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A handful of languages can truly be called global languages. Spanish and French are two global languages, but neither has the reach of the English language, which is spoken in more places by more people than any other. Some languages, like Mandarin and Hindi, may have more native speakers, but no language is as widely or broadly spoken as English. In his article, we’ll take a look at a few of the reasons that the English language is so important and likely will be for decades to come.
Why English is Important Globally
English is the most widely spoken language on the planet. It’s also one of the most widely taught languages. Worldwide, 400 million people speak English as a native tongue, with as many as 2 billion people—more than a quarter of the global population—speaking it as either a first or second language. Most people learn English as a second language.
That way they can communicate with people from other countries, since English has become a lingua franca for global media and commerce. Furthermore, news events from all over the world are communicated in English, the primary language of the largest global media broadcasters, such as CNN and the BBC.
This makes it easy for people to keep up with international events by being able to read and listen to the language that the largest share of news is written or reported in.
English’s Importance to Global Media
English is also used in media worldwide. Most countries have their own English-language media outlets. For example, both France and Russia operate 24-hour news services in English This allows people to have access to international news and entertainment and to spread those countries’ messages to large audiences abroad.
Many countries broadcast American and British shows in English, with subtitles in their own languages, because of the prestige of media from these countries. In addition, English-speaking journalists cover international events, translating important news as they report it. This can help educate global audiences about international events.
How English Became a Global Language
English became a global language thanks to it being the native language of the dominant powers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. English first began to spread around the world in the eighteenth century with British colonialism, and the power of the British Empire ensured English would become an important language across the many territories—comprising a quarter of the Earth’s landmass and population—ruled by Britain.
The U.K.’s successor as the world’s dominant power, the United States, also speaks English because it is a former British colony. America’s global political role and its influential entertainment industry, helped maintain the role of English in world affairs into the twentieth century.
Why It’s Important to Learn English
Many global events are communicated in part or entirely English, and to become a participant on the world stage, English is vital. These include major public events like the Olympic games, sessions of the United Nations and many other meetings and conferences. But on a smaller level, English is often the day-to-day language of international business.
To get a job and advance in many international conglomerates, good English skills are often a must. Beyond this, people tune in to English-language channels to hear the latest news and updates from their home countries. This is especially important for migrants and overseas residents who want to stay updated with current affairs from their homelands, especially in areas where broadcasts in their native language are sparse or nonexistent.
English in Academia
English is a common second language taught in schools around the world. That’s because it’s a natural successor to many previous global languages like Latin, Greek and French. Students from countries around the world learn English so they can communicate with people from other nations.
Plus, scholarly information from other countries is quickly translated and disseminated worldwide via English language academic journals and conferences. This helps maintain global communication between scholars around the globe.
Learning English for College
Most importantly, English is the language of instruction in a large percentage of the world’s premier colleges and universities. With a growing number of students seeking opportunities to study abroad in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, it’s never been more important for students to have a strong command of the English language in order to succeed in college or university.
However, students’ English communication skills have been in decline in recent years. A recent survey found that a majority of U.S. colleges now send a majority of their incoming freshmen students to remedial or introductory writing studies.
As a result, students looking to build their English writing skills are turning to academic writing services online like SmartWritingService.com to get professional essay assistance from expert writers who can demonstrate the right way to approach any essay.
English Is Important, for You and the World
English is a valuable tool for keeping everyone informed about global events, both past and present. It’s also a key teaching language for helping future generations understand and interact with the world beyond their own country.
Whether you aspire to work on the world stage, or just plan to be an active and informed citizen of the world, there is no language that will unlock more doors than English. Therefore, anyone interested in the world should speak, read and understand English!
Ihsan Sharif is a talented writer known for his engaging articles on linguistic topics. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for language, Ihsan brings complex linguistic concepts to life, making them accessible and interesting to a wide audience.