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10 Reasons Why English Is The World’s Language

English is the World's Language

Improve Spoken English

For as long as I can remember myself, I’ve been fascinated with the English language and all things related to it.

I had my first encounter with English when I was around ten years old, and I haven’t stopped loving and learning the language ever since!

Surely, there were plenty of challenges along the way, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I didn’t actually achieve English fluency up until seven years ago. I arrived in Ireland back in 2002 and it took me five years to figure out what exactly I’d been doing wrong all along in terms of my English improvement.

Anyway, that hasn’t changed my love for the language and now I believe more strongly than ever that ENGLISH IS THE WORLD’S LANGUAGE – at least that’s how I feel about it, and here are 10 reasons why I think so:

1. English is the Business & Finance Language

Let’s face it my friends – nowadays the global economy is more consolidated than ever, large corporations have established themselves all over the world in almost every country and all stock, commodity and currency markets are so closely tied up that even the tiniest changes in an important stock price will have a immediate effect on other prices worldwide.

It is only common sense that in a situation like this a common language would be chosen to make the information flow as easy and effortless as possible, and whether you like it or not – English is the language serving this purpose!

2. Worldwide Domination of Hollywood Blockbusters

Yes, there are a lot of regional film markets in other languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Chinese, Russian – you name it!

Yes, all Hollywood films get dubbed in those languages for local consumption and also we can’t ignore the fact that nowadays your geographical location is irrelevant. Even if you’re a Russian speaker living in Brazil, I’m pretty sure there are ways of acquiring the latest Hollywood blockbusters dubbed in Russian for free online within a matter of milliseconds.

Still, if you consider the following:

  • Hollywood is the Mecca of film-making. Many foreign actors down through the years have learned to speak in English for the simple reason that you have to speak the language to be the part of the game!
  • Millions of foreigners watch Hollywood films IN ENGLISH with help of subtitles (which inadvertently wires the language into peoples’ brain);
  • A lot of film catch-phrases have gone down in history just the way they’re said in English (“I’ll be back”, “Say hello to my little friend” and a million others!)…

… you have to admit that English is the prevalent language in the movie industry.

3. If You Want to Make It to the Big Stage – You’ve Gotta Sing in English!

I hope you’re not going to dispute this one my friends because you know only too well that I’m in the right!

Sure enough, there’s LOADS of Latino pop and dance music around (and its popularity is definitely on the rise, there’s no doubt about that!) – let alone local music industries catering for specific audiences.

If you want to make it to the international music arena, however, English is an absolute MUST. I guess I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that English started dominating the world’s music since pre-Beatles times, and its relevance has been only increasing over time.

The simple fact of the matter is that any rock/pop/dance music act who wants to hit the charts overseas WILL sing in English!

4. Books & Literature in the Original Language Which is… English, Of Course!

I’m a keen English fiction reader – there’s always a book or a Kindle reader to be found in my workbag and I tend to use every opportunity I can to catch up with my reading.

Throughout my childhood, early teenage years and adolescence I also used to read loads and needless to say it was literature printed in Latvian (I only started reading in English in my early twenties) and I read plenty of renowned classics as well as loads of sci-fi literature.

The amount of literature available in English as opposed to Latvian, however, is MIND-BOGGLING!

I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have enjoyed David Gemmell’s heroic fantasy fiction or any of the GONE series books if I wasn’t reading in English, and while I have to admit that this might not be the case with bigger languages such as Spanish, French and Russian, the fact still remains – most popular fiction is written by English speaking authors.

5. Simplicity of the English Language

I’ve written about this subject previously on my blog – check out this article! – and I have to tell you my friend, it did cause some pretty controversial exchange of opinions and heated debates (check out comments on the above link!).

Too bored to read into those lengthy comments?

