Whether we like it or not, I think at this stage we have to admit that there’s no denying the importance of the English language.
It started spreading around the world with the onset of the British Empire, and as it currently stands, it’s the lingua franca of the world.
If you haven’t already done so, you can check out this article where we’re discussing the underlying reasons for the popularity of the English language, and you can also read the comments there. Some of them are quite controversial and try to prove that the importance of English is actually overrated and so on, however, I think that the facts speak for themselves – in this day and age English is the prevalent language of the Internet, business, media and politics.
And on top of that there are a number of fairly recent developments across all societies that are propelling the English language into the stratosphere, so to speak, and it’s going to ensure that the English language isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
You see – some say that other big languages such as Mandarin, for example, are going to take over and English is going to lose its significance within the next 50 years or so.
Quite frankly, I can’t see that happen firstly due to the fact that the English language is already lingua franca so it’s much easier for everyone to go with the flow instead of re-inventing the wheel. Can you imagine the amount of effort and resources that would have to be invested to make the societies all over the world to switch over to Mandarin, for example? Let alone the lack of motivation, and at the end of the day we, humans, are practical creatures and we’ll just go with using the language that’s already there.
If you’re interested, you may want to check out this article http://englishharmony.com/foreigner-integration/ where I’ve looked at why forceful integration doesn’t really work, and we could apply the same logic to see whether or not you could just replace English with some other language worldwide.
Anyway, let’s not get side-tracked by it all and instead start looking at the 3 big reasons why the English language is becoming more widespread in the world’s scene by the minute!
Ever Increasing Demand for Tech Support
Yes, my friends, it’s the massive growth of the tech support industry worldwide that’s ensuring that English is becoming more and more important by the day.
Just think about the fact that virtually every company these days – no matter how small – will have a dedicated customer support line, and on many occasions this support is going to be outsourced to countries where English is spoken as the second or third language thus facilitating the locals to learn and improve their spoken English in order to stay competitive in the jobs market.
And please don’t be mistaken, it’s not just the customer facing tech support that we’re looking at here. What happens behind the scenes in every decent-sized company these days is – there are internal tech support desks providing support for the company itself, and coupled with the fact that every company is simply forced to invest in more and more complex IT infrastructure, the simple conclusion is – the overall number of people involved in front line and back-end customer and tech support is increasing at an alarming rate!
Booming tech support industry = increased usage of the English language!
International Travel Becoming Super Affordable
Have you recently checked the price of international flights and compared it to the price you would have paid ten or fifteen years ago? Or if you’re based in the States – the domestic ones – as a lot of them are long-haul flights equivalent to crossing the Atlantic?
Well, let me save your time and effort, the simple fact of the matter is that the price of air travel has become really affordable. The latest developments in aircraft technology are ensuring we can cram more people in airplanes than before thus reducing the fuel consumption per passenger. There’s even a special term coined for airlines that are offering super cheap flights – budget airlines – also called low-cost airlines.
So how is it relevant in terms of the English language?
Well, guess what? It’s never been as easy for the average Joe to hop onto a plane and go somewhere as it’s now, and if that person happens to be an English speaker, they will facilitate the usage of the English language in the country they’ll be staying, simple as!
Also, we can’t ignore the fact that the modern technology makes is very, very easy for everyone to book hotels or cheap rooms to stay over in virtually any country in the world, so as a result people are travelling more than ever before, and subsequently the locals are getting more exposure to English and are quite naturally encouraged to learn and use the language.
And don’t get me wrong – I’m not trying to say that this is some new phenomenon – yes, international travel has always existed, however, what’s new is the extent of it happening. Where 20 or 30 years ago it was considered something exclusive, nowadays pretty much anyone with a couple of hundred dollars in a pocket can go to some foreign country and enjoy the local culture.
Booming travel industry = increased usage of the English language!
Niche Industries Going Mainstream
With the explosion of the Internet and technologies in general, there’s a host of niche industries that have gone mainstream, and considering it’s happening internationally, quite obviously the language of choice is English!
Just think about gaming, for example. A decade or fifteen years ago there was no such thing as online gaming. These days, however, most gamers interact with other likeminded folks online, and or many occasions the language of choice is English.
Another industry we can look at is fitness, for example. You don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to see that going to the gym has become the norm for pretty much everyone, sports nutrition and exercising advice is massively sought after, and again – a lot of this kind of stuff is happening in English!
I hope you start seeing the big picture – the way the modern world is going, the English language is expanding into all industries and societies worldwide. It’s going to become even more important and relevant over time, so I can’t possibly see how some other language could dethrone English.
What’s your thoughts?
All comments are welcome!
PS. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out the English Harmony System HERE!