English is an international language, myth or reality? Watch

Helen Lukashina
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Hi everyone, I am currently interested in the role of English in the world... i mean its preconditions to become not an international language but the only one to use for communication. Or is there any other language to put into this category?
I really appreciate your help!!!
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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by Helen Lukashina)
Hi everyone, I am currently interested in the role of English in the world... i mean its preconditions to become not an international language but the only one to use for communication. Or is there any other language to put into this category?
I really appreciate your help!!!
Although Cantonese has more people speaking it, English is still the language of business.
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navarre
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English is the most spoken language in the world (in terms of total speakers, before someone brings Mandarin into it), and is the international language of business. On top of that, it's the language of the world's only superpower (the United States), many other major powers (UK, Canada, Australia and South Africa), and fast growing economies and countries (India, Nigeria, the Philippines...), as well as major business centres (Singapore, Hong Kong). No other language really comes close. French used to, but French has been in serious decline for some time now, and can't really be called an international language in any meaningful sense.

Mandarin and Spanish are probably the main rivals to English, but Mandarin is really only spoken in China, and Spanish is spoken in many poorer countries without much international influence.
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MatureStudent36
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Go to any country in the world and you'll find people who speak English quite easily. The same can't be said of other languages.

That's the legacy of empire and Hollywood.
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AlistairH
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English is also the international language of aviation. Commercial pilots, air traffic controllers and the like all have to have good english skills to be issued their license.
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Snagprophet
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(Original post by Helen Lukashina)
English is an international language, myth or reality?
Er myth. It is only spoken in England.
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Copperknickers
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It is the world's number one spoken language, with the greatest number of total speakers (if you include semi-fluent speakers), and its the most commonly learned foreign language in India and China. Its the only language that is an official language in every continent in the world (N. America, Europe, Australasia and Africa all obvious, and also India in Asia and Guyana in South America.)
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No Man
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It is an international language in that it's the language of business, but not so much in the sense that almost everyone with a different mother tongue can speak it (unless you're in the main Scandinavian countries or the Netherlands).
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Elirin95
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even though the rise of China and its role in economy, English will still be the bussiness language because it's simple and direct. At the same, English is not as widespread as UK people think. I live in Italy and I often see English speakers that are surprised that very few people can speak it.
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cid
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Recently returned from a study semester in the Netherlands, In my corridor there was

Spanish, Italian, Greek, Cypriot, Turkish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Indian, Chinese, Brazilian, German, Swiss, Dutch and Polish, and myself of course, British.

Only 2 people spoke one of the others languages to a fluent conversational level, everyone spoke English, pretty much all conversations were in English, and most of the international lecture program was in English.

English is fast becoming an international auxiliary language at least in Europe, outside of Europe it's still patchy but I firmly believe it will become the international second language. I don't say that out of some weird nationalist ideal, but out of simple logic, how many Chinese business men are trying to learn English? How many English speaking Business men are trying to learn Mandarin or Cantonese?

How many Indian students and rich families learn English? How many native English speakers are learning Indian? (excuse my ignorance of the different languages within India, i know there are several, but I don't even know their names)


Through the general unwillingness of a lot of Native English speakers to learn another language, speakers of other tongues are pretty much having to learn English if they want to deal with or function effectively in the west.


Ich Studiere Deutsch ...Aber Ich Bin Nicht Sehr Gut.
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octoberrain
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(Original post by cid)
Recently returned from a study semester in the Netherlands, In my corridor there was

Spanish, Italian, Greek, Cypriot, Turkish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Indian, Chinese, Brazilian, German, Swiss, Dutch and Polish, and myself of course, British.

Only 2 people spoke one of the others languages to a fluent conversational level, everyone spoke English, pretty much all conversations were in English, and most of the international lecture program was in English.

English is fast becoming an international auxiliary language at least in Europe, outside of Europe it's still patchy but I firmly believe it will become the international second language. I don't say that out of some weird nationalist ideal, but out of simple logic, how many Chinese business men are trying to learn English? How many English speaking Business men are trying to learn Mandarin or Cantonese?

How many Indian students and rich families learn English? How many native English speakers are learning Indian? (excuse my ignorance of the different languages within India, i know there are several, but I don't even know their names)


Through the general unwillingness of a lot of Native English speakers to learn another language, speakers of other tongues are pretty much having to learn English if they want to deal with or function effectively in the west.


Ich Studiere Deutsch ...Aber Ich Bin Nicht Sehr Gut.
Ich LERNE Deutsch, aber ich bin nicht sehr gut (darin).* good attempt
Back to the topic, I do think that it is, in many countries it's studied from an early age and is mostly the first foreign language, often followed by French. If you go anywhere in the world, English helps you the most (if you don't speak the local language in case it's not English)


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castelo
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English today is what Latin was 500 years ago.
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Eques
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I dunno why people keep bringing up China.

First, China isn't even the world's superpower. USA is. Second, even if China were to become the world's superpower, this doesn't mean that the international language would become Chinese.

Think about the Roman Empire. It did not in the slightest affect the dominance of the Greek language among the intellectual and commercial classes - Greek was still very much the language of the intellectuals (hence why the gospels were written in Greek) and the commercial classes.

There is absolutely no sign that Mandarin, of all languages, will overtake English. Again, the status of China doesn't guarantee a language shift.
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Kierkegaard
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(Original post by castelo)
English today is what Latin was 500 years ago.
maybe if we look close enough at latin literature we might find a few 'yolos' that led to the decline of the language.
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