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ENGLISH AS A WORLD LANGUAGE
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Some centuries ago only a few million people spoke English, language wasn’t important to the rest of the world and it wasn’t even known. Exporting of English began in the seventeenth century with first settlements in North America assisted by massive immigration in nineteenth and twentieth centuries. That has given English its present standing in the world. Now English is the most widespread language, with 400 million speakers. It has the largest vocabulary, with approximately 500 000 words and 300 000 technical terms. It is the language of business, technology, sport and aviation. This will no doubt continue, but it is absurd to think that all other languages will die out.

COUNTRIES IN WHICH ENGLISH IS SPOKEN AS…

• MOTHER TONGUE • SECOND LANGUAGE
Great Britain Sweden
United States Norway
Canada Finland
Australia India
New Zealand Pakistan
Ireland some states in Africa
Some Carabbean countries Ontario Quebec in Canada

THREE GROUPS OF PEOPLE WHO SPEAK ENGLISH

Those who have learned it as their native language.
Those who live in society that is mainly bilingual.
Those who are forced to use it for a practical purpose or are learning it in school as an foreign language.





One person in seven of the world’s entire population belongs in one of these three groups.
75% of the world’s mail and 60% of the worlds telephone calls are in English.

BASIC CHARACTERISTICS SIMPLICITY OF FORM
Old English had many inflections to show singular and plural, tense, person, etc., but over the centuries words have been simplified. Now there are only few inflections and adjectives do not change according to noun.

FLEXIBILITY
Without inflections the same word can operate as many different parts of speech. Many nouns and verbs have the same form ( swim, drink, walk, kiss,…). Adjectives can be used as verbs ( we warm our hands in front of the fire). Prepositions are flexible as well ( a 60-year old man is nearing retirement )

OPENNESS OF VOCABULARY
Most world languages have contributed some words to English at some time. Mostly French and Latin language. Purists of the French, Russian and Japanese languages are resisting the arrival of English in their vocabulary.






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