Now, here’s the jist of it all:

  • (written by a native English speaker) English is in fact damn hard – or else there wouldn’t be so many foreigners speaking incorrectly, right? (this is a typical logical fallacy…)
  • English is the easiest language on the planet Earth – just stick words together and off you go! (slight exaggeration, of course it’s not THAT simple!)
  • It’s easy only for beginners; when you’re getting into your advanced English learning/improving stage you have to brace yourself for some pretty mind-bending/head-wracking English grammar stuff… (I’ll call BS on this one too – grammar is NEVER head-wracking if acquired through speech patterns.)

One way or another, I personally feel that English IS a relatively simple (despite of all the irregularities that are driving others NUTS but I just laugh at it all because contextual learning takes care of it) language and I believe that this factor definitely contributes to its world-wide popularity.

6. Versatility and Sophistication

I’m sure some other big languages might also possess these characteristics, but the fact of the matter is that English has the largest vocabulary of all other languages on the planet.

A lot of extinct and existing languages have contributed into the English language – starting with Latin and ending with French, so I guess it would be fair to say that the English language has taken the best from the Germanic (English, German, Dutch) and Romance (French, Italian, Spanish) language groups which allows for very diverse means of expression.

Basically in English you can say the same thing is twenty different ways depending on what vocabulary you use – there’s slang, there’s conversational English, there’s formal and there’s very formal language – while in other languages you’re more limited to what and how you can say this or that particular thing.

7. English is the Language of Travel!

It’s fairly simple.

English speaking countries are the most affluent regions on this planet, and the amount of people going abroad on overseas holidays have created the phenomenon of English being the common language people with different national backgrounds use to speak with each other.

Personally I’ve been to Greece, Spain and Portugal, and my experience backs up my claim by 100% – English is the language used when the local hotel, restaurant or retail staff members communicate with foreigners and visitors.

I can’t vouch for the entire world of course (I’ve never been outside Europe…), but I have a strong feeling that if you went backpacking across South-East Asia or scuba-diving in Egypt, you’ll always find someone who has at least broken English to give you directions and help you find your whereabouts.

Also, judging by what I’ve read, English speaking folks who learn other languages always have difficulties getting natives to speak in their native language with them and most of the time they’ll be spoken to in English, so it kind of goes without saying that English IS the unofficial world’s travel language.

8. English is Also the Unofficial Language of the Internet!

There are billions upon billions of websites on the Internet nowadays, and it’s estimated that more than half of the entire online material is published in English.

Yes, I know, the number of non-English websites are growing at an alarming rate, and I’ve heard some non-sense predictions that in a couple of decades we’ll be all speaking Chinese, but for the time being I’m just merely stating the OBVIOUS – the Internet speaks in English!

9. US and Other English-speaking Power-states

US is still the mightiest country on the planet Earth, and no matter what you think about its impending financial apocalypse, imminent peak oil disasters or Illuminati conspiracy theories, it’s still the most powerful country and a technological, financial and military force to be reckoned with.

English is the official language of the US and the former Commonwealth Countries – UK, Canada, Australia and others – and it’s also widely used across the European Union as the common language.

Those are important states, and it makes English an important language.

You think my logic is flawed? Well, you’re entitled to your opinion, but you won’t change mine, either!

10. Speaking Fluent English Denotes a Certain Social Status

We’ve all heard about business opportunities in China and other developing nations, and we all know for a fact that Californian Hispanic population has reached its all-time high figures in recent years.

German is the most commonly spoken language in Europe – if you believe a radio commercial I heard fifty times a day a while back (they were advertising job opportunities in Germany) – and if you speak in Arabic, you can travel pretty much the entire Middle-East and Northern Africa.

Despite all that, foreigners from all over the word are trying to master English, and the amount of people trying to learn the language is growing astronomically for the simple reason that English has become somewhat like Math or Geography in any school curriculum.

If you speak fluent English, your job opportunities are much better than those of your peers, and it’s inevitably leading to a certain social status being assigned to fluent English speakers.

