We know that English is the most understood language today, with 2 billion speakers across the world.
English is not just the most common language: it’s also the most important one for you to lớn learn for many reasons!
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The British Council conducted interviews with six English language students to lớn understand the ways in which their English courses were impacting their lives. They found that English was a liberating force: enabling the learners to lớn be competitive in the job market, access college-education overseas and enhance their ability to lớn access information and build friendships online.
This important language has changed the lives of ví many people. It could just change your life too.
If you’re looking for more reasons why you should be part of the huge community of English speakers, read on!
5 Fascinating Facts about the English language
There’s always something interesting to lớn learn about English. Below are 5 surprising facts that will help you understand more about this incredible language!
There are 2 billion English speakers in the world
With 2 billion speakers worldwide, English is the largest language by the number of speakers. It is also the third largest language by the number of native speakers.
As the most common language, English has the power of connecting people from many different cultures, building relationships and understanding. After putting your time and effort in to lớn learn English, you’ll be able to lớn speak with around 20% of people in the world.
English is the official language of 67 countries
That’s right, 67 countries! In some countries where English is not the most spoken language, it is still an official language. That means, it’s accepted by a country’s government, and often taught in schools. That’s a lot of the world covered with just one language!
Amongst these countries are the “core Anglosphere“. These include the USA (with at least 230 million native English speakers), the UK (with 60 million speakers), Canada (at least đôi mươi million), nước Australia (at least 17 million), and New Zealand (4.8 million). Due to lớn the colonial history of the British empire, some countries also have English as an official language. These include Barbados, India, Nigeria and Cyprus.
English words used to lớn have gender
If you speak Spanish, German or French, you’ll be familiar with languages where nouns come in three varieties: masculine, feminine or neutral. These days, English nouns don’t have a gender. But once upon a time, they did.
Up until the 1200s, instead of using the articles “the” or “a”, Old English had the masculine article “se” and the feminine article “seo”. Linguists aren’t sure what happened to lớn provoke the change. However, Professor Anne Curzan claims in her book Gender Shifts in the History of English that English lost its genders after the language was mixed with many others over hundreds of years. A lot of this language mixing took place in the North of England, where the Vikings made a huge impact after invading between the 700s and the 1000s.
Since English has such complex grammar rules, it’s fortunate that there isn’t the added complication of gendered nouns!
There are ~171,000 words in the English vocabulary
Before we explain just how deep the English language is, we need to lớn mention — there is absolutely no need for English learners to lớn be scared by the number of words there are. In fact, research shows that you will be able to lớn understand about 65% of all writing in English with only the 300 most common words.
At the time of writing, the Oxford English Dictionary contains 171,476 words. However, it’s hard to lớn tell if these numbers are reliable, simply because English has repurposed words from ví many other languages. It’s also surprisingly difficult for linguists to lớn measure what “counts” as a whole word… for example, should we include plurals, diminutives and conjugations?
It’s estimated that three words are added to lớn the dictionary every two hours, and roughly 1,000 words are added to lớn the Oxford English Dictionary every year. In 2020 alone, “LOL”, “awesomesauce”, and “shticky” were all added to lớn the dictionary, which shows how flexible and fun the language has become.
Shakespeare added over 1,000 words to lớn the English language
Changes in a language are usually down to lớn the effort of hundreds of thousands of speakers over hundreds of years. It’s extremely unusual for one person to lớn be responsible for a big linguistic shift, but in English, there is one exception — William Shakespeare.
The English language wouldn’t be the same without the writer of famous plays lượt thích Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet. Through him, we were introduced to lớn words lượt thích “lonely”, “critic”, and “addiction”. Interested to lớn see which words Shakespeare invented? You can explore the full list of words Shakespeare invented here.
If you feel lượt thích a challenge, try adding Shakespeare to lớn your reading list alongside these 15 classic English stories.
6 reasons why English is the most valuable language you can learn in 2020 (and beyond)
Knowing English will allow you to lớn be part of a global conversation in ví many ways. Below are just five of the reasons learning English could change your life for the better.
1. English is the dominant language in academia
As of 2020, 17 of the top 20 universities in the global rankings are English-speaking. This alone shows how widely-adopted English is as the language of academia.
Learning English opens the door to lớn some of the world’s top colleges and universities, particularly in the United States and United Kingdom. Many of these institutions ask for a B2 level of English. If you’re looking to lớn improve your English specifically to lớn meet this criteria, you can easily find an online tutor who can assess your speaking, writing, listening and reading skills.
Achieving B2 level English might sound lượt thích a challenge, but academic institutions ask for a strong level for your own good. It’s ví you can keep up with your classes and learn effectively, without stressing over your language barriers.
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The best way to lớn prove your English level is by achieving a certification from either the IELTS or TOEFL English exams. One of these two certifications is your golden ticket to lớn opportunities, not just at university, but in your career too.
2. English is the most common business language
Learning English will make you more employable to lớn not just businesses in the UK and US, but also businesses across the world. Research by Cambridge English found that English is important for over 95% of employers, even in many countries where English is not an official language.
