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Why English Became International Language

"How do you do", "Excuse me", "Thank you", "How much" — people that speak different languages and even do not know English are familiar with these phrases. These easy phrases are less known in French, Spanish, Russian, Arab, or Chinese although all these languages along with English are the official languages of the United Nations Organization.

The reason why English became an international language shall be looked for in the historic events of the last three or four centuries, and most of all it is due to the aggressive colonial politics of the British Crown of the 17 century that English became so widespread as a result of the occupation by the island state of the most of the planet's landmass.

English Speakers Dominance - A Bit of History

After they had subjugated Australia, many Asian and African countries, ancient India, and a good half of the territory of the relatively new continent namely North America, Brits arranged a large-scale sale of the resources of the colonized countries. To build trade relations they naturally used their language putting the local languages into the background.

Amidst the commercial boom of the colonialist country, other areas also showed significant progress:

  • literature,
  • science research,
  • industrial manufacturing.

So, one of the results of the industrial revolution of 18 century was that many people became dependent on their knowing the language in which the operating manuals to innovation tools and machines were created.

The English speakers also were able to take a strong position in America — the so-called melting pot of nations — where many nations were blending in the period of mass emigration. A tough policy on the displacement of languages executed on the American mainland, contrary to the popular beliefs about the notorious American freedom and democracy, lead to the fact that, in the early 20 century, English was used as one of the tools of national unity of the US citizens.

The dominating positions of English-speaking countries were further strengthening due to the outbreak (with Britain taking part in it) of the world wars — the WWI and the WWII — and, after 1945, the world hegemony was held by the United States of America, which was happily released from British colonial dependence.

Why English is World Language of Our Time

When we understand why it became an international language, let’s take a closer look at the reasons that keep English in high demand in our time. All right.

The Second World War (1939-1945) was destructive but not equally for all; while some European countries were severely damaged regarding economics — not to mention the Soviet Union and Japan with terrible losses suffered — the US enriched by golden reserve and eventually imposed its dollar on the world.

In such circumstances, it was the US, where science and technology were rapidly developing, including computer technologies that became a driver to develop modern human society. It would be enough to say that English is the basic programming language with all its terms and abbreviations being English and the Silicon Valley has attracted scientists from all over the world and as one can easily guess they use English to communicate with each other.

English is used in our IT age for:

  • publishing scientific papers (reports, articles, etc.),
  • describing software,
  • creating operation manuals for computers and gadgets.

Most of the Internet resources (up to 90 percent) are in English. Moreover, the US generously supplies the products of its entertainment industry — movies, pop music, and various shows — to the world.

Finally, English gives access to the most prestigious high schools in the world and this is a major incentive for young people from various countries to learn English — those who dream of successful careers and interesting jobs.

In Russia, such young people have unique opportunities offered by CIS International School (please contact the managers of this educational organisation to learn more about using British educational programs for young Russian citizens from kindergarten to obtaining an international certificate of secondary education).

To sum up, today English is the language of:

  • trade and business,
  • science and technology,
  • news and entertainment industry,
  • travel industry,
  • education, and
  • youth culture.

To be honest, young people find more important not that English is an international language but that English gives them greater opportunities in communication (including online) and building a career. However, there is another feature that shall be addressed.

English for All — Simple Grammar, Easy Learning

Comparing grammar of various languages one can see that English is easy to learn. There is a schematic in its structures, it has no annoying declinations or conjugations, it is easy to use elementary mechanisms, articles, and adjectives and to build plural, and more.

At the same time, this melodic language draws on a rich thesaurus, its concise sentences are equally useful in putting in a verse and in a technical specification.

You'll agree that a universally used language that unites the world shall have all these features. Of course, no one can tell for sure, how long English will hold this status but it seems that its dominance shall last for several more decades.


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