ENGLISH and SUCCESS have become synonyms!

=================

Now, tell me what YOU think about this list.

Do you agree?

Do you disagree?

Do you think this entire article is a pile of s&%t?

Would you add another couple of points to this list?

Let me know in the comments section below!

Thanks for reading,

Robby 😉

P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!

P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

 

English Harmony System

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Viviane G. Martin

    Even though your extremely lengthy and biased comment was written two years ago, I feel I have to answer to it. Evidently, you are a Mexican hater and a Spanish language hater as well. And you are a hater of ALL Spanish speaking countries. If you think all Hispanic people are “losers” you are entitled to your IGNORANT, biased, pathetic and odious opinion. Freedom of speech. You are an ignorant because you are making blanket statements like “Basically English is the language of success. Even though Spanish is a big language and largely spoken, all Spanish speaking countries are a failure (unfortunately) they’re corrupt at an absurd level and horrible to live in unless you’re rich, so Spanish doesn’t really help.” DO YOU HEAR YOURSELF? Do you hear how stupid and ignorant you sound? WHERE EXACTLY, in Spain and Latin America have you ACTUALLY LIVED, to support those xenophobic statements? What country, state, district, neighborhood have you ever been actually living in, say as a middle-class person where you HAVE ANY PROOF that they are “horrible to live in?”
    FYI I have lived in both the US (San Diego, California) and Mexico (central Mexico, Zapopan in Guadalajara Metro). There are bunches and bunches of DEPRESSING run down and crime-ridden neighborhoods in San Diego, just as there are in Guadalajara Metro. In both cities, middle class people lead a decent life. Middle-upper class, IMO are BETTER OFF in Guadalajara Metro than in San Diego. Upper class is a coin toss. I am pretty sure YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT THE HELL YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. PERIOD. Just an arrogant Australian immigrant in “America” (correct word: the USA, America is a whole continent). And FYI I am a white Caucasian of Mexican and Canadian descent. My family lives mostly in the US, Canada and Mexico. I know what I am talking about, YOU DON’T, you just fuel yourself with the cultural hatred spewed by many Mexican-hating “Americans” who know nothing about Hispanic culture, living in Hispanic countries, dealing with real honest, diligent, hard-working and successful people from Mexico, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and many other important countries. YOU KNOW NOTHING other than hating what you ignore. Peace out.

  • Alan

    Your so correct English is all dominant now it’s so flexible and is not worried by using foreign words in like French where they get up tight about it in English and I’m lucky i do not need to learn an other language
    You have surpassed many native speakers and are a consummate linguist now good luck to you

  • Hi Clive,

    And thanks a lot for commenting, sorry for the late response!

    Thing is – I have posted a number of articles addressing the issues you’ve touched upon in your comment, here’s a couple of of them:

    Many Native English Speakers Don’t Realize How HARD It Actually Is to Learn a Language!
    http://englishharmony.com/english-learning-is-hard/

    Does It Irritate You If Native English Speakers Make Wrong Assumptions About Your English?
    http://englishharmony.com/native-english-speakers-assumptions/

    If we step back and look at the bigger picture, one thing becomes quite clear to me – it’s all down to the fact that most native English speakers don’t have the NEED to learn and USE other languages, and as a consequence they’ve never probably given much thought to what it’s like to come from a different background and live in an environment where you have to use another language.

    I mean – it’s very difficult for someone who’s never learned another language to be able to put themselves in the other person’s shoes and understand what challenges they’re facing and that learning and speaking English isn’t that easy.

    I’m not taking sides here; it’s merely a matter-of-factly observation… 😉

    Cheers,

    Robby

  • Clive Tillman

    I am a native English speaker from Australia, and I must say that there is also a darker side to the global dominance of the English language.

    I never speak a word of English when I visit non-English speaking countries, this is because I hate the racism and arrogance that native English speakers hold towards the rest of the world.

