Anywhere in the world, you’re likely to come across someone who speaks English. However, when and why did English become the de facto language of communities ranging from the United Kingdom to French Polynesia? Let us investigate.
- It is the world’s most widely spoken language. English is understood and spoken by approximately 1.6 billion people and about 400 million native speakers. With more than a quarter of the world’s population speaking the language, there is always someone with whom to practice.
- It is the international business language.
With the majority of the world’s businesses headquartered in the financial hubs of the United Kingdom and the United States, English has long been the de facto commercial language. It could also be partly because English speakers are not the first to want to learn another language, and, well, you have to find some common ground with people from all over the world.
- The majority of films are in English. Because Hollywood is a global entertainment powerhouse, it’s natural that English would become the primary language of filmmaking. While the films are frequently dubbed over, they are genuinely best enjoyed in their original language.
- It’s simple to learn. This is debatable, but English is generally accepted as not the most difficult language to master. The vocabulary is simple to grasp, and its relationship to many other languages enables speakers of those languages to understand the origins of English concepts. This brings me to…
- It is connected to a large number of other languages. English has a long and fascinating history spanning wars, invasions, and global influences. The Romans, Vikings, and French are among the cultures that shaped modern English. As a result, it is a hybrid language with elements of Latin, Germanic, and Romance.
- You can express yourself in an infinite number of ways. One of English’s greatest strengths is its adaptability: thanks to its expansive vocabulary, you can frequently find numerous ways to explain the same thing. It is estimated to contain over 750,000 words (depending on how you count – some generous estimates place that figure at one million) and is constantly adding new ones (see point 8 below).
- It sounds different in different parts of the world. A more recent development in English’s evolution is the emergence of distinct dialects among countries where English is the native language. The United Kingdom, Australia, and America all speak and spell differently, owing to the cultural and historical events that shaped their development.
- It is incredibly adaptable. Non-native English speakers learning the language as a second language frequently comment on the variety of possible expressions. That is because English is non-discriminatory – you may use it in any way you wish. Countries like Singapore have embraced this concept, inventing an entirely new dialect of English known as ‘Singlish’ that incorporates elements of other languages such as Chinese and Malay.
- It is constantly changing. Selfie. Casual, bae. These terms are new to the English language but have already established themselves as valuable additions to the lexicon. More than any other language, English continues to evolve and absorb new words that branch out into other languages – frequently untranslated. English is unquestionably a language that understands how to have a good time.
Although my connection to English is inherited, it has a lot to offer everyone, regardless of where they are in the world. Additionally, everyone should understand what a selfie is, correct?