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English as a World Language

By navathome Dec 01, 2011 1331 Words
English as a World Language

The English language is the most popular language in the world. This is because of many reasons which include the that fact that it is the international language which is used between states. In many countries located in Asia children begin to learn English from elementary school. They will usually study for more than three hours a week studying English (Advice for you, 2010). For some time people thought that artificial languages could be used however a total of 650 languages have been tried and also failed. Esperanto was the most successful language from amongst these (Wikipedia, 2011). There was a though at one point that the language could would become global however this was not the case. On the other hand English has gained popularity and millions of people across the world speak it because of many reasons. These include listening to music, literature, gaining social status, improve job possibility. It is also used on internationally for many reasons, this is includes pilots and air traffic control, international policing, court cases etc. People also use English when on holiday as a second language even when they go to countries that have a different first language. Entertainment is also an important area because four or five songs from the top ten of many countries are sung is English. There is also an international university which can be accessed through satellite will also broadcast in English. Education is one of the main platforms used to teach the English language and countries have changed their education methods to facilitate the learning of English. People can also learn English through other means such as watching movies from Hollywood. There are about 45 nations in the world who use English as their first language and it is spoken by about 470 million people all over the world. It is the mother tongue to around 60 million people of the British Isles and it is from here the language has spread to all corners of the world. The spread of English has been caused by many different reasons which include colonizing, exploring, and particularly empire building between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. The English language is also the first language of other important countries around the world which include the United States of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, their populations are 228 million, 16.5 million, 17 million and 3 million respectively. Around 15 million other people are able to speak English in the western hemisphere, Asia and Africa. English is scattered all over which makes it from amongst the great speech communities, and in addition it is also the language which is used for auxiliary purposes. In the United Nations English is the official language of communication and is also one of its working languages. Similar to other languages English constant evolves which means it has changed a lot. This means English speaking people would not have understood how English was being spoken from different centuries. Over the centuries the spoken method of English has changed significantly however the spelling method has changed only a little. This means that the way words are spoken is not always in line with the way the words are spelt. Many of the words in English are derived from the lexicon of the earliest English. Classical languages began to influence the English language at the time of the Renaissance and have been continuing since this time. The words which are use for science and technology have their roots in the Latin and Greek languages. Estimates have been put forward which state that eight five percent of scientific publications, seventy five percent of written international communications, eighty percent of all data of world computers and ninety percent of all website is in English. The use of English has extended to all levels of professional and academic applications. For this reason the language of English is of the up most importance for the international community to learn which is mobile. There are no signs of this being reversed which means that English has become the default language of the scientific and business worlds. There seems to be a strong connection between the western industrial countries such as Great Britain, Australia, Canada and the US as well as others who speak English and the production of technology. This further enhances the languages’ reputation. An example of this is the keyboard. A language which is spoken internationally can be considered global as long as certain conditions are met. Amongst the conditions are that the language should be living and spoke internationally also has status in countries which is officially recognised. English is not the only international language, in fact there are several others which include Arabic, Spanish, Russian, French and Chinese. In the book Last Lingua Franc: English until the return to Babel, the author Nicholas Ostler said ‘the English language’s days as the global lingua franca are numbered despite even as it enjoys unheard-of global dominance’. He comes to this notion after researching other one time international languages which included Latin, Greek, Persian, Phoenician and Aramaic. One of the main reasons behind the spread of English is due to the economic advantage the English speaking nations have over other nations. However this success has been decreasing as emerging economies have in some cases taken over Great Britain’s. Now there are many tiger economies which include Russia, India, Brazil and China. When foreign people go these countries they realise how it important it is to do business in the local language which means English is not always used.

Examining the current situation in an historic way, the internet has put English in a position which faced the Latin language when printing technology was created. The printing press made the local languages more wide spread because of publications. Likewise the internet has seen the rapid expansion of other languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese and Arabic. In my opinion I would say that English at this time is the global language of the world. On most capitals of the world a person would be able to find a person speaking English. Furthermore English has a visible presence in most countries in places like train stations and airports, advertisements and road signs. It is also present on the TV during news broadcasts and in music and in films. The dominance of English around the world perhaps just as the Great Britain had great power in the world. The use of the English has further been facilitated by the emergence of America as a superpower. I think that because of the internet and other factors English is still growing in popularity and use. According to Wikipedia about 1 billion people speak English as their first and second language, furthermore another billion are in the process of learning it. English is a fun language and has proved itself to be very robust. One may ask is there a need for a global language, in my opinion there is. This is because of the global economy which could be aided by everyone speaking a common language. Similarly people would also benefit if they spoke English because it would be easier to negotiate problems and share each other’s cultures. This is not to say it should be the main language of every country but there are benefits for it being the second language. Personally I enjoy talking to people all over the world this can only be done by speaking a common language. There are naturally some places in the world where English may not be spoken however the majority of countries have been influenced and acknowledge its usefulness. This can be seen in places like airports where signs and messages are produced in two ways. This indicates the global aspect of the English language.

Advice for you, 2010. English Language [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 May 2011]. Wikipedia, 2011. Esperanto [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 May 2011]

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