English language

How the English Language became the No. 1 World Language of Today

Posted on October 7, 2014 · Posted in Linguistics, Translation History

We have skilled agents able to translate between many language pairs – the majority of our projects involve translating either to or from English. In fact 1 in every 4 people on the planet speaks English to varying degrees of competence.

With its many spelling quirks and our ever diminishing Empire, it’s a little surprising that the use of English continues to spread throughout the world.

Here we take a look at the top six reasons for the English language’s world domination.

1. Hooray For Hollywood

As Hollywood is the centre of the movie universe, English is the number one language of the film industry. Even when a film is subtitled, the audience are still exposed to the pattern of sound of English speech. And some catchphrases are so good they are repeated in English over and over again no matter what the first language the movie fan usually speaks – ‘I’ll be back.’ This constant exposure to English breeds familiarity, making it more attractive and easier to learn.

2. Tiny Island, Big Music Industry

What the US has done for movies, Britain has done for music. Even before the Beatles hit the airwaves the Brits were a big musical deal. But the Fab Four launched English-based music into the global arena. Over time the US has grabbed their fair share of the music industry, further spreading the use of English around the world.

3. The Have-A-Go Language

The British love to see someone giving it a go. Any visitor to these shores courageously mashing some English words together and calling it a sentence will be welcomed with open ears. We admire their effort and do our best to understand them. Why? Because we know how hard it is to learn English. Heck most of us native speakers are still struggling with it ourselves (not at Teck Language Solutions, as we are super-brilliant at English). We understand that our grammar rules are bonkers and spelling patterns are scarily unpredictable. So while English is by no means the easiest language to learn in technical terms, it is one of the easiest languages to communicate in.

4. Borrowed Words

The English language includes a large number of words borrowed or adapted from other languages, especially Latin. If you are a native speaker of any Romance language (based on Latin, not love), the many of the words and grammar patterns will be familiar to you.

5. Online Lingo

English is THE language of the Internet. There’s no rule that says anything written online must be in English, but more than half of all material published on the Internet is written in English. This is a huge incentive for non-English speakers to learn the language. Want to see the best of what the Internet has to offer? You need to learn the lingo first. And the heavy dose of English online makes learning the lingo easier through repeated exposure to the language. Plus the advent of online language courses makes learning English possible, no matter what country you are currently living in.

6. Historic Greatness

If greatness is measured by how many people you can count under your reign, Britain was pretty great indeed. By 1922, the British Empire covered 1/4 of the Earth’s land area. Under British rule great emphasis was placed on learning English. Britain was keen to educate its citizens within the colony, with English the language of the classroom. Within the colonies, the ability to thrive and succeed in business was dependent on your ability to speak English. After independence many colonies continued to use English under the direction of rulers who had themselves been educated in English while under British ruler. Thus, although the ruling power of Britain receded, the use of the English language remained widespread.

Today, English remains the dominant language within the realms of Business and Finance. Teck Translations provides rapid, reliable translations between dozens of language pairs. Contact us today to see how our services can help your business reach new audiences.