If you don’t speak the common language in your office, you’ll miss out on bonding time with colleagues. More seriously, you may find it difficult to lớn make yourself understood in your day-to-day role, as well as with customers and potential clients. That’s why international businesses are always on the lookout for competent English speakers.
With English, you’ll be valuable to lớn any company. And you’ll be rewarded for your knowledge, too. One study found that being fluent in English can increase your hourly wage by 28% on average.
By learning English you can create a bright future where you can earn and work almost anywhere in the world. Just ask Marc, who was promoted and relocated to lớn Thành Phố New York after improving his English. “For my new job, I needed to lớn be able to lớn bring more nuance to lớn my conversations,” he said. “Now, I’m calmer when I take part in large meetings with other managers who come from the UK.”
3. The most popular entertainment in the world is in English
Hollywood and Netflix have opened up our minds to lớn brilliantly-told stories and incredible must-see TV. When you learn English, you won’t need to lớn read pesky subtitles with weird translations any longer!
Entertainment is also one of the easiest and most fun ways to lớn learn English! For example, you could watch movies with a notepad, pausing throughout to lớn look up new vocabulary. Or, you could “shadow” your favorite characters, by pausing the movie when they say something interesting, and repeating it carefully. These are fun ways to lớn learn new words, as well as practice your pronunciation.
YouTube is also a great resource to lớn learn a language, since 66% of YouTube’s nội dung is in English. There are also lots of vloggers and channels dedicated to lớn online language learning, lượt thích Bob the Canadian, LinguaMarina and Mr Duncan. Check out our 10 favorite YouTube channels to lớn learn English.
On top of that, you have online games, literature, live shows and much more… with English you’ll have access to lớn endless entertainment.
4. English is the most useful language for travel
With ví many English speakers, traveling across the world becomes ví much easier!
As a common second language, you can often speak with people in English to lớn learn about your surroundings and cultures. Knowing even a little bit of English certainly helps if you’re stuck somewhere and need to lớn find the local bus station, or if you want to lớn negotiate bargain prices in a market. In an emergency, it could even save your or somebody else’s life.
In many popular tourist destinations, hospitality workers use English as it helps their businesses. They are able to lớn better communicate with potential customers. It also helps customers find what they need and get their money’s worth.
If you’re able to lớn bridge the communication gap with English, you’ll find traveling ví much simpler. If you’re taking a holiday sometime soon, take a look at these must-know English travel phrases.
5. English is the language of the online world
Over half of the most visited trang web pages in the world are in English, making it the dominant language online. With over 1 billion mạng internet users typing in English, you’ll be able to lớn access many types of resources and learning platforms to lớn strengthen your skills.
You’ll be entertained by YouTube videos and movies. You’ll be able to lớn read the headlines on The Thành Phố New York Times. You’ll be able to lớn interact with people on language exchange apps. You might even find love with dating apps. The mạng internet is ví vast, ví the possibilities are endless!
English is not just an advantage for online entertainment. Individuals can develop and advertise their skills using English on the mạng internet, such as building their own trang web or taking an online course. International companies are also using online tools such as tin nhắn and Linkedin to lớn source new English-speaking employees, and Zoom to lớn conduct online interviews.
Whether it’s to lớn grow professionally or simply for fun, understanding English can help you open new opportunities and possibilities all through the power of the mạng internet.
6. English is the easiest language in the world to lớn learn
Learning English is not without its difficulties. You’ll have to lớn battle with odd spellings and pronunciation of words lượt thích “colonel” and “choir.” However, there are many reasons why people consider English the easiest of all the languages to lớn learn.
To start, English nouns have no genders and a (relatively!) simple grammar system. Sentence structures are fairly straightforward without a tricky morphology. Morphology is when words change depending on their function in a sentence. For example, in English you won’t change the ending of an adjective depending on the gender of the noun in a sentence, lượt thích you would in languages lượt thích Spanish. This makes learning nouns and adjectives a breeze.
Best of all, there are endless ways to lớn expose yourself to lớn English — more than thở any other language. Whether it’s through TV, books, the mạng internet, or 1-on-1 conversation. Absorbing English through articles, books and watching TV shows lượt thích these can be very helpful.
Sharpen your real-world English skills with 1-on-1 tutoring
Learning English becomes ví much easier when you take advantage of the wealth of English entertainment available, as well as the vast amount of online learning resources. However, to lớn get fluent fast, you need to lớn get real speaking practice and liên hệ with the language that mimics real-life use.
That’s why we recommend learning with regular lessons with a native English tutor. With a 1-on-1 English tutor, you’ll be able to lớn start speaking English from your first lesson. You’ll also have someone who can offer you resources and tips to lớn improve every day. With someone to lớn guide you and expose you to lớn the language, you’ll see progress in no time.
Interested in corporate language training with your team? Check out Preply Enterprise!
There’s no doubt the English language is important in many different ways. However, everyone has their own reasons to lớn learn English — such as a career goal or the ability to lớn speak with a loved one in their language.
Whatever your reason is for learning this international language, the most important thing is to lớn keep your goal in mind and practice regularly. Only then will you start to lớn see the incredible advantages that the English language has to lớn offer.