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English Language in the World (Essay Sample)


10 sources used. A detailed examination of English language in the world.

English Language in the World
English as a language is often regarded as the actual universal language globally. This means that the language is seen as the intercontinental lingua franca with some estimates claiming that it is spoken by up to two-million persons all over the planet (Crystal p. 7-11). The figure includes both native speakers as well as those who use it as a foreign/second language. As a matter of fact, English is a language of the WWW (worldwide web), maritime navigation, and vehicle for global scientific exchange and is influential in worldwide media. This paper attempts to reveal some of the consequences of this linguistic globalization. In doing this, the paper discusses the reasons why English language has taken the position as a universal language.
The language actually began its journey to the world during the British Empire (Van Gelderen Elly p. 1-3). It received a boost in its spread during the twentieth century as the United States achieved global domination in such aspects as politics, economy and military influence (Torres, 2013). These are some of the factors that have enabled the language to expand over the years.
Political motivations are a known driver that has accelerated the language throughout the planet. During the moderately recent history of mankind, a number of universal languages have tried to impose themselves over global population (Chilton p. 29). They include Latin (Roman Empire), Medieval Latin (Western Europe), French and recently English. Universality of these languages is relative because it relates to the known world or empire. In a global perspective, no language can be truly universal, though the contemporary role of English probably comes closest (Raley, 2013). The so-called universal language is mostly a by-product of political imperialism- a country managing to control or conquer an extensive geographical region comprising of diverse language communities, and assimilates them so as to impose its culture/language. The British Empire managed to expand throughout the world-Australia, Africa, India, Asia- during the last century coupled with American political dominance meant that English language has become a necessity for diplomatic and commerce purposes. The emerging dominance has been further fuelled by the Internet as the new technology rapidly plants itself in all fields of life including education, research, marketing, entertainment and others. All in all, the result is that the Internet is a necessity and in order to keep up with the developments it has accordingly become imperative to write, read and speak this language.
Linguistic motivation has also fuelled the current level of English language globally. As a matter of fact, it is easy to question the claim that English is easy. In order to reveal this, a consideration of its systemic structure is necessary. First, the script is learned effortlessly learned-at least by millions of the world’s language society who are common with the Latin script. However, this may also mean that millions of speakers who are not familiar with this script are overlooked (for instance Cyrillic characters, Hebrew and others). Nonetheless, the phonological structure making up the English language is believed to be quite simple. This is because it entails approximately forty-two dissimilar phonemes –about twenty-four consonant and eighteen vowel sounds- which match to twenty-six alphabetic characters. Altogether, a grammatical point of view reveals that English language is essentially simple by a comparison with many other languages (Coulmas p. 12). In fact, the language lost its case system as well as reduced gender markers to a few pronouns. In addition, verbal tenses use a system that is rudimentary by comparison with other global languages in that it employs a present and past tense. Other time references are built from a number of modals and auxiliaries along with participles. This simple construction makes it easy for the language to be understood by millions around the planet. The only difficulty that may be faced by users of English language globally is that its complex when one considers the lexicon (Phillips & Wong p. 37-42). The language has a wealth of phrasal verbs, idiomatic expressions as well as newly-coined lingo which allows someone to express infinite degrees of meaning. The ever-changing word list necessitates a speaker to frequently update her or his mental dictionary. Even so, at a basic level, English language can be acquired within a relatively short period depending on such variables as the amount of time the language is studied, motivation, and social factors. It is worth noting that the current global society is mainly trying to create a global village via WWW all of which necessitates the need for universal language.
The above listed information leads to a powerful motivator of English language globally in the form of socio-cultural aspects. We recognize that the economic and political factors have propelled the language to centre stage, but there is need to acknowledge the creative flexibility of modern-day English as well as its presence in pop culture. Without a doubt, English is used in cinema, music, the media and music all of which contributes to its enthrallment for masses around the world. The different forms of pop culture represent an influential force as far as manipulating the masses is concerned. Indeed, it is easier to use such forms of communication as carriers of the language because of their fascination for masses of young individuals. As a result, English neologisms and words have invaded most global languages making it almost impossible to avoid using the language (Vior p. 2-13). Various English terms are used in conjunction with other global languages. This popular English can be referred to as the metaphorical tsunami which continues to flood the world. As expected, a series of both negative and positive consequences have arisen. In fact, from a global perspective, Standard English remains elusive (Riddle, 2013). This is evidenced by an on-going debate over a number of national varieties of English being taught, spoken and learned around the world. American black vernacular, Indian English as well...
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