as a Global LanguageLiving in the UK we are all told that english
is the international language, but I for one had no idea what that actually meant! I knew we had to study foreign languages at school and I assumed that it was the same in most other countries as well. It was not until I moved to Poland that I discovered just how widely used our language is.
I walked down the main street in the city I had moved to and was simply amazed by the number of language schools I passed. I had come to Poland to be closer to my partner and knew very little about the country itself. I was expecting to have to spend a year learning the language and then use my management qualification and experience to try to find work here. However before I had finished one term of part time study, I found that I had no time left in my weak to learn the native language. I had, you see, been employed by two private language schools and was being given as many classes as I could manage. It was quite a shock to me that they wanted to use someone with little or no teaching experience as their advertising tool. People are so keen to have experience of speaking with a native speaker that they would almost always choose a school which has one over another which does not. Using english
with a native is something that most people are very self-conscious about and want to practice before they have to do it in a serious situation, such as a contract or other business negotiation. A school that can guarantee weekly lessons with a native has a big advantage in the market, especially when pitching its product to potential business clients. These business clients are plentiful, due to the massive need for english
in international communication, and particularly sought after as they tend to be more reliable and pay more.
As part of my time in the schools I met countless people in the classrooms and was sent, several times a week, to local companies and also larger international firms. One theme was almost always present in the introductions of the students. They felt that they needed english
in order to have a good career. This again was a shock for me. I had thought of english
as a language for travel or maybe in business dealings with the UK directly, but here were doctors, lawyers, secretaries, biologists, IT programmers and a wealth of other people for whom english
was a real part of their everyday lives! If you want to be a scientist you need to publish regular journals and these should be in english
! If you want to keep up to date with the latest technology, the first publications are in english
! Companies which trade internationally use english
to deal, even if neither party had english
as their first language! Allegro, one of the biggest firms in Poland has website across central and Eastern Europe and the staff from each country communicate in english
is a language massively in demand and for so many reasons it is a skill which is becoming essential if you want to have any chance of getting a good job, or if you wish your company to succeed. It amazes me to this day just how much influence english
has around the world and how difficult it is to succeed without it. In the last 5 years I have come to realise that english
it truly the global language and what this means to real people.