English as a Global Language

There are many countries in the world where English is the mother tongue. But in other countries that have their own regional languages, it is supposed to be an added qualification if a person knows how to read, writes and talk in English. In such countries parents send their children to English medium schools to learn the language, because they know that without being conversant with English, their children will find it tough in facing the challenges of the world. In having this ideology they are right because, if not all, most of the intellectuals in the world will be of the same opinion. English is more than a language. It’s basically a culture. This culture is being widely spread through various means and mediums.

In my opinion, there are three major points that show why English is the most widely accepted language in the world. Firstly, English is the easiest language to learn. It is the most commonly used language in the world and last but not the least it rides the pinnacle of technology and globalization

English can be found useful in all walks of life. No one will ever regret learning this language. Carlos Carrion Torres, while writing about English as a universal language, believed that, “English can be at least understood almost everywhere among scholars and educated people, as it is the world media language, and the language of cinema, TV, pop music and the computer world. All over the planet people know many English words, their pronunciation and meaning” (Torres).

Leaving aside the literary aspect, English is the easiest of all languages to learn to converse and to communicate. But the first and foremost requirement of learning any language is the motivation part. If one has the motivation to learn, English is the easiest language. It doesn’t have too many grammatical rules and complexity. It has only twenty six alphabets, out of which five are vowels and twenty one are consonants. There are at the most three conjugations in English verbs. This makes it easier to start learning at the basic level. Moreover, it has no cases, gender or word agreement and has a simpler grammar. The use of genitive case is not required for definitive articles. The pronoun “it” and the definite article “the” can be used while mentioning anything. The words are short and reference to a third person only requires change in the verb. In some languages the gender of an object can change the meaning of a sentence. The object may be masculine, feminine or neutral. The simplicity of English can be seen in the following sentences. These sentences include all the 26 alphabets in them: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog; amazingly few discotheques provide jukeboxes. There are many more similar sentences.

Apart from the grammatical part, we now discuss the exposure part. Nowadays almost everyone knows how to converse in English. Majority of films are either made in English language or are later on dubbed in English. Most of the books, periodicals, journals, encyclopedias, etc. are published in English. Even on the television, we have news in English (apart from those in regional language). There are so many English newspapers. What I mean to say is that today we are surrounded by English language. We ought to deal with this language in almost all walks of life. So it becomes easier to learn the language. David Crystal argued that, “And if English is not your mother tongue, you may still have mixed feelings about it. You may be strongly motivated to learn it, because you know it will put you in touch with more people than any other language” (Crystal, p. 3).

According to me, there are four factors that govern the popularity of any language. The number of people using that language; the scope of that language’s use as an official one; the control that the language commands over the world economics, and the quantum of information dispersed in that language.

The supremacy of English in all these four segments is beyond any doubts. It is the most widely spread and most frequently used and written language in the world. Internet is the most powerful and popular source of information all over the world. English is used for transmitting information by most of the sites and also by most of the users. Anna-Maria Smolander (2007) , a Finnish, wrote that, “The English language is everywhere. The language of most of the Internet sites around the world is English. We are using this language to write our articles on this site, even though I am positive that English is not the first language of everybody using this website. It is not my first language” (Smolander).

Most of the leading news channels of the world, like CNN, CBS, CBC, NBC, ABC and BBC telecast their news in English. These news channels are viewed by millions of people around the globe. Christianity is supposed to be the most followed religion in the world. English is Christianity’s language of discourse.

English dominates the world business and economics to an extent that no other language ever has. In Seth Mydans’s (2007) view, “It is the common language in almost every endeavor, from science to air traffic control to the global jihad, where it is apparently the means of communication between speakers of Arabic and other languages.” (Mydans). David Graddol, opined that, “English is closely associated with the leading edge of global scientific, technological, economic and cultural developments, where it has been unrivalled in its influence in the late 20th century” (Graddol, p. 4).

To conclude, I have tried to prove my point that English is undoubtedly the global language. In order to progress and be aware of the happenings in the world, one has to learn English because it is the language that is accepted universally.

I would like to share my opinion here. I am not mentioning any names but everyone will agree that the most developed countries or nations in the world have English as their mother tongue. As is the rule of Nature, the weaker has to accept the supremacy of the stronger one. So other nations have to converse in English if they want to do any business with the developed ones. It will be significant to cite an example here. Doctors around the globe converse in English in order to clarify certain important and critical issues. They can come to know of remedies to certain fatal diseases. Because of this conversation, they are able to save lives of so many people.

References

  1. Crystal, D. (2003). English as a global language – Second edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Original work published 1997).
  2. Graddol, D. (2000). The Future of English?. UK: The English Company (UK) Ltd.
  3. Mydans, S. (2007). Across cultures, English is the word.
  4. Smolander, A. (2007). English as a global language, a good or bad thing?
  5. Torres, C. C. (n.d.). English as a Universal Language.