The Global Lingua Franca Essay

893 words - 4 pages

In a world where roughly 6,500 spoken languages exist, a way of communication- a lingua franca- is essential to integrate the people and move positively towards an even more globalized world. English language, with over 360 million native speakers, has served as this lingua franca or as a bridge language since circa the previous century. It has made it painless and more facile for people of different cultures to communicate— both in the diplomatic sense between official governments and in between the people. Although, United States, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and England are the main English-speaking countries, nations like India and Philippines have English as one of their ...view middle of the document...

In fact, the ascendancy of English as the lingua franca is first and foremost a result of imperialism. British colonization of North America, India, and parts of Africa set the underpinning for English to become the global language in the world. Whilst English was spreading, other European languages such as French, Portuguese, and German tried to catch up to the ultimate super-power: England. Great Britain controlled a huge part of the world and in those parts English spread quite easily. It became a major way of communication between the British Empire and the colonies. The former British colonies such as India and Nigeria actively teach their citizens English language. Although their own numerous diverse languages are spoken in the country, English is used as a lingua franca between, for instance, two Indians who don’t speak the same language.
Subsequently, the emergence of the United States as a world hegemon has strengthened the groundwork of the language throughout the world. Following England, an English-speaking country, United States, yet another English-speaking country, has taken over the world. In some ways United States has contributed more to the spread of the language owning to the fact that it has popularized it. Media is one of the main factors in the enormous success of the American pop culture. People now don’t simply need to learn English to communicate to their invaders, but to understand the lyrics to Beyoncé or Michael Jacksons’ songs. The distinction between the way Great Britain and the United States have influenced the world and succeeded into making English the sole global language, is necessary. Apart from that, United...

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