english As A Global LanguageEnglish, a Germanic language, spoken by millions of people today is one of the most widespread and most commonly used languages in the world. It is the dominant language in the nations such as the United Kingdom, united states
, Australia, Canada and New Zealand to only name a few where english is the official language. With over 350 million speakers worldwide, it is believed to be the second most spoken language in the world. Although so widely spoken particularly in the business world, science and entertainment, classifying english language as a global language is albeit premature.
‘A language achieves a genuinely global status when it develops a special role that is recognized in every country.’ While the english language is rather dominant and one of the official languages in various regions such as in for example the European Union, it is not the only language used or considered official in the EU and in some countries in the world it is not recognized as universal and is at times even banned. For example in December of 2010, China banned usa
ge of foreign words, english in particular, in various media such as in newspapers and websites. According to BBC News, chinese Press and Publishing Body views usage of foreign words and mixing of chinese words with english ones into the so-called ‘Chinglish’ language ‘as sullying the purity of the chinese language’ and that it ‘has adverse social impacts on the overall chinese culture.’
Perhaps influence of one language such as that of the english one on the global scale and its increased usage lie in the power of the people of the english, or more lately, the American culture. ‘A language has traditionally become an international language for one chief reason: the power of its people—especially their political and military power.’ This is evident throughout the history where usage of particular language in vast regions can be associated with the dominant culture’s overall political power as was the case of Latin and the Roman Empire or greek and Alexander the Great and his legendary conquests across Europe, North Africa and Asia. Although military and political power may be the driving force for the overall cultural dominance in a particular region, considering the more recent history, it can be argued that economical and technological power may play a greater role in establishing dominance in language usage globally. As such while english language remains widely used at the present, by looking at the patterns of today’s economy, it can be expected that perhaps Mandarin chinese may be the language of our future. ‘As China emerges as the world’s second largest economy, Mandarin is replacing japanese as the Asian language of business.’ Even looking at the mere number of people who speak Mandarin chinese, which is estimated to be over a billion now, Mandarin chinese is in fact the most widely spoken language in the world.
Mostly due to globalization, the english language has become and remains such a widely used language worldwide, yet according to many linguists and experts chances of english becoming a global language are in fact decreasing. ‘As of 1995, english was the second-most native tongue in the world, trailing only chinese. By 2050, chinese will continue its predominance, with Hindu-Urdu of India and Arabic climbing past english, and spanish nearly equal to it.’ By looking at the mere statistics in especially Western nations such as the united states, a significant increase of the Hispanic population found there is quickly bringing the spanish language into focus and making it increasingly more spoken in the USA. Similar is the case in other countries with high populations of immigrants and foreign workers. Even though generally considered rather simple to use, widely distributed and published and overall accepted worldwide, english language faces a setback in gaining a status as a global language due to mostly people’s reluctance to give up their native languages. Because of majority of people’s cultural and historic backgrounds, most even though they successfully learn the english language, refuse to give up their native language usage thus preventing english in becoming the true global language.