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English language is so important mainly because more than quarter of the countries in the world were under the British Empire before. This include nations like India, Canada, Australia, and Malaysia.
English language is non a medium of instruction for higher learning especially in the field of science and technology especially in Medicine and engineering. Whoever want to do research work may have to do it in English.
English language is also important in the field of communication or more than half the world population speak English. It is an advantage of you can speak English in a foreign country. Many people in the tourism business can speak simple English. So, you will not feel lost if you can speak English in other countries.
English language also enable us to know the cultures and traditions of other countries. By speaking or writing English we can know each other better. Take for instance, Nigeria and Gharna are two countries under the British before. Though English language we speak and write to them and know their cultures and traditions. Without English language we may not be able to communicate each other as we cannot speak their language. Likewise, they cannot understand our Bahasa Malaysia.
English language is equally important in the field of finance and stock markets. Many of the big world, stock markets do their transactions in English especially the New York Market and the London market. It will be difficult for us to do any business with other if we do not know the English language. Many of the banks also do their transactions in English especially in currency exchange and loan agreements.We may be handicapped in the exchange rates and loan aggreements if we do not know English.
In the medical field, most of the medical terms and medicine are writer in English. Even scientists, most of them use standart units for measurements or if a person wish to be a doctor or pharmacist, he may have to be well verse in the English language as many of the teachings and medical books are in English.
While many words enter English as slang, not all do. Some words are adopted from other languages; some are mixtures of existing words (portmanteau words), and some are new coinages made of roots from dead languages: e.g. thanatopsis. No matter the origin, though, words seldom, if ever, are immediately accepted into the English language. Here is a list of the most common foreign language influences in English, where other languages have influenced or contributed words to English.
The Importance of English Language in Malahysia. The English language is a West Germanic language that originates from England and is also spoken as a native language in the other home countries of the United Kingdom, in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa, and numerous other countries. English is now the third most spoken native language worldwide (after Chinese and Hindi), with some 380 million speakers. It has lingua franca status in many parts of the world, due to the military, economic, scientific, political and cultural influence of the British Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries and that of the United States from the mid 20th century to the present. Through the global influence of native English speakers in cinema, airlines, broadcasting, science, and the Internet in recent decades, English is now the most widely learned second language in the world. Many students worldwide are required to learn some English, and a working knowledge of English is required in many fields and occupations.
The chart above showed the wide spread English users in the world. English is the second- or third- most widely spoken language in the world today; a total of 600-700 million people use English regularly. About 377 million people use English as their mother-tongue and an equal number of people use it as their second or foreign language. It is used widely in either the public or private sphere in more than 100 countries all over the world. In addition, the language has occupied a primary place in international academic and business communities. The current status of the English language compares with that of Latin in the past. English is the most widely learned and used foreign language in the world, and, as such, many linguists believe it is no longer the exclusive cultural emblem of "native English speakers," but rather a language that is absorbing aspects of cultures worldwide as it grows in use. Others believe that there are limits to how far English can go in suiting everyone for communication purposes. It is the language most often studied as a foreign language in Europe (32.6 percent)., followed by French, German, and Spanish. It is also the most studied in Japan, South Korea and in the Republic of China (Taiwan), where it is compulsory for most high school students. As English is so widely spoken, it has been referred to as a "global language." While English is not the official language in many countries, it is the language most often taught as a second language around the world, such as the Republic of Singapore and Malaysia. It is also, by international treaty, the official language for aircraft/airport communication. Its widespread acceptance as a first or second language is the main indication of its global status. Many countries in the world rely on English to communicate and to sell their products as what I had mentioned above. Those countries are such as India, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. In Asia, our country Malaysia and our neighboring countries become the target for supplying goods and skills at a cheaper rate than countries in the west. Former prime minister of Malaysia , Dr Mahathir Mohamed, who gave two lectures at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina said that English is important to the capital growth in the country. It is not only the changes of individual cultural and tradition languages. Mahathir explained how Malaysia turned from a poor, rice-cultivating country into one of the most competitive industrial giants in Asia . He said that in Malaysia his government struck a balance
