How English language became a global language
If you are currently practicing your English, it’s probably because you’re trying to get your degree, make progress in your career, or maybe for a personal reason like having a relationship with an English-speaking partner.
It seems that these days everyone is learning English, and it is becoming the world’s most widely used language. It is used in business and commerce around the world, and in places like Europe, it is spoken by average people for their day-to-day purposes. But why? What makes English such a global language? The answer is in the history of the English language, but also culture, technology, and politics.
About 1.8 billion people across the world can speak at least a little English. Things were very different just a few centuries ago when English speakers belonged only to the British Isles. How did English go from being spoken by just a couple of million people to be such a global language? Read on to find out.
The British Empire
The most obvious and biggest reason that English became a global language in the first place is due to the expansion of the British Empire. Before taking over almost a quarter of the planet, Britons who were the natives of Britain were the only ones speaking English, and the language was confined to the British Isles. But as soon as they began trading with continents like Asia and Africa, colonizing and settling around the globe, the language spread very fast.
The post-war USA
The world was unstable after the first two world wars and was changing very fast from day to day. American businesses were picking up fast and started making deals with customers all over the world, just like countries like Great Britain had done just a century ago.
This boosted the use of English as the main language for doing business. At the same time, American culture was spreading across the world through film and music.
While the USA was becoming the world’s leader in business, the internet was invented in the USA. This created an entire tech jargon for computers and technology that was in English, naturally.
For instance, computer keyboards are designed for writing languages using the Latin alphabet, and the hardware for all our modern technology uses English words that have become commonly used by people all over the world because there was no other option when the technology spread like fire to every corner of the globe.
Now that English is a widely used language and is used so commonly across the internet, on the radio, in schools, and in the business world, it is hard to not use English. It is known very well by most people that to get a good job in today’s job market, they need to be able to speak English better than they were expected to before.
That’s why a larger and larger number of students and adults are taking private lessons each day and studying English to become as fluent as they can be. Being proficient in English does not guarantee success, but it makes a major difference. Some people provide other reasons for the prevalence of the English language, for instance, they claim it is “easy to learn” or that it evolves as time goes by. Some people miss the days when each country had its own unique language, and English was quite a peculiar language to the experts. But one thing is for sure: English will continue to grow as the world’s global language.