10 Reasons Why English Is The World’s Language

By Robby

If you are new here please read this first.

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

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

English Harmony System
  • rachid benbella

    I notified chinese but I must admit that I unfortunately am not able to speak it…

  • rachid benbella

    As a scientist I must admit that every time I have to go into details it is really helpful to be able to rely on one or two other languages like spanish, german or french….

  • rachid benbella

    stop wanking yourselves english is not the world language, chinese, spanish and french are here to say the other way around….

  • All really excellent points! As for #7, I can vouch for the 48 countries I have traveled to, including those in both Asia and Southeast Asia. English was useful in all of them and is absolutely the language of travel.

  • English Harmony

    That’s a good point. Thanks for your comment!

  • Nick

    You forget a very important factor and that is English is one of a very few languages that has scientific terms and can communicate scientific ideas.

  • 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.

  • Hi Ally,

    Personally I don’t agree with English being the language of education.

    It holds true in certain countries where it’s the official language, but I don’t think it’s fair to say it’s the language of education worldwide.

    Regards,

    Robby

  • Well, that’s what we’re all like, isn’t that right?

  • Tee

    Really Robby! I thought u would know quite a lot about Chinese! Well that’s just how some people are like! U know a lot about this language but not much about that.

  • Alison Tan

    That’s very true, I agree

  • Ally Wang

    I agree that English is a global language and I think that this article made sense. I think you should add another point:
    11. English is also the language of education.

  • PierreNodoyuna

    Sorry Yadda, Spanish is not a dead or archaic language, neither Chinese, French, Portuguese or German, for that matter. Is you dont speak the language you can not say that it hasn’t changed in the past 500 years, since you dont have a reference. English is not the easiest language to learn or understand as a 2nd language. Only it wil be the easiest is you learn it as a 1st language. Actually there are other languages that coud claim that. A professional lingust, even monolingual in English, will tell you that. French, Spanish and Chinese sound like “one giant slur of words lumped together” to you, because you only speak English. Just imagine how English sounds to non English speakers. It seems that you are a monolingual English speaker with issues about other languages. Right now English is the international language, true, but several generations from now, who will know? The world is changing so fast that to predict that, is kind of naive. Is the world the same after 9/11? Did someone predicted that? Is good to be proud of your language, but that does not mean that you should demean other languages as worthless. If you have a sense of humanity within you, you wouldl respect other people’s culture and language. So, are you a part of humanity? Aufwidhessen, Au revoir, Adios, Ciao, Sayonara.

  • Viengvilay TheMagnificant Xaya

    Yeah I know it’s ironic, but I’m better at English speaking/reading/writing than math, of course you can thank growing up in the West as part of such skillful language acquisitions. Merica! Right?

    English is the universal language of planet Earth, but math is the universal language of the universe, and as an Asian I wrack-a-disciprine at this particular language for now. It doesn’t follow through with the Asian stereotypes, but that may change here in a bit.

  • Thanks for the input Chris, I hadn’t heard that Mandarin isn’t really popular among other Asian nations, it’s something new to me!

    Anyhow, one thing I know for a fact is that Chinese are hell-bent on learning English and its popularity is growing all the time in Asia in general, so there’s that.

    I think when people say Mandarin is going to overtake English, what they really mean is that the ever increasing population of China is going to overtake the number of English speakers worldwide. They don’t really believe themselves that people from other national backgrounds will start learning Mandarin in ever increasing numbers.

    Cheers,

    Robby

  • Chris

    As an international teacher, I must say that I laugh heartily when some people say that Mandarin will overtake English as a global language. I taught in Southeast Asia. There, in China’s back yard, Mandarin is not popular. Furthermore, the Japanese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean, Indian and Indonesian peoples do not like the Chinese and that often translates into indifference to learning Mandarin. Of course it doesn’t help that when Chinese people travel they are both unfriendly and often rude. To sum up: There will be no serious challenge to the English language as the world’s lingua franca for at least 400 years.

  • I’m really glad Jordan that you find my blog interesting – and I hope to receive new comments on my future posts and videos from you – you make a really interesting discussion going on! 😉

    Speaking of the “little, interesting book” – of course people don’t speak like that in real life, all I was referring to when saying “correct” was – it’s not INCORRECT from the grammar perspective. As far as native-like, conversational speech is concerned however, it does sound “wrong” indeed, and I’ve written about it extensively on my blog, here’s one of the best articles about the subject: http://englishharmony.com/gut-feeling/

    Thanks for the conversation, and on the finishing note – I don’t believe that a non-German speaker would achieve a better result in a years time all other things being equal than the non-English speaker. But that’s my personal opinion! 😉

    Cheers,

    Robby

  • Jordan Wyvill

    the German student would probably speak better than the English student in the real world”. In any case, I really like your blog! I particularly liked your post on Word order in questions. Ellipsis is very common in English. Deletion of auxiliary verbs on questions are common. So are verb phrase ellipsis, gapping, stripping etc. I don’t know how commonly this is done in other languages. Anyway, sorry for the long winded posts, I just find your blog really interesting. I have it bookmarked for future reference.