between its role as a watchdog over the private sector without choking the free market economy. He added that Malaysia did not adhere to any rigid ideology, whether communists or capitalist, but followed management and production styles appropriate to enhancing his countries capabilities. Mahathir emphasized the importance of tolerating other views and cultures, while preserving one's own identity. By achieving this leaning a second language which will benefit our country is a must. English, the de facto global language, is turning from a mere useful skill into a prerequisite for access to the best jobs and the highest incomes. Nowhere is the growing dominance of English clearer than in information technology. Highlighting the challenge is the Internet, where 80% of Web pages are in English. Since the biggest companies, the hottest startups and the best research institutions are in the U.S., the industry and the technology dance to English lyrics. Beyond its importance in day-to-day business, English is now the prime language of learning - perhaps even of thought. For Asians, especially Malaysia the importance of English in winning promotions is obvious. To make English as an important subject in Malaysia and to enhance the usage of the targeted language many gigantic steps have been carried out by the Malaysian government, such as the about the policy of teaching Mathematics and Science in English in our primary and secondary schools. To support the government s movement in introducing and implementation of English in Science and Mathematics , Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) has even invested over RM1mil to train lecturers to teach in English as long as 3 years ago. Other than the changes in the teaching syllabus, Parliament should allow debate in English for one sitting every week to promote the mastery of English by Malaysians as well as overcome the hangover attitude that speaking English is being anti-national or un-Malaysian. It is a good example for the nation too. According to our Prime Minister, that as a country, Malaysia would stand a better chance of succeeding and safeguarding its interests if its people excelled in the language.
Because English is so widely spoken, it has often been referred to as a "world language", the lingua franca of the modern era. While English is not an official language in most countries, it is currently the language most often taught as a foreign language around the world. Some linguists (such as David Graddol) believe that it is no longer the exclusive cultural property of "native English speakers", but is rather a language that is absorbing aspects of cultures worldwide as it continues to grow. It is, by international treaty, the official language for aerial and maritime communications. English is an official language of the United Nations and many other international organisations, including the International Olympic Committee.
The expansion of the British Empire and since World War II the influence of the United States have spread English throughout the globe. Because of that global spread, English has developed a host of English dialects and English-based creole languages and pidgins.
More recently still, English has become a lingua franca, a global language, regularly used and understood by many nations for whom English is not their first language. (For further information on this see the pages on Global English on this site). The eventual effects on the English language of both of these developments can only be guessed at today, but there can be little doubt that they will be as important as anything that has happened to English in the past sixteen hundred years.
The influence of English language in globalism has affect the world in several different ways such as:
Industrial - emergence of worldwide production markets and broader access to a range of foreign products for consumers and companies. Particularly movement of material and goods between and within national boundaries. International trade in manufactured goods increased more than 100 times (from $95 billion to $12 trillion) in the 50 years since 1955. China's trade with Africa rose sevenfold during 2000-07 alone.
Financial - emergence of worldwide financial markets and better access to external financing for borrowers. By the early part of the 21st century more than $1.5 trillion in national currencies were traded daily to support the expanded levels of trade and investment. As these worldwide structures grew more quickly than any transnational regulatory regime, the instability of the global financial infrastructure dramatically increased, as evidenced by the Financial crisis of 2007 2010.
As of 2005 2007, the Port of Shanghai holds the title as the World's busiest port.Economic - realization of a global common market, based on the freedom of exchange of goods and capital. The interconnectedness of these markets, however, meant that an economic collapse in any one given country could not be contained.
Almost all notable worldwide IT companies are now present in India. Four Indians were among the world's top 10 richest in 2008, worth a combined $160 billion. In 2007, China had 415,000 millionaires and India 123,000.Health Policy - On the global scale, health becomes a commodity. In developing nations under the demands of Structural Adjustment Programs, health systems are fragmented and privatized. Global health policy makers have shifted during the 1990s from United Nations players to financial institutions. The result of this power transition is an increase in privatization in the health sector. This privatization fragments health policy by crowding it with many players with many private interests. These fragmented policy players emphasize partnerships, specific interventions to combat specific problems (as opposed to comprehensive health strategies). Influenced by global trade and global economy, health policy is directed by technological advances and innovative medical trade. Global priorities, in this situation, are sometimes at odds with national priorities where increased health infrastructure and basic primary care are of more value to the public than privatized care for the wealthy.
