Language used for international exchange
International trade has made English the most widely spoken language in the world, in fact in most countries it is compulsory as a second language.
The second most spoken language is of course Spanish followed by Chinese.
The languages to learn that will give you an advantage working abroad are French and Japanese.
But according to a study by the World Economic Forum the most powerful languages are English, Mandarin and French.
Languages are a necessary tool for international trade and it is preferable to understand each other as well as possible during linguistic exchanges to avoid unspoken words and other awkwardness.
Why did we need to establish a universal language?
First of all because it was important that all countries agreed to make this language a common language learned in all countries for the understanding of all.
Secondly, because it must be recognised that English is the main language of all the major cities that are financially important.
It was therefore essential that non-English speaking countries learn this language to facilitate exchanges of any kind.
Technically, it is logical that understanding what we say to each other is essential, but it is also essential in terms of emotion, personality, character, in order to get to know a person.
It has also been proven that knowing several languages opens up your perception of things, actions, descriptions.
Indeed, a person who speaks 2 languages fluently will be more inclined to describe a situation in more detail because the brain mixes the descriptive abilities and habits of both languages to form a more complete sentence.
But it can also depend on where you live, for example if you speak with a German who has been living in London for some time he will have developed the descriptive habits of the British.
Conversely, if you interview a German who speaks English fluently and lives in Germany, the situation of deeper description appears.
Why did we choose English as an international language?
This decision was politically imposed, following colonisation and the strong presence of English merchants abroad. It imposed English as the main language in the United States to facilitate trade within the country.
Since the end of the First World War and as you have seen, the American presence has been felt, for example in the cinema, music, fast food, and global lifestyle.
But let's not forget the great influence of English music through famous bands such as the Beatles or the Rolling Stones.
Is it easy to learn English?
Of course, there is no easier or more difficult language because each one has its difficulties and they are qualified as more or less difficult depending on the origin of your native language.
English is basically derived from a Germanic language; when you study Old English you will find that it is similar to the Icelandic language.
Later on it was influenced by Celtic, Latin and Viking influences that make up the English language as we know it today.
What makes English an easier language to categorise is the fact that its grammar is simplified compared to languages such as German or French.
Even if we remember this long list of irregular verbs very well, the English conjugation is once again more refined.
What is most complicated in this language is surely its pronunciation, as it has no less than 46 different sounds.
In short, the English language can be perceived as simpler because it is more widespread, but in reality, depending on the region, it is very different from the version you learn for the purpose of international trade.
Speaking English as a native and even trying to become bilingual is very ambitious and quite different from the classic Franca Lingua.
The differences in words, pronunciation and sentence structure between British English and American English suggest an additional difficulty. And indeed, it will be quite frequent that by pronouncing a word you are corrected and you realise that nobody ever told you about this variant, even if you have done 5 years of studies and all your courses were in English. If you think you have a good level of English, all you have to do is go and live in an English-speaking country to understand that this is not always the case.
Written by: Lisa Lambert, staff writer
- Language Exchange
- 3 Feb, 2020
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