There is little doubt that the english
language has become the preferred global language on this planet. It is the world’s business
language, the dominant dialect of the internet and it has become a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide.
Today, the english
language can be heard in all corners of the earth. In some ways english
is not at all different from Coca Cola, Nike or Apple. In fact, it is part of the very same expansion of globalized culture. It is the language of the products of these companies and countless others. That is not to say that the english
language owes its success solely to corporate growth but it hasn’t hindered it either. “The growth of english
has been promoted by the possibility of fast, cheap
and reliable international communication.” (qtd. in Broda)
As a mother tongue english
does not dominate other languages, it’s as a second language where the world shows its preference for english
. Consider the following; “the united states
has only about 20 percent of the world's english
speakers. In Asia alone, an estimated 350 million people speak english
” (Mydans ). This is an astounding figure. If we combine the native speakers of the United Kingdom, canada
and the u.s.
A., we come up with about 330 million. There are more people who speak english
as a second language (of varying levels) in Asia than there are Native speakers in north america
and the U.K. english
may not have the most native speakers in the world, but it is definitely the most wide spread and useful language in the world today. “english
is used as an official language in more countries –forty-four-…and none is spoken over a wider area of the globe.” (Bryson 181)
When people communicate from one language to another, often the preferred medium is english
There may be more native speakers of chinese
or Hindi, but it is english
they speak when they talk across cultures, and english
they teach their children
to help them become citizens of an increasingly intertwined world. (Mydans)
The use of the internet has become almost ubiquitous in our everyday lives and the vast majority people using the net are communicating, reading, speaking in, listening to, and typing in english
. Wilts the english
language is expanding across the globe, nowhere is its presence more apparent than online. “It has consolidated its dominance as the language of the Internet, where 80 percent of the world's electronically stored information is in english
.” (qtd in Mydans)
is not only spreading around the globe as the second language of choice internationally, it penetrates the lexicon and the very fabric of many cultures and their native languages.
In my own experience in South Korea, I have been astonished by the amount of english
words that have been assimilated into everyday speaking in Korea. This phenomenon is known as “Konglish”. The interesting thing about this phenomenon is not simply the adaptation of english
words by another language and culture (this occu.s.
between all languages), but it is the invention of new phrases or uses for an english
word that are particular to Korea. Some common examples are: Han-deu-pone (Hand phone) in place of cell phone, To-seu-teu (Toast) for grilled egg sandwich, seur-bi-sh-eu (service) for free of charge, i-seu-ba (icebar) for popsicle, shot-paen-cha (short pants) for shorts, and so on (The Ultimate Konglish List). South Korea is just one country of many where this is occurring. ‘Spanglish’, ‘Franglais’, ‘Chinglish’ and ‘Konglish’ are all products of globalization and the pervasiveness of the english
New versions or ‘english
es’ are emerging around the world. People are adopting english
as the international language of choice and are beginning to use it in new ways and in essence creating new english
dialects. These new lingu.s.
ic hybrids are changing the way english
is spoken. english
“no longer belongs to the native speaker, but it belongs to the world” (Mydans). It is thought that a new World Language could evolve out of this phenomenon. Not english
as we know it today, but as it is being reinvented by non-native speakers all over the world.
In summary, english
is now spoken in more countries across the globe than any other and has established itself as the leading language in world commerce, popular culture and technology. Despite not having the most native speakers on the planet, no other language is used as much as english
as a second or third language.
Broda, Kyle – What is meant by ‘english
as a Global Language’ and what factors have shaped the emergence of english
as a global language? http://www.kylebroda.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/global.13260334.pdf
Bryson, Bill – The Mother Tongue: english
and How It Got That Way, New York
, NY, usa
Harper Collins Publishers Inc. ,1990
Mydans, Seth – Across cultures, english
is the word (2007), The New York
The Ultimate Konglish List ( http://koreanselfstudyisntlame.blogspot.kr/2010/02/ultimate-konglish-list.html )