How long will English be the world’s most favoured language?
For many years English has been a favourite language all over the world, used by people and businesses on a daily basis but could it be that this is now coming under threat?
There is a concern that with more and more translation websites and apps becoming available that there is a danger that people will no longer need to learn English and it will fall out of favour. At the present time, China is the country that has the highest number of English speakers and those learning the language. It is estimated that around 350 million people in China have at least a little knowledge of English. There are around 100 million people in India who have some English language skills.
It has been estimated that around 1.5 billion people around the world use some English but there are just 400 million who use English as a first language although it does remain the language of choice in a situation where two people do not have the same first language need to communicate.
However, computers are now so advanced that translations are instant and can change any language in a few clicks of a mouse. Technology is currently being developed that will translate instantly when you make a telephone call, ideal for international customer service departments.
The development of hybrid languages is also posing a threat to the English language. This is because it is spoken as an additional language by millions of people so they are combining it with phrases from their own first language. The rise of countries such as China as a global power is also a threat, because it is now as beneficial for young people to learn Mandarin as it is English.
Having said that, there are still many places in the world where the emphasis on language learning remains firmly with English, so it will be a long while before this language starts to play second fiddle.