these languages, 19 have over 50 millions speakers each: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, English, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and some others. People in many countries use some of these major languages, including English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Arabic.
Most people learn their own language without fully realizing what is taking place. Young children feel a need to communicate their particular needs and they begin listening to older persons and imitating them. They learn to connect individual objects, ideals and actions with words. In school, the language-learning process becomes conscious and deliberate.
There are many important reasons for learning a foreign...