No matter where you go in the world, you have a very good chance of finding someone who speaks English. English is quickly becoming the global language, and it dominates the world in many ways. There are many reasons for this fact, one of which is the fact that Great Britain was a global power during the colonial days, and today America is, perhaps, the most powerful nation in the world. Because of this global domination, learning English is essential to successfully communicating in our new global society.
English Dominates the Business World
The world is accommodating to English speakers, and this is seen clearly in the Business world. This has happened slowly, and some European nations have fought it, but it has happened. Today, a meeting between business leaders in Europe who are from different nations will be more likely to occur in English than one of the native tongues of the professionals.
Why is this? The English domination is due, in large part, to statistics. The European Union reports that almost half of Western Europeans speak conversational English. In contrast, only 32 percent speak German and only 28 percent speak French. Additionally, 69 percent of business managers and 65 percent of those in their late teens and early twenties speak decent English. In today’s world, learning English simply makes good business sense.
The Language of Science and Technology
The scientific world has always been a proponent of a common language. This is why living things are classified using Latin words. When a German scientist makes a discovery, he needs to be able to communicate that discovery with his Japanese, American, and French colleagues. As such, the main language used in the fields of science is English.
The Internet also plays a role in making English the dominant language in the world. By far, the vast majority of online resources are written in English. Translations are available, but the main language most websites, as many as 80 percent of all websites, is English. Also, most forums are frequented by people who can speak English, which means that the free sharing of ideas online is more accessible to those who can read and write in English.
English Is the Language of Culture
While all countries have their own actors, actresses, and singers, those that achieve global recognition are almost always English performers. If you grab the iPod of someone in a non-English speaking country, you will probably find a few songs on it sung in English, if not the majority of the songs. Pop culture icons are global celebrities, and the vast majority of those who achieve global recognition are English speaking.
English Is the Language of Education
From the youngest students to the advanced graduate student, those involved in education across the world are learning English. Elementary schools in European and Asian nations are teaching young children basic English. Universities across the globe are changing from their native languages to English. People are traveling to England and America to have their children taught English by native speakers. Countries like China are paying Americans to come into their lands to teach their people conversational English.
As English continues to morph into a global language, it has its skeptics. Some point to the time when Latin was the “global” language and say that no language can stay prominent forever. However, that was a time when the world was not connected by the click of a mouse or the dialing of a phone. Today, English is turning into a global language, and it will likely stay there, although in a unique form that is a bit different than its current one. Regardless of the future of the language, it is evident that in order to make an impact on today’s economy, one must be able to use English well.