Britain is a country of rich diversity. As of 2008, 40% of London's total population was from an ethnic minority group. The latest official figures show that in 2008, 590,000 people arrived to live in the UK whilst 427,000 left, meaning that net inward migration was 163,000.Political - some use "globalization" to mean the creation of a world government which regulates the relationships among governments and guarantees the rights arising from social and economic globalization. Politically, the United States has enjoyed a position of power among the world powers, in part because of its strong and wealthy economy. With the influence of globalization and with the help of The United States own economy, the People's Republic of China has experienced some tremendous growth within the past decade. If China continues to grow at the rate projected by the trends, then it is very likely that in the next twenty years, there will be a major reallocation of power among the world leaders. China will have enough wealth, industry, and technology to rival the United States for the position of leading world power.
Informational - increase in information flows between geographically remote locations. Arguably this is a technological change with the advent of fibre optic communications, satellites, and increased availability of telephone and Internet.
Language - the most popular language is Mandarin (845 million speakers) followed by Spanish (329 million speakers) and English (328 million speakers).
About 35% of the world's mail, telexes, and cables are in English.
Approximately 40% of the world's radio programs are in English.
About 50% of all Internet traffic uses English.
Competition - Survival in the new global business market calls for improved productivity and increased competition. Due to the market becoming worldwide, companies in various industries have to upgrade their products and use technology skillfully in order to face increased competition.
Ecological - the advent of global environmental challenges that might be solved with international cooperation, such as climate change, cross-boundary water and air pollution, over-fishing of the ocean, and the spread of invasive species. Since many factories are built in developing countries with less environmental regulation, globalism and free trade may increase pollution. On the other hand, economic development historically required a "dirty" industrial stage, and it is argued that developing countries should not, via regulation, be prohibited from increasing their standard of living.
The construction of continental hotels is a major consequence of globalization process in affiliation with tourism and travel industry, Dariush Grand Hotel, Kish, IranCultural - growth of cross-cultural contacts; advent of new categories of consciousness and identities which embodies cultural diffusion, the desire to increase one's standard of living and enjoy foreign products and ideas, adopt new technology and practices, and participate in a "world culture". Some bemoan the resulting consumerism and loss of languages. Also see Transformation of culture.
Spreading of multiculturalism, and better individual access to cultural diversity (e.g. through the export of Hollywood and, to a lesser extent, Bollywood movies). Some consider such "imported" culture a danger, since it may supplant the local culture, causing reduction in diversity or even assimilation. Others consider multiculturalism to promote peace and understanding between people. A third position gaining popularity is the notion that multiculturalism to a new form of monoculture in which no distinctions exist and everyone just shift between various lifestyles in terms of music, cloth and other aspects once more firmly attached to a single culture. Thus not mere cultural assimilation as mentioned above but the obliteration of culture as we know it today.
Greater international travel and tourism. WHO estimates that up to 500,000 people are on planes at any one time. In 2008, there were over 922 million international tourist arrivals, with a growth of 1.9% as compared to 2007.
Greater immigration, including illegal immigration. The IOM estimates there are more than 200 million migrants around the world today. Newly available data show that remittance flows to developing countries reached $328 billion in 2008.
Spread of local consumer products (e.g., food) to other countries (often adapted to their culture).
Worldwide fads and pop culture such as Pok mon, Sudoku, Numa Numa, Origami, Idol series, YouTube, Orkut, Facebook, and MySpace. Accessible to those who have Internet or Television, leaving out a substantial segment of the Earth's population.
Worldwide sporting events such as FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games.
Incorporation of multinational corporations in to new media. As the sponsors of the All-Blacks rugby team, Adidas had created a parallel website with a downloadable interactive rugby game for its fans to play and compete.
