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Will English retain, increase or lose its current global position?

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Introduction

Title: Will English retain, increase or lose its current global position? Name: Sabrina Sardar Number of Words: 2552 Registration Number: 01149305 Two powerful countries, that are United States of America and United Kingdom speak English as a first language. It is the most dominant language in the world and has expanded from the British Empire and America's hegemonic power over the rest of the world to the unique technology (internet) that has been introduced by North-Americans (Crystal, 1995:106-107). English is spoken by many people. The approximate figure that speaks English either as a first language, a second language or learnt as a foreign language lies from 750 million to 1 billion people which is nearly a quarter of the world's population. The people's interest in learning the English language has increased to the extent that it has become the most important language. It is used for communication within the political sector as well as the public sector (Quirk, 1968:7-9), (McCrum, 2002:9). Although English is spoken by many people in the world, the question still arises as to whether it will continue to be the most dominant language for the future. This will be largely dependent upon the population who speak English as a second language or as a foreign language, who will determine whether or not English will remain the most dominant language in the future. The English development began at the time of the Anglo-Saxons. The Anglo-Saxons invaded Britain in the 5th century and they spoke a language, which was ancestrally spoken by the Germanic people. ...read more.

Middle

All these developments have been sent over by the first world countries to other parts of the world. People who communication through text and/or email use English as the main language, which is still continuing to have a major change to the English language, where easier, quicker and shorter ways to write English have increased. This is done by cutting down words, using abbreviations and numerals (Crystal, 1995:392), (Pope, 2002:348). Internet is another major influence for the spread of English; it is used all over the world. It has been reported that 80% of the information which are stored in the computer are in English. The percentage of people using the computer and internet is rising highly. It is used by a large majority of countries. Many internet users prefer English as the world's lingua franca because it is the main language used for internet. If other foreign countries would want to research through the internet then the English language must be used because 84.3% of home pages are in English. Many people rely on the computer as a means of communication, business, research, entertainment and shopping. A new development has also been introduction which is called 'broadband' where movies and trailers can be watched through the computer, these movies or programmes can be saved into a disk where they can watch it on their computer or DVD player. (Graddol, 1997:50-1). American television and films have remained important to the way English is recognised and perceived by the wider world, because, for example, of the national publicity of Hollywood films around the world English has been seen as a language of prestige. ...read more.

Conclusion

Children at present are still finding it difficult with the spelling system which has been a problem since the time of William Caxton (McCrum, 2002:42-3). In other ways English does have its beneficial side, it is more easier to learn and there are no masculine or feminine nouns, such as in French where for example a feminine article will be used with the feminine noun, for example 'the moon' would be pronounced as la lune and 'the sun' would have the masculine article because the noun is masculine and is pronounced as der Mond. In English however the article is same for both masculine and in feminine. The second quality of learning English is that is has a simple and flexible grammar, such as nouns being used like verbs which can not be done in other languages, therefore phrases like 'We can dog someone's footsteps' could be said (McCrum, 2002:43). To help us determine whether or not English will be the next dominant language in the future, it is necessary to estimate the population of the world, where will they live? And their age? The reason for this is because if the population of China was to increase and becoming the most popular language amongst foreign people, it will clearly shows Chinese will be the next dominate language. A definite answer as to whether or not English will still be the next dominate language is unpredictable, but judging from the figures, Britain's colonial history, power, development and technology, it clearly shows that English will likely continue to remain the world's lingua franca. Many people will continue to learn English, although there are many varieties and many uses. ...read more.

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