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English Become The Global Language English Language Essay

Abstract

England was the home where the language “English” originally was created. English nowadays are spread into wide range of countries spoken as their mother-tongue or second language. It’s a language that has been globalizing for millions of people to communicate. However the language is somewhat differentiated by each region. Although it is one language but due to globalizing the language it has been modified for several years.

The key research question of this essay is

“Why has English become the global language? And to what extent does it suit as the global language?”

However in this essay there will be few sub-research questions such as

“Where is the origin of English?” and “An explanation into how American English differs somewhat from contemporary British English.”

Most of the information was found in several websites; however no proper primary research has been done. The essay discusses majorly on the history of the language and partially on the differences of English used in two different regions, England and America. However focuses on the question and explaining why and how the language became the main language throughout different countries. As well as explaining why the language would differ even though they are using one same language called “English.”

The essay concludes that the reason for difference is due to adjustment of the country to fit it with their language. Also due to different dialects used in the region affected the language and caused it to evolve through generations to suit more towards their daily life.

Introduction

What is English? Where did it come from? Many people believe that English was created in England and was named after the country. However studies on English recall that the language was formed through invasion in Britain by three Germanic tribes during the 5th century AD [1] (Appendix A). English just like any other language was created with mixture of other existing languages. The language itself was never complete; therefore it kept developing and eventually evolved to the modern English which we use today.

Today, English has become essential for most people, statements such as “the global language” or “English has become another primary language” is not a false statement. “What does a language need in order for it to become the global language?” [2] Is also another common question asked due to rapid increase in population learning English.

Although the language is called English, they are not all the same even though it may be the global language. Depending on the region, there can be minor or major differences in the language such as the dialect. There are several countries where the official language is English, also several other countries where English is close enough to be recognized as their official language. Nevertheless there are two countries that are used as a common example in comparing the language, they are Britain and America.

Through this essay I will state my personal view of English as a global language and show my opinion discussing the effectiveness of it being the global language. Also discuss my views of when English actually is officially stated as the Global Language. As a comparison I will discuss other country as an example show the effects of English that has been brought into this world. Lastly, I will identify the differences between the American English and the British English and include other English country to back up the statement.

Where is the origin of English?

History of English leads us all the way back to 5th century [3] when the Germanic tribes had invaded Britain from South-East. During this time of period the British people used the Celtic language however they moved towards the North-West [4] . These tribes who invaded Britain had spoken similar language which has become the creation of Old English [5] . Although it is called English, it is not the same as the modern English we speak today (Appendix B).

The period when Old English existed was the golden age for literature [6] , where the best literatures were created (Appendix C). However around 8th century when Alfred the Great, famous king of West Saxon [7] was in power he had developed education systems by building schools. Most of literature texts written in Latin were translated into English in order to unify the language.

Britain around this period was still unstable, there were several battles between European Kingdoms. Norseman, another power that had settled in Britain was another region that had affected English [8] . Their language was somewhat similar to British English, there were not much trouble for the people to understand each other. Old English borrowed several words from Norseman such as sky, give, law, egg and even pronouns like they, their, them [9] . Old English could be recognized as the base to create English, because it was formed majorly by borrowing words from other languages such as the Latin and Norse [10] .

From 11th century to 15th century, Old English has turned into what’s called the Middle English. During this period William the Conqueror, the Duke of Normandy had invaded England [11] . At the time because of their new ruler there have been changes in structure of English. Normandy which is now part of modern France, they used what can be called the Early French. Because of this language the classes in England were divided, those of higher class used French and lower class used English. For several years England was under the rule of kings whose native language was French [12] . This has caused major change in English. The sound or grammar of the language wasn’t affected however vocabulary had changed significantly. Many of the new vocabularies were related to government, religion, food, colors, household, play words, literary words, and education and further more [13] .

Other than the French influence on vocabularies, English was still used as how it was during the Germanic invasions. Middle English focused more on the structure and vocabularies (Appendix D), in order to express emotions in variety directions [14] .

By the end of Middle English another changed had occurred within the language. It was the elimination and shift of vowels [15] . Elimination of the vowel sound was extremely an important change for English as it gave new aspect of the language [16] . Another change was called the Great Vowel Shift where vowels were pronounced shorter [17] . Because of these two changes Middle English has been divided by Modern English. Not only these changes occurred but as Britain reached the medieval age more trades were happening with many other countries. Several vocabularies were changed or more words were introduced during this age.