    Many native English speakers hold extremely bigoted views towards English language learners, despite the fact that very few native English speakers can speak another language themselves. For example,I see many Australians look down on overseas tourists for their limited English skills, without thinking about how hard it is to learn another language (for example it took me over one year to pass my German A1 test).

  • Thanks for the comment Riki, however, I’m struggling to get the message you’re communicating… So according to you is the English language heading towards its demise? So it’s a language made up of stolen words from other languages and as such it doesn’t deserve to be the most commonly used language? If so – then why are you using it? Maybe it’s about time you start leading by example and stop using this terrible language! 😉

  • riki

    I just want to say..if English is the best language in the world then native English speaking people should learn it and use it properly..start using the right words for the meaning of their phrases..trying to make the sentences flow like a river and not like a torrent and for what it concerns the real masters, even with the exaggerated amounts of choices that are there seems to me only to be misused English lacks few important words that exists in other cultures..and the spelling and phonetic should be rectified given the ridiculous amount of contradictions in it.
    English is a way of communication made out of stolen 2nd hand parts…is popular just for its tolerance to be broken that unfortunately doesn’t match the one of the native English speaking that are always so quick in criticize
    the effort of the borrowers ..meaning those
    that use English as a 2nd or 3d language.
    Wake up..all languages will go trough a de-evolution…Actually is started already because of texting that is showing the possibility to put message across in a simpler way..that will sharpen intuition and make reader and writer more perceptive and less bored by the sea sickness of the turning and weaving of a never ending description.
    Pictures have proven them self to be the preferred way ..from the caverns habitants to Egyptians till 2day (today).

  • I believe that you’d need to quote sources when you make some claims that need to be substantiated; everything I’m talking about in this article is general knowledge.

  • XxxBluePancakexxX

    goo points,but where are your scources?

  • Thanks for the positive feedback Emily, much appreciated, and yes – at 14 you’ve still got pretty much your entire life ahead of you! 😉

  • Well, the way I go about grammar is – I’m trying not be be too hung up on it, I’m just learning correct speech patterns and then the grammar stuff looks after itself for as long as you’re aware of mistakes you might be making along the way! http://englishharmony.com/speak-fluently-no-grammar/

  • TheDucksterGangster

    How can I feel satisfied with the English language, Robby? I can’t understand why English is the international language because I don’t know grammar.

  • Martin

    “It’s an interesting little book”, because the order of adjectves left to right is by the rule of thumb, temporary to permanent. Also this way the sound pattern is nicer. Unless, of course, you wanted to say the book was only a little interesting. You might like to look at Steven Pinker about what’s right or wrong in English and why, he is very amusing.

  • Yes, please read the start up guide here: http://englishharmony.com/start/ where I’ve explained everything in the very detail in relation to how you can use my blog to improve your English fluency!

  • uzma

    hii Sir!!!
    i want to improve my speaking english …!
    can u guide me ?

  • No problem Erik, I’m glad you liked this blog post – and by the way, I just published another one dedicated to the English language, you may want to check it out: http://englishharmony.com/english-is-easy/

  • Erik from sweden

    Thank you very much for this post. It helped me alot with my essay about the English language!

  • Seriously? Did you even read the whole thing properly? The heading of that section is called: 5. Simplicity of the English Language – and what I’m referring to below is some native English speaker who’s saying English is hard – I’m actually disagreeing with it and calling it a BS!

  • João

    I spoke about english being hard only because you say that somewhere in the text, i did see the subtitle talking about its simplicity..

  • João

    I disagree with a few things… First, English being hard isn’t the reason why foreign people can’t speak well, it just happens with every language, in fact, English is a pretty basic and easy language to learn in terms of vocabulary and grammar. If you think it’s hard, try to be fluent at Portuguese.. Not brazilian portuguese, Portugal portuguese… Second, US isn’t a 100% english speaking state, actually the US doesn’t even have an official language, nevertheless, 97% of its residents speak english.

