20:23If you speak English...
|English is currently one of the most widely spoken and written languages worldwide, with some 380 million native speakers. |
Through the global influence of native English speakers in cinema, music, broadcasting, science, and the Internet in recent decades, English is now the most widely learned second language in the world.
Because a working knowledge of English is required in many fields and occupations, education ministries around the world mandate the teaching of English to at least a basic level.
And there are some other facts about English you might be interested in knowing. In no particular order, here are some of the numbers about English:
English is the most widespread language in the world and is more widely spoken and written than any other language.
Over 400 million people use the English vocabulary as a mother tongue, only surpassed in numbers, but not in distribution by speakers of the many varieties of Chinese.
Over 700 million people, speak English, as a foreign language.
Did you know that of all the world's languages (over 2,700) English is arguably the richest in vocabulary; and that the Oxford English Dictionary lists about 500,000 words, and there are a half-million technical and scientific terms still uncatalogued?
Three-quarters of the world's mail, telexes and cables are in English.
More than half of the world's technical and scientific periodicals are in English
English is the medium for 80% of the information stored in the world's computers
English is the language of navigation, aviation and of Christianity; it is the ecumenical language of the World Council of Churches
Five of the largest broadcasting companies in the world (CBS, NBC, ABC, BBC and CBC) transmit in English, reaching millions and millions of people all over the world.
The main language used throughout the world on the internet is English. The media that make up the Internet are overwhelmingly American in origin, so it is no wonder that the mother tongue of the Web is English. Four factors determine the degree to which a given language finds use on the Internet:
1. The number of users of the language
2. The extent of its use as an official language
3. The economic power of the language and ;
4. The volume of information disseminated in that language.
Today, English reigns supreme in all four respects. It is studied as a foreign language throughout the world and employed by a majority of Internet users. Of the 163 member nations of the U.N., more use English as their official language than any other. The easiest way to calculate the economic influence of a language may be to add up the gross domestic products (GDP) of all the nations where it is spoken. People who count English as their mother tongue make up less than 10% of the world's population, but possess over 30% of the world's economic power. Therefore, in terms of the quantity of transmitted information, English is the leader by far. After English, 26 nations in the U.N. cite French as their official tongue, 21 Spanish and 17 Arabic. Each of these three languages forms a sizable linguistic constituency on the Internet.
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