  • Jordan Wyvill

    Yes, I agree like I said both constructs are grammatically correct. However, I’ve yet to any English speaker that would agree with saying ‘it’s a little, interesting book’. I’ve asked my parents, linguistics lecturer, friends, coworkers & native English speakers I’ve met travelling (Australians, Americans, Canadians etc) and all agree they would never say it like this because it just sounds ‘strange’ or ‘funny to my ear’. I’m still early in the early stages of my language studies and as of yet do not know why this is. Try it out on active speakers, see which option they would choose 🙂 oh an I most definitely agree all languages have nuances that make them difficult to speak to a native level. I’m not saying English is harder but I personally don’t think it’s easier. I went to a class on Berlin to learn some German basics and the lecturer said in his opinion (he was a native German speaker but lived in the US for 20 years). “If I were to put a non German speaker in a room to study German for a year and do the same to a non English speaker for a year

  • Thanks for your lengthy comment, much appreciated!

    So let’s address all the points you’ve made.

    You’re saying there has to be bigger emphasis on foreign languages in English speaking countries. Yes, it does sound like a good plan, but in reality I believe it all boils down to practicality. Is there an actual need for Americans to USE Japanese in their daily lives? Well, I don’t think so…

    Next – languages open up new opportunities and allow you to explore new cultures. Generally speaking it’s true, but there’s something we have to factor in – it’s people’s MOTIVATION. You’re currently learning plenty of languages and you’re enjoying your life through them which is just great. If, on the other hand, the education system would FORCE it all onto native English speaking students, do you think they would embrace is and start pursuing language studies on their own volition and start exploring all those cultures? I guess that more often than not it would be just throwing money at the problem…

    Lastly – English is difficult to master to a native speaking level. Yes, I agree! But then again – isn’t EVERY language the same? Each and every single one of the world’s languages have finer details that will come to the learner only over a longer period of time, so I’d say English isn’t necessarily more difficult to achieve a native-like level at compared to other languages.

    Speaking of your example with the interesting little book – both examples are actually correct!

    You can say: “This is a little, interesting book” and you can also say “This is an interesting little book” – and both sentences mean the same thing because in the first instance you pause thus implying that the book is both little and interesting.

    Thanks for your comment, much appreciated!

    Regards,

    Robby

  • Jordan Wyvill

    I think English is definitely the language of the future, needless to say I think English speaking countries need to have more emphasis on foreign language. I studied Japanese in High-school and one hour a week for four years gets you nowhere. I think English’ popularity worldwide has led to a relative lack of importance being placed on foreign languages in English speaking countries such as Australia. I’m currently studying Mandarin, French and Spanish at University whilst trying to learn German in my own time. Languages open you up to cultures in a way that your own language doesn’t. I think the main reason as stated is e availability of content. Even in Europe people that ‘don’t’ speak a English generally will understand individual words just because everyone is bombarded with English music, movies, television programs and so on. As for the argument as to how hard English is, I definitely don’t claim is overly difficult. However, until visiting countries and learning my aforementioned languages I had never had any real exposure to them on the flip side most people around the world are exposed to English regularly which I think really does make a difference. I don’t find grammar in French or German difficult I’ve always had a great memory so they are not an issue for me. I must say though pronunciation is what I struggle with me. Tone, intonation, glottal sound etcetera, I can already feel a headache forming. The main benefits of English I’ve found while studying other languages:
    1. It’s much easier to obtain an intermediate level of speaking compared to other languages.
    2. Even if you speak very poorly unlike other languages a native speaker can generally work out what you are trying to convey. Opposed to what I find in some other languages where if you get it wrong it’s incomprehensible.
    Not to start a disagreement, but English is difficult to master to a native speaking level (spoke english). I work in a very tourist driven business and 9/10 times I can guess if English is someone’s second language. It usually comes down to things such as misuse of idioms, unable to pronounce th or v, improper use of phrasal Berber my favourite constructing sentences that are grammatically correct but wrong only because ‘they don’t sound right’. A good example I’ve found is ‘a little interesting book’ vs ‘an interesting little book’. Both are correct, which one is right? I think like you’ve discussed these nuances are what you learn through talking not learning, that is the key. Bottom-line, even if you don’t speak English like a native speaker you probably still speak it very well.