  • Hi Drax,

    And thanks for the question! Speaking of fast speech – it’s one of the BIGGEST mistakes made by foreign English speakers! Please read more about it here: http://englishharmony.com/slow-down/
    Regards,
    Robby

  • Drax

    I’m feeling energetic after reading it thoroughly….but i have a query for you and i.e is it necessary to speak fast in english?

  • Pingback: Europe Then and Now | It's Sommer Season all year()

  • Thanks for the comment, but I would like to draw your attention to the following excerpt from the above article: “English is the official language of the US and the former Commonwealth Countries – UK, Canada, Australia” – so that’s the British Empire covered.
    As far as the BBC is concerned – I put the Hollywood movie industry before that for the simple reason that in my reckoning Hollywood movies is something that appeals to the largest masses of people all over the world and on top of that you have to factor in the whole celebrity aspect etc.
    Cheers,
    Robby

  • sheldonperry

    You give the U.S. too much credit. I think you left out a couple of very important ones. First, the British Empire (of which even the U.S. was a part of) helped spread it to at least 1/4 of the world and put it on track to become the world’s language. Also, the BBC, which is the largest broadcasting company in the world, has helped spread it as well.

  • Hey! 😉

  • Yo Momma.

    Hey Robby. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

  • Yadda Yadda Yadda

    I didn’t bother to read most of your whining rant, but Spanish IS an archaic language, as the structure and style hasn’t changed in the past 500 years. It’s like using King James English in the 21st century for everyday life, it’s beyond retarded. I do have a sense humanity within me, of course only an idiot would question something so painfully obvious, otherwise I wouldn’t be human in the first place. Some languages ARE worthless, some aren’t. That’s how languages evolve, with the most worthwhile language becoming the most dominant, aka English. While I respect MY culture, which hails from Spain and many other places, I am not blind to see its massive faults and archaic systems. So take your head out of your ass and wake up to reality.

    Oh, and by the way, I speak English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Russian, Arabic, and Japanese. Shows how much you know, shit for brains.

  • You’re welcome to post a comment here explaining what you disagree on and why your opinion is different!

  • only

    so how about if i disagree??

  • Dennys Morley

    I’d just like to point some things out. I love the thread. I am a native Australian English speaker and I currently live in America. English is basically everything I need to know and it’s always been. The best movies are in English, books etc. I bothered learning French, but you know what doesn’t motivate ANYONE to be honest? Is being corrected all the f*** time whislt speaking to a native speaker of a certain language, and they switch back to mine (English) so why bother? Like I talk to English Students as a Second Language all the time and they use wrong words, prepositions and other stuff ALL THE TIME, but I don’t interrupt them to correct, I don’t correct them at the end of every single sentence like the French did with me. That just doesn’t help. Makes you feel kind of dumb. In regards to English being the official language in America, I will have to disagree. Although ANYONE being born in the U.S, even at the border with Mexico, behind the big walls get English as their native language, English doesn’t have official status at a federal level. 30 states or so do though, but as I said, if you’re born within US soil, English is your native language due to government and schools that teach in English, and all teachers and stuff are native speakers of English. It just doesn’t have the status but everyone speaks it here and it’s the native language of any American. (290million of then) then we got 44 million immigrants that speak it as a Second Language and 11 million illegal Mexicans alone (that we know of) that might speak it as second language. Spanish is the most common language spoken in the US after English, but nobody cares about it. It’s spoken by poorer people or at home only. On the streets it’s English, unless you’re in New York City, you’ll basically hear all 7000 existing languages on earth, because there are so many tourists, but again the farther u go, the more native speakers you find. The US is basically monolingual and Americans are really good at grammar to be honest, of course there are people who aren’t but a vast majourity is. Like Australia or Britain, we’re basically monolingual, and Canada with exception of Quebec is monolingual too, except government employees, they HAVE to speak French, but they speak average French, rarely fluent. French has also been dying in Quebec, to be honest I don’t knoe why they didn’t ban French like America did in Louisiana until everyone spoke English only. It would be easier for everyone there, because even those who speak French as a first language, it’s a broken ugly version of French, it sounds very very English, like an English speaker speaking French, so why bother? It only makes Quebecoians struggle when learning their country’s native language (English) or they should just split and be a broken-French speaking country. Whatever. Basically English is the language of success. Even though Spanish is a big language and largely spoken, all Spanish speaking countries are a failure (unfortunately) they’re corrupt at an absurd level and horrible to live in unless you’re rich, so Spanish doesn’t really help. And again Spanish in the US is like Irish in Ireland. No one bothers learning. And Spanish sounds ugly (my opinion), and 1st generation of Hispanic people speak ot, the second speak as a second language and the third doesn’t even speak it. So it basically dies as generations come. I have many awesome examples: Lana Parrilla, her father was Puerto Rican she was raised in NY, she doesn’t speak Spanish. She speaks basic after studying it in Spain (lol) her father hated Hispanic culture and thought they were losers so he didn’t bother teaching her Spanish. Selena Gomez is from Mexican descent, she barely speaks fluent Spanish, Jessica Alba can’t even roll her r’s and she’s also from Mexican descent. English is the language one needs to be successful. My Chinese dentist spent one entire extra year at dentistry university because he couldn’t get his degree without speaking English and writing the summary/thesis in English at the end. ;))) and he graduated in China! 😉

