English as a Global Language

Modified: 22nd Jul 2021
Wordcount: 1015 words

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A global language, is a language spoken internationally, which is learned by many people as a second language, the most popular one being English. A wide range of the lexical units in the English language were taken from German, Latin, French and other European countries. A large portion of the word borrowing uses as main source the French language justifying English language affinity for foreign words as well as mixed vocabulary. Crystal D. (2003: 7-10) argues that Languages have a strong relation between dominance and cultural power. The main reason that the languages exist is because of a strong power-base, political and military or economic.

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Linguists argues whether the simplicity of the English language is the main reason of it becoming a global language. Generally, nothing is considered to be easy. It generally depends on who the learner is. Ellis suggested that success depends on the learner and not on the language that one is learning. Some factors that have a significant role in making a person learn a foreign language are his motivation, age, aptitude, cognitive style and personality. While learning another language one can observe that some languages appear to be more difficult than others. There are some languages that have almost the same patterns or similar soundings of the words which make them simpler to remember and learn. For example Greek has many similar words with Italian. However, there are languages that have a rough pronunciation or spelling and they are not similar to any other languages, like for example German.

English is a very effective language, that it is proved by the many native and non-native speakers all over the world. According to David Crystal (2003) “Statistics suggest that nearly a quarter of the world’s population is already fluent or content in English”. For example, Chinese has more native speakers, however it is a more complicated language in terms of grammar, verbs, meaning of the words, etc. However, some linguists have different points of view as to weather a language becoming global depends on the number of people speaking it . Crystal D. (2002: 7-10) claims that ”Why a language becomes a global language has little to do with the number of people who speak it”. Furthermore, English can help one to express various meanings. That is happening because English language not only has a lot of words with different meanings but also has various different types of syntax which help the speakers to be more accurate and to give more emphasis to a particular point if it is needed. Another interesting point is that the writing of English language is simple. There are even languages that have hundreds of letters in their alphabets that could have a different meaning when pronounced differently, like Chinese. The Roman alphabet is considered to be very easy to learn and surely much easier than the Chinese writing system which is very difficult for most people. Moreover, the Roman alphabet in English language is very phonetic, rather than character based, hence it can help to describe the actual sounds of words or phrases.

On the other hand, there are some poor features of English language. For example there could be words written in one way and then read in another way and a lot of people may get confused, especially if one’s native language is not English. The difficulty in English is mostly apparent when we go in different areas in England; there are different ways of pronunciation, making it difficult for someone who speaks English as a second language to understand people from different areas such as Wales, Ireland, and Scotland. Also, non- native speakers like people from India and Pakistan have a different accent.

Since English language is so widely spoken, many people believe is vital to learn as a second language. People seem to have made the right decision, as it is spoken in a wide geographical area. A lot of people believe that English is the language of trade. It is true that English has been introduced in the field of Business for a lot of years. In addition, English is a language that is been used in films, music, television, and in a lot of more technological features like World Wide Web (internet). A big amount of population of the world watches Hollywood’s movies. This expansion also led to the increase in popularity of English language. Moreover, English has enabled a common communication means between people of different backgrounds. For example, a German may not need to learn Indian in order to communicate with someone from India if both individuals speak English. Hence, English has helped to diminish certain cultural barriers between nations. However, there are cultural differences between countries and nations. The history of a nation may influence to their willingness to learn or speak another language than their own.

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The meaning of the word superior is very strong and quite dominant. We can never assume that English is superior to other languages, it has become an easy way of communication but each nation will consider their own language as being important to them. A language has many components such as grammar, vocabulary and rules of usage. So it is not easy to say that English is superior to other languages. A linguistic myth analyses that fact. It explains that there fact that some languages are superior to others is not true and it has no basis in linguistic fact. Linguists explain that some languages are more useful than others, at a given period of history.

To sum up, English is being considered as an easier language to learn than some others, like for example Chinese – but the level of difficulty also depends on the individual learner. Moreover, English can indeed be regarded as a global language, but, in my opinion, it cannot be considered as superior to other languages. In fact, every single language has its special characteristics and ways of expression. English has simply developed to be an easy way of communication between various nations.


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