  • Thanks for the positive feedback, much appreciated! 😉

  • Glwin

    Excellent Article Robby, I agree with you and I am sure that anyone who read your article has learned something from you and you would hold lesson from their comments , not only for English but for their critics and mislike.

  • I agree with you completely on what you’re saying – but speaking of the last paragraph of your comment where you’re saying you believe in a hundred years there will be an English-based language – I’d like to disagree.

    I believe that the current form of English is ALREADY that language – it has adopted plenty of loan words from other languages so I personally find it hard to see how it would be possible for English to morph into an even BETTER working form.

    Well, no doubt about it – it will change just like any other language changes over time, I just think that the English language has already achieved the ultimate status of the world’s language and its vocabulary is very versatile as it is.

    Just my opinion! 😉

    Regards,

    Robby

  • Daoloong

    I think some of the draw to English is both cultural exportation (Hollywood and pop music); part is its geographic expansion across the globe (French comes close because of its influence in colonial Africa, but that is waning); it’s relative simplicity in terms of grammar (no gender to nouns, no matching tenses to verbs or adjectives, only singular definite articles, etc.); and because certain fields have for whatever reason, become English dominated (business, air flight, finance, online material, etc.).
    My personal belief is that in a hundred years or so, there will be an English based language that will have absorbed a lot from other languages, and become more of a useful working language.

  • I’m not going to disagree, but neither can I agree simply because I haven’t got any experience learning Chinese or Latin.

    All I can say from my own experience is that if you learn a language as a spoken language, it’s a walk in a park compared to learning its grammar and writing.

    I learnt Russian that way. I learnt some Romanian that way – and it didn’t present any difficulties to me. German, on the other hand, was a disaster because I studied it the traditional way by learning grammar and in the end I can’t speak it anyway!

    So I’m guessing that if I were to ignore the Chinese hieroglyphs by focusing upon learning the spoken language only, the experience wouldn’t probably be as dreadful.

    Regards,

    Robby

  • Guest

    Well, study languages like I do. There are some that are retarded because they continue to be archaic and outdated and refuse to become simpler. Others adapt and become more flexible. The language of Latin, for example, is still easier to learn than modern Chinese, despite Latin being a “dead” language and over 2000 years old. It’s simply easier to learn than Chinese. And to top it all off, it actually has an alphabet, rather than chicken-scratch pictures like with Chinese.

    And even many French agree that their language is just a headache to fully grasp, even for themselves.

  • I totally agree with you on all the points you made in your comment! Especially about the different levels of English – while achieving fluency in formal English may take years of hard work, conversational fluency can be achieved in a relatively short space of time.

    Thanks for the comment!

    Robby

  • Well, I personally wouldn’t be so harsh on other languages as to call them retarded, but I have to admit that I also think English is a very, very easy language to learn due to its relative grammatical simplicity (it’s not a heavily inflicted language), loan words from other languages and also popular culture.

    Speaking of moving to US – well, it’s my dream to go there at some stage in my life but currently I’m stuck in Ireland because we’ve settled here (family, house – that kind of thing).

    I have been, however, constantly working on my American English. It’s totally doable even when living in another English-speaking country – you may want to check out my other blog http://accentadventure.com/ where I’m discussing accent acquisition related matters!

    Cheers,

    Robby

  • NightShade_Darkpaw

    English, French and Spanish are a trimunative of “world languages”, but English pushed French off the first place during the Interbellum and WW2 and even with Spanish’s rising prominence in the United States, especially the Southwest, South and Eastern Urban Corridor…English is still not only the global lingua franca, but I’d dare to call it a “prestige language” in Nations where it isn’t the first language. And English is pretty complicated toward the upper levels, but is a truly versatile and interesting language even on a basic or intermediate level.

  • NightShade_Darkpaw

    It’s a “prestige language”…it does have a certain status in countries like French has in English speaking countries…

  • Yadda Yadda Yadda

    You’re right of course, about all the points you mentioned concerning English. It is the world language, and becoming more so every day.

    Idiots may claim that Chinese is growing faster than English, but only because the Chinese population is becoming bigger due to overpopulation. Spanish as well, is a dead and archaic language that in reality hasn’t changed much in the past 500 years or so. It has become obsolete and severely outdated.

    English is the language of the future, and is the easiest language to speak, to learn, and to understand. Languages like Chinese and French are so nonsensical and retarded, their pronunciation is backward and it all sounds like one giant slur of words lumped together, just like Spanish.

