The English Language
The English language has been spoken in some European countries and the United States from as early as the 14th century. In England, this is the original language and the people who live in England are known as the Englishmen. The language was dispersed to other countries during the early centuries by the travellers, explorers, missionaries and even scientists from Europe who had learned the language from the Englishmen. They used this language to communicate with the locals they met after teaching them how to communicate using the English language. These local people also taught the others and the language went on and on until almost everyone learnt how to speak it. The English language had been seen as the neutral and the easiest language to learn and the one that gave a universal appeal. The language has since been adopted by many countries to act as a common language for communication between many ethnic groups.
The English language has been spread to many countries through the visits made by those who speak the language to those non-English speaking nations. As early as the 13th Century during the search for slaves, there was need to learn the English language in order for the slave brokers to be able to communicate with the white traders. Slaves were also said to be learned if they knew how to speak in the English language. It is true to say that the English language spread naturally during the formative years until the colonization period. The African traditional leaders also learnt the language during trading expeditions where they intermingled with the English people. They also learnt it through various meetings when the English people had come to explore the African world. The language was first learnt through listening skills rather than learning it through writing. Most explorers who went all around the world had learnt the English language as they believed it was the common language in the other places of the world (Pyles, 1964).
The colonization process especially by the British led to further spread of the English language to its colonies. The colonizers spoke in English and they expected the locals to learn the language in order to facilitate communication between them. They set up schools in those countries where English was learnt as a compulsory language and further led to the spread of the learning of the language. The scholarships given to students to study in England required them to either learn the English language or would be advantaged if they already knew the language. The colonization of countries in Africa and Asia by the British has led to an automatic adoption of the English language as either their first, second or the third language. A country like India has in most cases been using the English language to compliment the Hindu language in teaching of their students. The language has spread all the way to North America as well as South America due to the influence of the British colonies that had been established there. There has been adoption of the language by the countries that were not even colonized by the British (Hogg, et al, 1992).
The advent of writing began very early in the Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. The innovation of writing gave rise to a group of elites who wrote about the events of the time. These writings have been translated mostly to the English language in order to pass the information to a large group of people. Most religious groups have trained themselves to spread the spiritual messages in the English language with an exception of a few translations. The historical writings mostly found in museums, archives and libraries have been written in the English language to capture the attention of many history students as well as the people concerned in the discipline. Daily news in many national televisions are aired in English language even those from the countries where English is not widely used meaning that the target population is mainly English (Mencken, 1977).
The world has been aspiring to become one big nation as people are divided by the many ethnic languages that are present. English is seen as the uniting language as it is the most spoken language in the whole world. The rate of technology has as well increased with time and people have been able to communicate over long distances either from a mobile phone or the computers. Many programs in the gadgets for communicating have been installed using the English language. This has forced many people around the world to learn the language in order to understand the gadgets that they use. In many instances the English language has been used along other languages as the key connection to other languages through interpretation and translations. Through these translations, the English language is now used by the new group as they use those translations to learn it (Drout, 2007).
On the other hand, the English language has been used to drive the western cultures to the other parts of the world. The English language uses all the aspects used in the western world. They believe that those without the skills of how to communicate or write in the English language are illiterate. This has forced many countries to resolve to the teaching of the English language to the small children who are starting their studying process. The learning of this language creates a bigger gap between those who have learnt it and those yet to learn it. In most cases the language is seen as one belonging to the elites and intellectuals only. The English language culture has been an influence to many other countries in the Middle East as well as the Far East. This has been done through tourism and the entertainment industries. Tourists from the English speaking communities visit various strategic sites in these Asian countries and they require guides who can communicate in English. It is through this lucrative industry that there is need for one to learn the English language in order for one to be able to communicate as well as be employed. The entertainment industry has in most cases produced items based on the English language such us the production of movies. Most movies produced locally have an English element in them. The Chinese have produced movies which have entirely used English language despite the country being dominated by the Chinese language. Those that are not in English have subtitles to guide the people watching the movies (Drout, 2007).
In the social world, English language becomes very important as it is the key to all communication barriers. The businesses thrive better in places where traders are able to communicate in English as they may be able to serve English speakers with ease. The western world and especially the British regard English as the worldwide dialect of the third millennium. The military fraternity has taken nothing for granted but to make sure that each and every military man is able to write and communicate in English. This has influence to other countries as it is easy to convince these particular nations to avail their military men to the joint forces such as the African Union or the European Union. There is also the need by the western nations to bring together all ethnic groups to a common language in order for them to understand each other and make it easy for the dissemination of information to many parts of the world (Welsh, 1998).
Political and economic factors have led to the widespread of the language to many parts of the universe. The discovery of natural resources in many Asian and African nations has led to the spread of the English language to very many places around the world. The western nations are usually hired to perform the explorations hence spreading the language among the local population that is working under them. The infrastructural base of many nations and the adoption of new technology have also increased the rate at which the English language is spreading. The advertising process is another way through which this language has been relayed from one place to another. Different products come with different means of putting advertization in the media and ways on how to interpret the information wholesomely to the potential consumers. This may be accompanied by translations of the same information about the same products into different languages. The adoption of the western form of administration and politics as well has really made the English language to flourish in many countries and today many people are enrolling in English classes in order to be able to communicate with anyone in the world (Swanton, 1978).
In conclusion, the English language has been spread as a result of the Western domination, social, economic and political issues. The West has dominated in other countries for so long hence the development of the English language. The Western influence, culture and political developments have remained the same in these nations even after the west had given up their territories. The rush for exploitation of natural resources by the West in these other nations was the turning point for the learning of the English language by the locals. It is through these activities that English has been able to spread to almost every corner of the world.