“English has become the language on which the sun never sets” (Crystal 75).
Every day, somewhere in the world, if the sun is shining then English is being spoken. English is spoken by more than 300 million people. It is the official language of 44 countries and Is known by about 1/3 of the human population. The English language is significant because it is the world’s language of trade and commerce. On a world stage, English is the language of Money. Money talks-and the language that it is shouting is English (Crystal 83).Throughout history; before English was what it is today; sailors, explorers and merchants had versions of Pidgin English. This English was used to trade with foreigners.
In 1 780 John Adams made a profound prediction about the English language. “English is destined to be in the next and succeeding centuries more generally the language of the world..
. Because of increasing populations In America and the universal connection with all nations” (CTD. In Crystal 74). The need for commerce and global economics has continued to employ English as a global language.The beginnings of the English Language were a movement. English arrived in England from Northern Europe, It then moved to the British Isles. In 1066, the Norman Invasion spread English speakers from England Into Scotland.
As drastic as these events were, they proved to be localized. The English language began to spread worldwide with the increase of exploration. As English travelers visited distant regions, they transplanted their language and acquired loan words from others (Bailey 126). In 1607, the first permanent settlement was established In North America.Jamestown became English first major step toward becoming a global language (Crystal 31). Over a single century, the English language grew in vocabulary, geography and its number of speakers increased. The lingua franca of the Mediterranean In medieval times persisted Into the age of exploration into the larger seas (Bailey 127).
That lingua franca was English. English made it possible for merchants and traders to have a common language of commerce. The traders may not have been able to carry on full conversations, but they could however, speak in financial terms.On the exploring seas, a form of English called Maritime English was created. “Maritime English was a harbinger and vehicle for transplanted English” (Bailey 126). The explorers were looking to trade goods and ewe ideas with foreign countries, Exploration moved English speaking populations to North America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Each of these countries adopted English as their new language (Bath 529).
England and English were dominant on the seas. Ports were established globally that were manned by English speakers. English began to prove to be the common global language.Population of English speakers, wealth, government and trade were the key determinants In the development of the English language (Erasures 242). “Humans trade because we have language, anonymous do not trade because they do not” (Erasures 246). From a purely economic perspective, language can be seen as for the second transplant of English into new countries. South Asia, Africa and Latin America opened up trade routes to the English speaking merchants. The trade routes brought the English language in contact with culturally unrelated languages (Bath 529).
A common trade language was vital to the success of merchant trading.Those that wanted to trade with English speakers had to learn a form of English and learn it well in order to benefit from it (Crystal 80). The origins of South Asian English are due to Britain’s occupancy in 1600. A group of London merchants were granted a raiding monopoly in the area under Queen Elizabeth I (Crystal 47). The company was called the British East India Company. From 1765 until 1947, English became the language the language of business, administration and education.
South East Asian English or SEAN was established in 1826, when the British set up the colony of “Straits Settlement. This settlement consisted of the major trading ports located in Singapore, Malice and Malaysia. These countries were home to two great natural resources, tin and rubber (Kirkpatrick 119). These natural resources were harvested and shipped throughout the then, modern world. Trade brought the English language into the African continent. In Africa, English involves both positive and negative cultural values: economic development and yet exploitation (Bailey 165). The ramifications of economic development and the English language were felt in varying ways in Africa.
The legal institution of slavery was a profitable exploit that captivated English speakers into the country. Slavery had been practiced in the early colonial days. There is record of 16 slaves being brought into Jamestown in 1619. Slavery was a form of free labor that helped to produce a faster means of large quantities of odds that the Americas needed in order to trade with other countries. The international slave trade was banned on a global scale in 1808. English interest in the African continent was not only based on the slave trade however.
In 1795, the British occupied Cape Colony in South Africa and mandated that English be used in all spheres of life. The discovery of gold and diamonds in Africa brought more flocks of English speakers. The beginning of the 19th century saw the use of the English language as a “lingua franca” along the West African Coast due to an increase in commerce (Crystal 49). The sass and sass saw an influx of British settlements in South Africa due to the development of gold and diamond areas (Crystal 43). In 1888 the Imperial British East Africa Company was founded in the interior states of Africa.
This British colonial in Africa spread due to a mixture of commerce and trade. In 1842, Hong Kong became a British colony..
Trading ports were set up in the cities of Ammo, Canton, Fuzzed, Inning, and Shanghai (Kirkpatrick 137). Britain and other Western nations used these ports in order to trade with one another. Traders that occupied areas in China spoke a form of Chinese Pidgin English in order to monomaniac with the locals.
The English was very simple and not respected culturally; it however served a major purpose; to push the commerce of the British out through Chinese ports.The Industrial Revolution was a period of transition to new manufacturing processes in the period from about 1760 until around 1830. The Revolution expansion in England and America helped to spread the English language globally. The commercial exploitation of the late 18th and early 19th century created conditions where one language had to develop as the language of the world market market. Standard Oil Company was refining 90 percent of US oil production, Hearst had a monopoly on the newspaper market and John Pierson Morgan was running a manufacturing, banking and transportation empire (Crystal 82).
After the conclusion of World War I in 1918, America became the leading financial epicenter of the world. America experienced a rapid growth in their economic system. It was only natural that English would become the language of the commercial globe. English was used as the Lingua franca due largely to the fact that America was a leading economic power. By the conclusion of the 19th century, it was clear to the world stage that the engage of progress for any nation was the English language. In current times, the growth and expansion of the English language continues.Present day world status of English is due in part to America becoming a leading economic power in the 20th century (Crystal 59). Many World Organizations have placed English in a special “Official Language” position.
After World War II, with the establishment of the United Nations, World Bank, UNESCO, EUNICE, and World Health Organization, it was inevitable that English would continue to stand out as a forefront language (Bath 532). Within such organizations, the need for a common language became more evident as more nations continued to establish membership.English is the only official language of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and the only working language of the European Free Trade Association (Crystal 87). Need it be mentioned, that these are commerce based companies that understand the significance in the competence of the English language. English has itself emerged as the leading language in society affecting industries such as, broadcasting, press, motion pictures, transportation and communications. The overriding impression is that, wherever in the world an organization is based, English is the chief “lingua ranch” (Crystal 89).English has the widest distribution on the most continents. English is the language utilized for international communication between and among language communities (Harris 685).
The question becomes, can the English language hold its global status for years to come? For a country to choose English as their main language, shows a country’s desire to have commercial, technological and cultural contact with other major parts of the world (Crystal 5). A questionnaire was issued in 1995 by the British Council, to receive people’s views on the current status of the English language.The results showed that 94 percent of the participants agreed that English would retain its role as the dominant language in world media and communications (Crystal 113). In 2013, English is still retaining its dominant position as a global language. Crystal suggests that the English language could only lose its ranking if several smaller countries decided to put their main resources into their localized arena instead of participating on a global scale (126).
The success of the spread of English is tied to the economic conditions that created the commercial supremacy of the United States (Bath 533).In other words, the success of the English language is tied into the success of the United States as a country. If the US continues to prosper economically, then English will continue to be spread globally. If the United States begins to decline in its global status, then English may begin to see a decline in its users. As of right now, however, there is urgent need for some language of intercommunication of ideas and things across linguistic barriers.