Языки мира / Languages of the world

There are about 6 000 foreign languages in the world. But English is the world’s top tongue. It has become the “new Latin”, the lingua franca of the XXth century and its importance is growing up all the time. It’s really a global language. The English language is now the first language of about 400 mln people, the native language of 12 nations and the official or semiofficial language of thirty three more nations. Almost one and a quarter billion people across the world use English as a second foreign language. These days it’s the international language of politics, business, science, transport, advertizing, the media and computers. For example, about 75 percentof websites are in English, 60% of the world’s radio stations broadcast in English and more than half of the world’s periodicals are printed in English. Even in Germany, almost 90 percent of research scientists use English as their working English every day.

There are some other languages which are gaining in popularity. First of all it’s Chinese with its billion native speakers. The number of people who speak Arabic, Spanish, Chinese or Portuguese in different countries is increasing too. Some languages like Urdu or Hindi are growing much faster than English. Even in the USA the fastest growing language is Spanish. Not all languages are so successful, however. In fact, about twenty languages disappear every year. Perhaps the Internet can help to save some languages from dying out with chat sites and messenger programs for communication in any language people know.

Nevertheless I think that English will remain the world’s language for international communication. Its role in personal development will be very important. Personally I like English, I learn it. I improve it; I enjoy reading, listening and writing English. It’s my hobby and my profession. I teach it. For most of my students English is one of the favourite subjects. It’s great.

English as a foreign language has no equals.