One important invention during this period was the printing system introduced by William Caxton [18] . People were able to get in touch with literature and further develop their knowledge. Because of the printing system the language was standardized, in order to print they needed fixed spelling, grammar and they used London dialect (Appendix E) [19] . This is the period where English was becoming much of a proper language with actual structure and grammar. It has allowed for famous writers to be born such as Shakespeare (Appendix F).

Around 16th century the British colonized North America, and it where a distinct American English was created [20] . The American English in fact can be recognized as more traditional language despite the fact it came over from Britain. British English has developed and evolved furthermore creating the modern English. However American English stayed much the same as Shakespearian English (Early Modern English) [21] . However American English did move on as the Spanish had come in. Vocabularies such as canyon, ranch, stampede and vigilante are examples of some influence [22] . Not only Spanish but once again French and West African words were newly introduced in American English [23] .

An explanation into how American English differs somewhat from contemporary British English.

American English and British English are both English, however they are different. Those who uses American English could sometimes have trouble understanding their opponent, this can be the same for whom using British English. There are several reasons for this trouble, its likely because of small differences within the language. Despite the fact that English was originally created in Britain and was spread to America, there are other countries where English is their official language such as New Zealand, Australia and Canada.

The common differences between the two languages are the accents. According to different regions their accents would differ but in this case the two language uses different system. The stresses in the vocabulary is somewhat different. As well as the structure of their sentences can slightly vary. Not only these but the actual vocabulary and the spelling are different. The word color/colour is an easy example. The American way of spelling is “color” where as Britain spells it “colour”. Not only Britain but other countries such as Ireland, New Zealand, Canada and Australia uses it. This is matter of stressing the word or not using the vowels. Such minimal differences can be found easily between the two languages.

Relating more to the accent British people tend to emphasize the alphabet R in many cases. An example is ‘here’ the British way of saying the word is much smoother and in comparison American way sounds rougher. Words that end with ary, ery or ory is pronounced very differently. American way would be something like ‘secretory’ where the British way would be something like ‘secretery’. American English uses ‘a’ and ‘o’ very similarly, therefore sometimes words with those alphabets can sound unlike the way it is spelled [24] .

British English and American English definitely have different accents. However there are other countries that use English but have completely different accents to both of these countries. An example country would be India. Most of Indians learn English as their second-language and use it as fluent as their first-language. However most of their accents are no-where similar to the original English, and this is due to effects of their own language. Indian as a language has a special accent or tone in speaking, and because they are very used to their own way of making the sound they have the habit of using the tone when speaking English. Just because of the tone or accent it then creates another type of English when it is still recognized as English.

Why has English become the global language? And to what extent does it suit as the global language?

As shown above English has a long history. The language has evolved for centuries and now it is about to take another step into the world by becoming the Global Language. Is it necessary? Would it be useful for everyone? The answers to these two questions can vary depending on different perspectives.

English is not officially recorded as the Global Language and there are no laws that everyone should know English. However people believe that English could and will become the main source of communication. It is estimated that about 2million people around the world speaks English and it is continuously increasing therefore it is believed that English is or will be the Global Language [25] .

Comparing to Chinese English has much more complexity in the structure. According to population charts there are more native speakers in China however English is what this world has chose. Why? It is because of the effectiveness within the language [26] . Chinese as global language seems to lack in quality. Grammar, prepositions, verb conjugation and tenses all fall behind when compared to English [27] . Using Chinese, it would be troubling to express complex ideas and emotions. The main issue is that most Westerners find Chinese characteristics difficult, but on the other hand Chinese or other part of the world finds Alphabet easy to learn [28] . Therefore Chinese could not become the Global Language.

English is defined lingua franca which simply means that its and international language for those whose mother tongue is not English [29] . It is common for people to speak English to people who are not from the same country. It has also become a requirement for many purposes such as business, science, entertainment, and diplomacy [30] . Many businesses require connections to foreign countries therefore English has become a requirement. Knowing the basics of English might not be enough, they have to be able to communicate fluently although they might not be at the level of a native speaker.

English has become famous due to America becoming the greatest nation. Every country those are willing to develop needs to make trades with America. In order to do this they must be able to communicate, and America isn’t the one who is in need of help. Once America had developed their economy it has become much essential for others to learn English and that fact cannot be denied. Economical way English becoming the Global Language is much of an advantage for most part of the world.

