English I Agree With the Statement That Essay

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I agree with the statement that English is the world's most important language. The importance lies in the breadth of English spoken, rather than the depth. In addition, English is already understood to be the world's de facto second language. Removing English from dominance would require the emergence of another language whose prominence could match it. Lastly, English is the most important language and will continue to be because of its flexibility. There are no other languages in the world that meet these criteria and as such there are no serious threats to the use of English today. This paper will outline these arguments in explaining why English is the most important language in the world today, and refute some of the counterarguments in support of other languages.

The first advantage that English has over all other languages is the breadth of its spread. Languages like Hindi or Mandarin have more speakers, but those speakers are concentrated geographically and culturally. There are other languages that have some geographic breadth -- Spanish, Russian and Arabic are all spoken in over a dozen countries by hundreds of millions of people. However, English combines these factors as exceeds them. Part of this lies with the legacy of the English empire, which left several countries as English-language nations. These are spread geographically -- from West Africa to Australia to Singapore and the Caribbean- and include some of the world's major economies. English is spoken in more of the world's top 20 economies (the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, India (where it is the language of business), and Australia) than any other language (CIA World Factbook, 2012). By contrast, Spanish is spoken only in two of the top 20 economies,
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Russian in just one and Arabic in none. The spread of language around the world begins with business, and English is the language of business. In addition to this spread, the Internet is also responsible for the spread of English. With 80% of the world's web traffic in English, no other language can match its geographic spread either in the physical world or the online world (Article 1).

The second advantage that English has is that it is already understood to be the world's de facto second language. There are more second-language speakers of English than any other language (Article 1). When people from different cultures communicate with one another, they typically find it easier to use English than any other language, since that is the language that is most common as a second or third language for most people (Article 4). English is already the established language in academia and most technical fields, so much of the world's knowledge is recorded in English. Some have argued that there are other languages that could emerge as a second language. Mandarin, for example, is growing as a second language (Article 4). However, Mandarin is more limited in scope than English since it is only used in China, and it is also often thought to be more impenetrable. The characters and tones of Mandarin are even more difficult than English for a non-native speaker to master. With no serious competitive threat, English is likely to remain the world's second language for the foreseeable future.

The third advantage of English is that it is flexible. There is less emphasis on precision in English than there is in most other languages, for a variety of reasons. The first is that the large vocabulary of English -- derived from Germanic, French, Greek and Latin roots -- means that there is always more than one way to express an idea. As Mr. Nerriere notes, when someone does not understand your English you…

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Article 1.

Article 3.

Article 4.

CIA World Factbook. (2012). GDP by purchasing power parity. [online] Retrieved November 26, 2012 from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2001rank.html

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