Social - development of the system of non-governmental organisations as main agents of global public policy, including humanitarian aid and developmental efforts.
Development of a Global Information System, global telecommunications infrastructure and greater transborder data flow, using such technologies as the Internet, communication satellites, submarine fiber optic cable, and wireless telephones
Increase in the number of standards applied globally; e.g., copyright laws, patents and world trade agreements.
The creation of the international criminal court and international justice movements.
Crime importation and raising awareness of global crime-fighting efforts and cooperation.
The emergence of Global administrative law.
The spread and increased interrelations of various religious groups, ideas, and practices and their ideas of the meanings and values of particular spaces
On the other hands, English language taking advantage of instant communication, product delivery measured in days, and falling trade barriers, small businesses will become more global. The Internet and the proliferation of cheap, easy communications technology (cell phones, lower long distance rates, email, instant messaging, VOIP) are a big part of the enabling of small business in the global marketplace. Worldwide delivery services have contributed by lowering shipping time and costs.
Today, a key to entry into the community of the educated elite or at least a necessary if not in itself a sufficient qualification for a membership card is the English language. David Crystal points out that a language achieves a genuinely global status when it develops a special role that is recognized in every country and suggests that English has acquired this status (3). Such global status, he contends, arises from a combination of factors, including military and political might, economic power, and what he describes as cultural power primarily the use of English as the means of storing and imparting knowledge and information. The role of English in such storage and imparting of knowledge has expanded by leaps and bounds in the past twenty years or so. The vast majority of scientific texts are now published in English; English is the dominant language on the Internet (though by no means the only one); international business is conducted in English, as, increasingly, is diplomacy. English continues to serve as the language of government in many countries, and, even in those countries where efforts are made to assert the local language as the language of government, it refuses to disappear. A story in the New York Times is typical: in the recent trial of former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim, the Malaysian attorney general, Mohtar Abdullah, scored points by pointing out that Ibrahim, an enthusiast for Malaysian nationalism, replied to questions in court not in Bahasa Malaysia but in English ( In Court ).
In short, English is the Microsoft of languages the linguistic medium that has acquired such a dominant role in the marketplace that it seems to have become self-perpetuating. The parallel with computers is by no means far-fetched: just as the colonial powers laid down railroads and installed telephone systems that depended for their maintenance and spare parts on industries based in the mother countries, so the British Empire and, in its way, the United States, developed a linguistic software infrastructure that is today heavily dependent on the cultural products everything from entertainment to education of the English-speaking world. Apparently the only way for other countries to share this global market is to adopt its linguistic software. Accordingly, we find many countries whose languages are essentially local and marginal that use English as a medium of instruction in colleges and universities or in publishing or the entertainment industry. In the 1980s, the University of Amsterdam launched a program in European studies in which English was the medium of instruction. It created a sensation at the time. But today, according to a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, the use of English for instructional purposes in Dutch universities is widespread and increasingly represents a worldwide trend: instruction in English is appearing not just in the Netherlands and Scandinavia but in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and many other parts of the world (Bollag A74, A76). Furthermore, it is common for courses ostensibly offered in the language of the country in question to switch to English if foreign students are present, according to Jouko Lindstedt, professor of Slavic linguistics at the University of Helsinki. Even so, almost half the world s foreign students are studying in six English-speaking countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States (Fishman 28). It is precisely to catch more of this business that universities in much of the world are reengineering themselves into instruction in English.
In discussing the globalization of the English language, especially during the 21st century, one should recognize the influence of the English language on academic thought, business, and the formation of economic policies. David Nunan, a world renowned linguist, suggests that each year nearly 50% of all the academic papers published throughout the world are published in English.
As businesses grow and their representatives travel abroad, English serves as one of the primary languages for multinational corporations. Our economic policies, business practices and even our ability to communicate higher order concepts is increasingly done in English.
Granted, one may argue that competing in a global market almost necessitates a global language, which may or may not be true. Note, however, that the importance in this assumption is placed on the role of the English language as an economically viable skill. People should have this skill because it is valuable. It is valuable because lots of people already speak English.