The topic under discussion is that “compare the importance of English to the other major languages of the world and then tell whether it will be able to sustain its superiority in the next hundred years”. I am for the topic. A language is a systematic means of communication by the use of sounds or conventional symbols. It is the code we all use to express ourselves and communicate to others. It is a communication by word of mouth. It is the mental faculty or power of vocal communication.
It is a system for communicating ideas and feelings using sounds, gestures, signs or marks. Language therefore remains potentially a communicative medium capable of expressing ideas and concepts as well as moods, feelings and attitudes and thus makes humans different from other living beings. The latest and the most advanced discoveries and inventions in science and technology are being made in the universities located in the United States of America where English language is the means of scientific discourse.
The importance of English as a spoken language began as a result of the colonial era, when European powers took to the seas in order to find new lands and natural resources. The effects of that time can still be felt in the number of English speakers in India, select parts of Asia and Africa, and North America. The influence of English grew stronger in the 20th century, with the increased mobility of populations, the growth of the United States as an economic power, and the presence of international media in everyday life.
As of 2010 there are fewer native speakers of English than Chinese, though English is spoken in more places, and more people speak English as a second language. The importance of English in business comes from its use as a lingua franca, or a means of communication between speakers of two different languages. Many of the world’s top languages function this way, including French, Russian and Arabic, but English still has the widest reach. A South Korean businessman traveling to meet the head of an Argentinean conglomerate in Germany will expect the common language for all to be English.
Aside from the United Nations, many other international organizations operate in English. After World War II, key financial institutions were created in English, including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The World Trade Organization and a variety of other UN affiliates such the World Food Program and the World Health Organization use English in spoken and written communication. Five of the largest broadcasting companies (CBS, NBC, ABC, BBC and CBC) transmit in English, reaching across the world through satellite television and local holdings.
Estimates for the number of people using the Internet in English lie only slightly ahead of users in Chinese, but well ahead of Spanish and other major languages. In the publishing industry, English is also well ahead: 28 percent of books published annually are in English, and the market for books in English for second language speakers is growing. English currently dominates in science and technology, a position that it took over from German after World War I. Scientific journals publish in English, and many researchers, especially in physics, chemistry and biology, use English as their working language.
The historical circumstances of India (having been ruled by the British for over two centuries) have given the Indians an easy access to mastering English language, and innumerable opportunities for advancement in the field of science and technology. Many Indians have become so skilled in English language and have won many international awards for creative and comparative literatures during the last few years. Sometime ago, an Indian author, Arundhati Roy, won the prestigious booker prize for her book “The God of Small Things”. Her book sold lakhs of copies all over the globe.
According to the 2004 World Factbook, 49 countries list English as their official language, not counting the United States and the United Kingdom, which do not list any official language but use predominantly English. In 2001, a poll of the 189 member countries in the United Nations showed that 120 of them preferred to use English to communicate with other Over the years, English language has become one of our principal assets in getting a global leadership for books written by Indian authors and for films made by Indians in English language.
A famous Indian movie maker Shekhar Kapoor’s film “Elizabeth” has got several nominations for Oscar Awards. It does not require any further argument to establish the advantage English language has brought to us at the international level. English language comes to our aid in our commercial transactions throughout the globe. English is the language of the latest business management in the world and Indian proficiency in English has brought laurels to many Indian business managers. English is a means not only for international commerce; it has become increasingly essential for inter-state commerce and communication.
English language comes to our aid in our commercial transactions throughout the globe. English is the language of the latest business management in the world and Indian proficiency in English has brought laurels to many Indian business managers. English is a means not only for international commerce; it has become increasingly essential for inter-state commerce and communication. Some of the states of India are witnessing popular increase in public demand for teaching of English language from the primary classes.
Realizing the importance, recently, the Minister of Indian Railways, Laloo Prasad Yadav, demands teaching of English language in schools. The great demand for admission in English medium schools throughout the country is a testimony to the attraction of English to the people of India. Many of the leaders, who denounce English, send their own children to English medium schools. Many of the schools in the country have English as the sole or additional medium of instruction. A language attracts people because of the wealth of literature and knowledge enshrined in it.
English poses no danger to Indian languages. The Indian languages are vibrant and are developing by the contributions of great minds using them as their vehicle of expression. English is available to us as a historical heritage in addition to our own language. We must make the best use of English to develop ourselves culturally and materially so that we can compete with the best in the world of mind and matter. English language is our window to the world. English language is one tool to establish our viewpoint.
We can learn from others experience. We can check the theories of foreigners against our experience. We can reject the untenable and accept the tenable. We can also propagate our theories among the international audience and readers. We can make use of English to promote our worldview and spiritual heritage throughout the globe. Swami Vivekananda established the greatness of Indian view of religion at the world conference of religions in Chicago in 1893. He addressed the gathering in impressive English.
Many spiritual gurus have since converted thousands of English people to our spirituality by expressing their thought and ideas in masterful English. English has thus become an effective means of promoting Indian view of life, and strengthening our cultural identity in the world. CONCLUSION: Generally, Standard English today does not depend on accent but rather on shared educational experience, mainly of the printed language. Present-day English is an immensely varied language, having absorbed material from many other tongues.
It is spoken by more than 300 million native speakers, and between 400 and 800 million foreign users. It is the official language of air transport and shipping; the leading language of science, technology, computers, and commerce; and a major medium of education, publishing, and international negotiation. For this reason, scholars frequently refer to its latest phase as World English. Thus English is evitable. Thus English will never loose its superiority even in the next hundred years,
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