How and Why Did English Come to Be a Global Language?
Although English is not the mother tongue of everyone, many people around the world can speak English more or less.The process of practicing English likes the cell division takes the widest group of people as a common used language.A global language known as world language means one language which can be under used to communicate in every country.
In spite of English can not be the only global language, it takes an active part in economic, science and many other areas in the recent years. With a large amount of native speakers and wide usage in the world, there is not any other languages can take the place of it as a global language in the recent years. However, several years later, Spanish might become another global language for the widely usage on business and the large group of speakers. In the next parts of this article, there would be the reasons which cause English to be a global language, the current for Spanish to be a global language and the comparison of these to languages.
Firstly, English is a common used language in the world and more people want to learn English. The United States is the world’s largest English-speaking country as the number of users of English for 20% of world total. In Europe, English is one of the big languages. According to the research by Sysfret in 1997, there were over 70% of viewers show that they can follow the news in English among the surveys of European satellite TV audiences confirm the widespread understanding of English. What is more, on the report of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs pointed out that in China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea and Vietnam, 96% to 100% of people believe that children should learn English. 90% of Japanese elementary school English courses have been opened, the Chinese began to open schools in third grade English class, in addition to up to 50,000 English training centre is completed. People in these countries act English as a tool to become successful. Asia is not only the area which show respect to English. In South America, government trained the students with English, and in many countries in the Africa, English is one of the languages which can be chosen.
Second is the widening application area of English. Besides the common communication, English are widely used in economic area, publishing area and academic area and so on. In the economic area, people from different countries using different mother tongue would put English as the first language to deal with the cooperation in business programs. Crystal (1997) found that one of the working language as English in international organization took 85% which is much larger than other languages. In the European countries, this predominance showed more to 99%, as opposed to 63% French and 40% German. In the publishing area, English is the most widely used language for book publishing as a foreign language. When English is spoken as a second language, the books publishing take 28% of all languages, twice than the following one—-Chinese, and much more than other languages. In the academic area, English shows much more powerful. There is an example of disciplines in which German academics claim English as their working language. It displayed that English takes 98%on physics, 83% in chemistry, and 81% in biology.
There are some reasons that English can grow as a global language around the world. Firstly, native speakers of English as a mother tongue are most from the USA, Canada, Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa and so on. These countries are most developed countries and take important part in the world economy. These countries, for example the USA, take control of the lifeblood of the global economy and have trade relationships with most countries. English as one of the official language of the United Nations, the decision is also because of this reason. In David Crystal’s words in the year of 2003, if a country chooses a particular language as a favoured foreign language, there should be great variation including historical tradition, political expediency, and the desire for commercial, cultural or technological contact. More over, the government should support this kind of language and help people to learn it. The United Kingdom used to be the most powerful country in the world. It had got many colonies and people in those countries can speak English. Nowadays the USA instead of the United Kingdom to be the mistress of the world, the power also influences other countries to learn English.
Just like the United Kingdom, Spain has got many colonies in the early ages. Central and South America, Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Paraguay, Peru, Mexico, Cuba and Jamaica, the Caribbean and so on, in Asia, they also began to establish a presence in the Philippines, the gradual occupation of islands to the south of the 16th century except Palawan Island, Mindanao and outside of Sulu Islands and other places, the colonists have been conquered. North-west of the Canary Islands, Ceuta, Melilla are all the colonies of Spain. The language of Spanish gets in these areas and influences the language of local. In the seven continents, there is about 352,000,000 people use Spanish, especially in Latin America. It takes 5.6% of the world’s population who speak Spanish as the first language. Among the top ten languages used on the internet, Spanish took 8.9% as the third place. In the last ten years, the historical dimension of the use of Spanish rose. In the gross national product early 1990s, countries using the language per 1000US$, Spanish took the second place. (George Weber. 2008)
Spanish is one of the official languages of African Union, the European Union and the United Nations. In 1948, Spanish became one of working language in the United Nations. Among the research of David Crystal, in 1995, Spanish take the fifth place in “global influence” of major languages according to the engco model. Moreover, in the hierarchy of the world language in 2050, Spanish stay in the highest group with English, Chinese, Arabic and regional languages.
It can be seen that Spanish has many similarities as English. First is that both language are widen by colony in the first period of time. Second is that both languages have large popularity of native speakers and second-language speakers. Third is they both are official languages in the United Nation. Fourth is the shown that the influence of both languages growing in the current days.
English nowadays acts as a global language, and Spanish tread on the heels of English and might become another global language in the few years later under the trend for widely use in economic, science and
Crystal D (2003). English as a Global Language. Cambridge, UN: Cambridge University Press.
Graddol D. (1997). The Future of English. The British Council.
Sysfret, T. (1997). Trend setters. Cable and Satellite Europe, January, pp.34-7
Weber G (2008). TOP LANGUAGES: The World’s 10 most influential Languages. Retrieved from: http://www.andaman.org/BOOK/reprints/weber/rep-weber.html
Whitney. C. B (2008). Soft Power in Asia: Results of a 2008 Multinational Survey of Public Opinion. Retrieved from: http://www.thechicagocouncil.org/UserFiles/File/POS_Topline%20Reports/Asia%20Soft%20Power%202008/Chicago%20Council%20Soft%20Power%20Report-%20Final%206-11-08.pdf