Despite the fact that other languages can disappear is it really a great choice to have a Global Language? It is hard to define whether it is a good or bad choice. The outcomes may vary depending on different views that there isn’t yet a solid answer. Many countries who have preserved their own language for hundreds and thousands of years are still working to keep the leftover of their language. As English is becoming more famous those languages can no longer exist. Korean is an example language that is being affected by introduction of English to the world. The Korean language could be defined as pride to many Koreans however as new generations are becoming globalized they seem to lose interest in their culture mainly language. They modify the language using internet to make it simple and use words with wrong definitions. Soon there could no longer be the language Korean but an English mixed Korean could be born or just English could be left.

Literature artists will not agree having English as Global Language. The reason being is because Literature is truly beautiful once it has been written in their own language [31] because that is how they learnt to express their opinion. When famous literature written in a language other than English is translated into English, would it still contain the message the writer wanted to pass on? Sometimes it will pass but that is not always the case. Once it has been translated the literature could no longer be a good work of art, it is a way of destroying it.

Nevertheless many business men, scientists or mathematicians will agree having English as the Global [32] . This is because common words used in these fields are mostly English and it is easier for these people to communicate to each other once the language has fully been unified. Business related words such as company, business or sales are all English words that are used world-wide. This is a common reason why they all prefer English to become the Global Language. The word business is already an English word that business men use all over the word. The non-native speakers of English would have their own way of saying business however they chose the word “business”, and that perhaps is an evidence already to show that English has become Global Language in that sector.

Conclusion

English is a language that has evolved from the very start of A.D. which still exists today. It is amazing for English to have been used for hundreds of years and yet it still continues on developing. There isn’t a solid statement to say the origin of English, however we can define it by stating that English pre-existed before the Germanic tribe had invaded but it was them who had led to the creation of modern English. Each one of those influences from other countries had also helped creating the modern English, such as France, Spain, Roman Empire or France. Because English had loanwords from those countries they were able to create unique vocabularies. Also the printing system developed in the medieval age was a great source of improvement to the language, as it was the beginning of a fixed language.

There are many other countries where their official language is English and many others where their second language is English. However not everyone does speak the same way or pronounce it the same. Depending on which English they studied they will be different to one and other. It seems that American English is much popular today as America is known to be the great nation. Because of Holly Wood movies, American English is much more familiar to people and attracts more people to study it. That does not mean British English is ignored, it is just that British English sounds much more classical and high class. American English sounds much more modified that it fits well to younger generations, those called slang words are often used by teenagers. It is also Internet that has great effect on those two languages, because American English is writing as it sounds whereas British English is reading how it is written.

Going back to the main question of the essay, is English becoming the Global Language the best choice? In my opinion English is a great language, it allows me to express my feelings better than using my mother-tongue language (which is Korean). It may be because I am a third culture child but Korean isn’t the language I can use with friends to talk in my daily life. English sounds much better in all ways, knowing this language makes me stand in the crowd, and I feel much superior to others who cannot speak the language. Because it is the language many people wish to learn and need for their future I feel like it was a great choice, and I don’t really care much of my own language because it seems useless for my life. If this is how every non-native speakers will feel when they learn English that means in this world no other language will exist. If everyone only cares about their future and lose the least of patriotism then their country could even be gone.

As I take Business and Management class I studied many vocabularies relating to the subject. Sometimes I would discuss with my father about business and there is no use of knowing Korean. I found this fact amazing; this is because although he doesn’t know English much the words he has to deal with everyday are all English. It surprised me and made me think again, is English really that well spread over the world? Then what is the point of arguing whether it should become the Global Language when it already has.

I had asked my father about his opinion on English becoming the Global Language, he said he expected Chinese to become the major language but it turned out America has put some extra effort into it. He says that English is a great language and once it officially becomes the Global language then the world will run much smoother however it will mean losing our own identity. As Koreans we should take pride in our own language and not be interfered by others. For the sake of our ancestors who worked to preserve the language for us to have our own way of representing the country, if we decide to let go of it then we are wasting all their effort.

The point is that once English becomes the Global Language there will certainly be a great advantage for economy but it will bring an end to the lives of literature written in the form of original language. Once it is translated into English then it will just become a story without a message or at least a wrong message. I agree that English is a great language but I do not wish it to become the first language of this world because there are people who just don’t wish to be influenced by others. Just knowing the language is enough, there is no need for it to become the official language.


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