Spread of English

Topics: English language, Lingua franca, United Kingdom Pages: 4 (1367 words) Published: April 15, 2013
In nowadays, English become an international language due to the English rapidly spread worldwide, there are majority of people are likely to speak or to learn English. During the medieval and early modern periods, the influence of English spread throughout the British Isles, and from the early seventeenth century onwards, its influence began to be felt throughout the worldwide. Undoubtedly, as an international language, English has contributed to different fields of the world, such as the advancement of technology, economic, education etc. Therefore, the factors of the spread of English are mainly the colonization and the globalization.

As English become a global language since the Britain’s colonial expansion. English first developed and came into contact with other languages. First was from Celtic and Latin, later from Scandinavian and Norman French and also from the British’s colonies. According to David Crystal (1988) , he estimated that in the period of ElizabethⅠandⅡ, the number of using mother-tongue English speakers in the world increased from 5-7 million to 250 million, of whom four-fifths lived outside the British Isles. It is because of the colonial expansion of England in sixteenth century.

The spreading of English from Britain was started within the British Isles. At that time, the first colonized by British was Ireland. It was towards the end of the twelfth century. The English language developed after the Anglo-Saxon influence, which is Old English. Although Irish is remaining as the national and first official language, due to the colonized state, English is recognized as a second official language. Thus, Irish people tend to use English in their daily lives and in different aspect. The second colonized by British was Scotland. About the sixteenth century, this is the time of the settlement of the Scandinavian clearly in vocabulary and pronunciation. Although both Scots and English used in Scotland, due to the Reformation, the Bible used...
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