  • “US got to where it is because they learnt English and adopted it as their official language.” – are you trying to say that at some stage they didn’t speak English in the US and then all of a sudden there was this collective awareness – “Guess what? We all should just start learning English and it’s going to somehow make us better!” – and everyone just started to learn English and then magically all things started happening? Well, if that’s the case then everything I’ve been reading about the US history is wrong, right? 😉

  • IloveEnglishpeople

    thankyou @hello for saving my time. this was just what i wanted to say.

    English isn’t popular because of USA. its the opposite. US got to where it is because they learnt english and adopted it as their official language. Thank Brits/English everyday !

    They’re one hell of a country and what an EMPIRE it was. the largest ever ! The superpower for over a century ! Amazing nation and language !

  • Thanks so much Diya for your contribution, much appreciated! 😉

  • diya

    I live in India and I completely agree with these. Here most people can’t speak fluent English but are great at grammar. More ever the pronunciation is very Indian style. People who can speak American/ British English are seen as very educated and “upper-class”. I learned speaking western English and I can
    I have two more reason for the popularity of English language in our country:

    11. Inclusiveness: Many of the English nouns are taken from other languages.

    12. History: English was introduced in India only when British established colony. There were few schools that time. British opened school which were English medium. People didn’t get job without knowing English. All these led to the current situation in our country of 1.2 billion.

  • Funnily enough, it’s only recently that I found out the Commonwealth still exists, for some strange reason I thought it was a thing of past. I was still under that impression while writing this article and that’s why I’m referring to those countries as the “former” Commonwealth countries. My bad!

    Speaking of your argument that if one wants to improve their English they should go to the birthplace of that language… Well, with all due respect, this argument just doesn’t hold any water. You can learn and improve your English in any country where it’s spoken!

    Also, considering that the American and British English are the two main “versions” of the English language, it makes a complete sense to go to the US and improve one’s English if that’s what that person wants.

    Thanks for commenting,

    Regards,

    Robby

  • Hello

    You do realise that, because the UK founded the commonwealth, that it can’t be a former commonwealth country – is IS the commonwealth. Canada and Australia are still members of the commonwealth, along with 51 other countries. Don’t forget that the English language originated in and grew to (virtually) its current and full range of vocabulary in England and the rest of the UK, certainly not in the USA. There is a reason that it is called English… 😉 If anyone wanted to improve their English, its birthplace is probably the place to go.