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English As a Global Language.

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Introduction

Should English be the world's lingua franca? The world definitely needs a standard language and "many people feel that the only realistic chance of breaking the foreign-language barrier is to use a natural language as a world lingua franca"1. In history there have been precedents, like Latin as a medium of education from the Roman times to the Dark Ages and French for International diplomacy from the 17th Century to the 20th Century. In my opinion a world language should be a language that everyone understands, a standard with which to communicate between different nations. This hypothetical lingua franca should not replace the nation's mother tongue, and therefore deprive people of their national identity, but offer valid support for international communications. English may not be the world's most widely spoken native language, as Chinese, with more than one billion mother tongue speakers, doubles the number of English mother tongues. ...read more.

Middle

Also the EU uses English as the common language, although there is only one English speaking country in the whole EU. English has developed around many different languages and is a language that continually develops and changes. Words can be traced back to Latin, Germanic, Celtic and finally French. The English language has absorbed the best of these languages and cultures. Therefore English can be considered a common language for the languages deriving from the indo- European root. It has no polite form, has easy grammar and simple verb schemes. English started to be used as a common language following British expansion in the world; the British Empire needed a common language, and English was forced upon a quarter of the world. After British military imperialism there has been American economic Imperialism. ...read more.

Conclusion

An example curiously comes from within the United Kingdom itself: Welsh nationalism. Although English grammar is easy and the language itself is very flexible, its richness of vocabulary (500000 used words) may make it very challenging to learn to a full extent. It is difficult to comprehend the many shades of meaning that a sentence could have. English can also be confusing, as the word "fly" has three very different meanings: the zip on men's trousers, a flying insect and the verb, to fly. In conclusion, I think that English is well on the way of becoming a global language, as there are an estimated of 2 billion speakers worldwide, it is already a standard in many aspects of international communications and more and more people are learning it every day. 1 The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language - David Crystal - Cambridge University Press ...read more.

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