    But English has acquired words and styles from more than just European languages, as there are Arabic words and meanings that have been applied into the English language, as well as Native American and some Asian.

  • meenu

    i try to practice on online chats but i always faced wrong people ,they always do nonsense talk ..

  • meenu

    Dear robby ,what can i do ? i know little bit english but where i practice ? some of my friend speak english very well but i afraid if i speak in front of them ,may be i made mistake then they will laugh ..& some personal problems are surrounding me ,i couldnt take sound sleep .all time my mind is full with tension .

  • Well, it’s not to be tolerated under any circumstances, it’s just not normal! I’ve written about it before, please read this article and watch the video: http://englishharmony.com/discrimination/

  • meenu

    I do not feel good when my friends talk in english & make my joke in front of everyone that she does not know english ..poor girl ..sometimes they make me feel that i am nothing .i do not know anything ..i cry ..so english is essential for living in educated & high class society .If you dont know english they will make joke on you ,in front of everyone.

  • I agree with you 100%, well said!

  • meenu

    i agree with robby .engilsh doesnt make superior anyone but it is necessary for understanding todays world .i am from india & our mother toung is hindi .instead of using hindi official language ,we use english as official language .

  • Superiority and a certain social status are a totally different kettles of fish, so to speak.

    By the same token, you could claim that if I were to say that a higher level of education denotes a certain social status, I’m being discriminatory against those without education.

    It’s merely stating a fact, is all!

  • user9693

    here you said this indirectly 10. Speaking Fluent English Denotes a Certain Social Status

  • user9693

    try learning better english

  • Your comment doesn’t make any sense to me, my friend!

  • I just saw these comments again Robby.

    Yeah, in the end I left Prague and now live in Brno, pretty much so that I could have the chance to speak the local language. I still have some problems with people who hear my English accent and then they go into ‘automatic English’, but there have at least been some nicer experiences too.

    I agree with you that foreigners try to take the opportunity to speak English, but this actually harms the relationship when English speakers are trying to learn the local language. After all, when in Rome…

  • I may be one of the dumbest people on Earth, but I can’t recall saying that knowing English makes you superior! 😉 The point of this article was to list most reasons what’s made English so popular, that’s all my friend!

  • user9693

    even a lowly american or british sweeper can speak way better english than you so english is not a synonym for success…..

    you’re the one of the most dumbest person on earth, english is famous only because of colonisation nothing else…..english is just a language like chinese or german or any other language, knowing english doesn’t make you any superior than who don’t.

  • Thanks for calling me disgusting – but that’s all right, I’ve been called worse! 😉

    Now, first of all, I’m not American. I’m a Latvian national, and I’ve been living in Ireland for 11 years and learned to speak fluent English after years of struggling with fluency because I kept learning the language the wrong way.

    I do respect other languages and cultures, and I don’t live in a bubble. I’m fully aware of how diverse our world is, but the simple fact of the matter is that English does open doors to success, better career and opportunities – whether you like it or not. It’s just a fact of life, and that’s what I wanted to convey with this article.

    Regards,

    Robby

  • whycantIpickaname

    you are disgusting. most people who think english is a world language only speak english. english is NOT synonymous with success, but in your tiny american bubble it is. being successful in america is not a world standard.

  • I try to respond to all comments on my blog, but I really don’t understand what you’re talking about in your original comment .

  • Rossjohn

    Just delete them if you won’t bother.

  • immaculate

    DUE TO THE ABOVE REASONS,I WISH TO KNOW HOW COLONIALISM,GLOBALISATION,TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT,AND KNOWLEDGE ECONOMYARE FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE RISE OF ENGLISH AS A WORLD LANGUAGE

  • Your comments on the one about language ease? Well, I’m not really sure if I know what you’re talking about…

  • Rossjohn

    Oy read meh comments on the one about language ease!

  • Pingback: 5 Reasons Why I LOVE American Pronunciation()

  • I fully understand where you’re coming from on this issue and I can also understand problems you’re encountering while trying to learn and improve Czech. The fact of the matter is – whether we want it or not – most foreigners are holding the English language in high regard and are trying to take every opportunity to show off their English skills thus only confirming its significant role among other language on this planet…

  • Thanks Francisco!

  • Francisco Javier

    Excellent article, Robby.

  • As an English speaker, it’s a double-edged sword. Wherever I travel, there’s always someone to talk to, locals who want to chat with me – but when I stay and want to learn their language, I’m blocked by a wall of English.

    You’re right about the power of English, but even I now think it’s too much. Perhaps the rise of Spanish and Portguese will help balance things a little. What do you think Robby?