Otázka: English as Number 1 language
I would like to speak about English language.
English is spoken all over the world. It is the most influential language in the world and it is spoken by more than billion people on the planet and the number is increasing. English is the official language of a lot of countries and it is the first language of around a half of billion people living in Britain, Ireland, the USA, Austalia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa, and it is spoken as a second language by a lot of people. English has become a global language or international language, used by people who speak different native languages to communicate with each other.
English has achieved the status of a world language over a long period of time and for various historical and cultural reasons. In the 17th century English was spread by settlers going to from Britain to America and in the 18th and 19th century by the expansion of the British Empire. Many coutries which were part of the empire kept English as their official language after independence. Some countries feel that using English gives them an advatage in international affaires. English has has been an official language of international organisations such as the United Nations.
Economic factors are also important. Britain and the US are both major business and financial centres and a knowledge of English is often necessary for succes in business and in countries which have become tourist destinations English has been choosen as the main foreign language used in hotels and tourist attractions. And English has become the language for international communation in air traffic control and shipping.
The status of English as a global language has unfortunately tended to mean that British and American people assume everyone speaks English, so they don’t bother to learn foreign language. However, better language teaching and an awareness of an advantages of speaking another language, are slowly changing this situation.
Now I would like to mention history of English. English belong to the family of Indo-Evropean languages, specifically Germanic languages. The story of English began in the fifth century when the Angles, Saxon and Jutes came from what is now northern Germany and Denmark. They brought Germanic language, very different from modern English. It was more like German, had endings and genders. When the Vikings came from Scandinavia , they could communicate with Anglo-Saxons. Their languages were similar, so gradually the endings of Anglo-Saxons started to disappear to make communication easier between the two nations. Modern English has plenty of words of Scandinavian origin (for example sister or window).
In 1066 William, Duke of Normandy invaded England and defeated the last Anglo-Saxon king. French became the official language of England and for the next three hundred years French was the language of government, so a lot of words connected with this area are originally from French: government, parliament, judge, court and nation. English was the language of common people. By the end of the 14th century, English regained its dominance.
When England grew stronger. It forced the use of English all over the islands – in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. And then, after defeated the Spanish army, Great Britain became a naval empire and stared to set up overseas colonies.
The first colonies were founded in North America. Although these colonies became independent after some years, English was so wide spread and used there that it became the official language. English is spoken in the USA and Canada, although there is a very strong French influence in Canadian province of Quebec too).
Another former British colony is Australia. The continent became a British point of interest right after the American war of independence. Prisons in England were full ad there was no was no chance to moce some convicts to America, so British government decided to set up a colony in Autralia. We can find some English speaking countries in Africa too (for example South Africa or Chad).
Now I would like to move to Asia, there is a very strong British influence in India – once again a former British colony – and English is common there. Another interesting place is Hong Kong – now Chinese, but in fact British territory until 1999. A lot of people speak English in other Asian countries too, mainly because of tourism and in fact that English-speaking investors are bringing business in.
In Europe English is common language of the European Union, the Council of Europe and the European parliament.
As so many people speak English in so many different countries, there are many different varieties of English, which is recognized English of United Kingdom, American English, the languages spoken in Australia and New Zealand. Canadian English is variety with many words taken from French. One of the most notable differences between American and British English is in the spelling of certain words. There are some differences between British and American English: Flat – Appartement, tin – can, lift – elevator, biscuite – cookie, lorry – track, film – movie, underground – subway,
In my opinion, English is very important language, because we can use it anywhere and they should understand us. I have learnt English since I was twelve and it is very important for me because I think I will need it for my future life and my future job.