A World Language - Language history

English has gained status as a world language. Roughly 1/3 of the world’s population has English as its mother tongue. Seventy-five percent of the world’s mail is in English.

English is the official language or is widely used in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, India, United Arab Emirates, Canada, the United States, Panama, Surinam, South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya in addition to several other countries.

The editors of the Global Gazette have used English as their common language. Ali is a native speaker of English, whereas for Nicki and Kiki, it is a second language. Without a common language, the Global Gazette would not have been a reality.

Why has English become a World Language?

The British colonized large parts of the world, spreading their language to new areas.

The United Kingdom and the United States are both important nations in the world of trade, business and technology. When engaged in trade and business with these nations, knowing English is an advantage. As non-English-speaking countries realized that, industry and business hired people who knew English, or required their workers to attend language courses.

English is the international language of technology.

It is fairly easy to get a basic vocabulary in English. In most contexts, one can get by with the word “boat”, but when you’re ready you can be more specific and say “cabin cruiser with twin screws engine”. There are half a million words to learn in English, but you only need a small percentage of these to make yourself understood.

As it spreads, the English language absorbs words from other languages. “Algebra” is originally from Arabic, “chauffeur” from French, "ombudsman" from Swedish, and “ski” from Norwegian, to mention a few examples. Although English absorbs new words, it also sprinkles its own words into other languages, particularly in the area of technology, as other languages adopt English terms.

Any negative effects?
With English being so widespread, it can make those who come from English-speaking countries already feel that they don’t need to learn a foreign language, beacuse the world already speaks English. This is unfortunate because one learns to understand a culture better if one knows the language, and one may also enjoy reading literature in the original language. By knowing only one language (not necessarily English), one misses out on these pleasures.

One’s language is a large part of one’s culture, and it would be a shame if languages were erased as a result of “the English invasion”.

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