Why Is English Considered a Global Language?


03 Oct 2016 02 Jan 2018

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This project aims to show us why the English known as a global language and why other languages do not have this ability. Also introduce some other languages such as Chinese that can be replaced with English and their capability of being a global one.

Key words: english , global , language , capability.


We all are able to communicate freely with one language to people all around the world. A single language would help to reduce misunderstanding and miscommunication. People will need to learn this one world language, whichever that may be, but we will also never forget older languages completely. It means that we can use both of them at same time for the several reasons. We use our mother tongue in our country (home town) and use second language (global language) for communicate with people that don’t know anything about our mother tongue or for some other reason like job, travel, migration and …. .

Global language

A language is called a “global language” when it achieves the official position and education preference in every nation, that language will finally come to be used by more people than any other language. The essential reason to make a language global or international is the power of its people. The power includes the power of military, politic and economic. Military power, political power and economic power are the three essential factors to make a language global and to keep its status (Culpepper, 1997).

What does the global language do?

When a new language is introduced to new communities, and a new better life is achieved by the new language, it makes people prefer to use the language than their own language. In turn, the low frequency of using particular language may cause the language to disappear. This was true when English was introduced to academic life (Kaplan, 2000). If the language is no longer the key in communication, it will not live anymore. People will forget it.

Many factors cause to the death of the languages that cannot known as global language like War, revolution, economic development or urbanization (Kaplan, 2000). But the development of some areas, like aviation, tourism and banking can be help to be as a global.


English is universal language. It is the world's second native language, the formal language in 70 countries, and English-speaking countries are accountable for about 40% of world's total GNP. English can be used everywhere with educated people around the world. It can be used in media, cinema, pop music, TV and …for anyone who knows English (Bond, Michael, 1751). From Old and Middle English, English was spoken early in the last one thousand years. Examples of language written at that time, such as the works of Chaucer (mid to late 1300's) are useful in supervising linguistic evolution over the last thousand years. In these works, often spellings will be indistinguishable, but once pronounced phonetically, are understandable to modern English speakers (Sapir, Edward, 1871).

Why English is the Most Widely Used Language in the World?

1-Some people may disagree that “English is the world’s most important language.” It is definitely the world’s most widely used language. It is spoken by a number of people 800,000,000 by a conservative appraise 1,500,000,000 by a liberal appraise. It has official status in over 60 countries. 150 million people use English fluently as a foreign language. English is also the language of international air traffic control, and the principal language of world publishing, science and technology (Crystal 2001).

2- In the postcolonial world, English is often used outside the domestic area, discussions of the links between English and Anglo culture may even seem repulsive. Speakers of English—in Britain, the United States, and elsewhere—discussions of possible links between English and Anglo culture may also seem to be best avoided (Quirk et al. 1985).

3- English is also important in business. 84% of companies want English as a foreign language; only 32% require French (Felberbauer 1996). In the Austrian job market, English is pay heed to as a basic qualification; therefore not knowing English may be a conclusive deficit. In Austrian businesses which operate internationally the internal use of English is not so much a feature as it is in Scandinavia (Dension 1981).

According to research conducted by Stockinger, secretaries, for instance, are expected to be able to hold telephone conversations in English while technicians have to be able to read technical literature in English (Stockinger 1995).

The Significance of Learning English:

English may not be spoken language in the worlds, but it is an official language in a large number of countries. It also very important for whom works in global workforce because English is the language of business in world, so it had become necessary for people to speak English.

Another reason for learning English is that many of the world's top films, music and books are published and produced in English. Therefore by learning English, you will be able to have a great understanding.

And also most of the content produced on the internet is in English. So knowing English will allow you access amount of information which may not be otherwise available.


The Chinese language is the oldest language in the world with six thousand years of history. Chinese character inscribing has been found in turtle shells dating back to the Shang dynasty(Reid, Thomas, 1890).

Chinese phonetics is very complex, making the learning of the language a far more difficult role than learning English (Simon-Vandenbergen, Anne-Marie, 1937). The written language is a common form of communication. Even though people are not able to orally communicate in different district, they are able to understand each other in writing (Saltman, Michael, 1903). Chinese is already the most widely spoken language in the world, but that is because of the large population of China (Aleksandr, 2001).

Chinese is not suspended to pass English as a global language. The Chinese economy is strong enough to raise the cause and popularity of its language, just like the English did. But, it is possible that China economy is a result of its ability to conform to others’ languages and way of work rather than the task of the Chinese language on other countries (Spevack, Marvin 1985). In business, Chinese is the most useful language like English. Transacting business matters using a common language is essential for camaraderie building but also for the speed and effectiveness of your negotiations (Thompson, 1998).


French represents different cultures around the world. It is used on five continents, in more than fifty countries. French is one of the six official languages of the United Nations and the official language of the Olympic Games (Vera. 2004). It provides the base for more than 50% of the modern English vocabulary, which improves presentation on standardized tests. French is supported by over 35 years of research and has been proven to be successful with students of all races, economic status and levels of English expertise (Quinn, Naomi. 2002).

The importance of French has economic importance for major economies in the world, For example, French is the official global language of Canada, which performs major trade deals with the US. The knowledge of French for traders to such countries becomes all the more important (Jeremy. 1999).

Being the second most taught language after English and having a readership and with the number of its students, French is absolutely the language to know these days. With English, French is the only other international language; being spoken in 5 continents (Steven. 2002).France has not lost its level of development in language. France is still a highly respected country, and still one of the top romantic languages in western civilization. The United Nations communicates have only two languages: French, and English. There are parts of Africa where French is still the native language, along with several islands.


I did a test on two groups. Group 1, who decided to learn English as second language

Group 2, who decided to learn French as second language.

I asked same question from two groups. Here are the questions and answers:

Question 1: why are you choosing this language to learn?

Group 1  we choose this language because it is an international language and is more important than other language to learn.

Group 2  because nowadays some other language such as French comes to high level in international position and it may know as global language instead of English. So we try to learn it to be modern and update with worlds language changing.

Question 2: How much do you want learn this language? Do you want to learn just for being good at conversation or more than it?

Group 1  No, not just for conversation. We try to use it in our daily life such as reading English books, articles and watching English movies. Looking for medicine news in the internet and …

Group 2  yes actually we learn it to make conversation, greeting and understand what people say.

Result  nowadays we choose language instead of English just because of communicating, making conversation and understanding what other says.

But we choose English to learn for several important reasons. As I mentioned before, we use English to being able to surf the internet, read the international book and magazine, being aware of news around the world and …


We result that it is no surprise that English is becoming the language for international communication. English is the most widely spoken language of the world because of the power the United States in economic and politic.

English is the mother tongue of 380 million people, and it is used worldwide by the newspapers, magazines, scientists, businessmen, and politicians. One billion to 1.5 billion people around the world presently speak English. It is the most widely language in 70 countries (J. Draper. 1994).Globalization at the end of the twentieth century is occurring through the media, and technology, thus affecting languages worldwide (Sebesta , 1996).

In my idea, languages have fallen and risen with the military and economic growth of a nation. Western culture has a large influence to keep it raise and use these power to impose the word for being as a global language.


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