the rise of english

October 22, 2008 7:05pm CST
the rise of english is aremarkable success story.when juliuss cesar landed in britain nearly two thousand yers ago,englishdid not exist. five hundred years later, english, incomprehensible to modern ears,was probbably sopken by about as few people as currently speak cherokee and with about as little influence. nearly a thousand yeas later, at the end of the sixteenth century, when william shakespeare was in his prime,english was the native speech of between five and seven million englishmen and it was,the native speech of between five and seven million english-men and it was ,in the words of a contemporary,"of small reatch, it stretcheth no further than this iland of ours, naie not there over all." 400 years later ,the contrast is extraordinary. between 1600 and the present, in armies, navies, companies and expeditions, the speakers of english- including scots,irish,welsh, american and many more-travelled into every corner of the globe,carrying their language and culture with them. today ,english is used by at least million and million people, and barely half of those speak it as a mother tongue. some estimates have put that figure closer to one billion.whatever the total, english at the end of the twentieth one century is more widely scattered, more widely spoken and written than any other language has ever been. it has become the language of the planet, the first truly global language.what do you think?
1 response
@williamjisir (22902)
• China
14 Feb 09
Hello zh friend. I agree with you that English is now a global language that is more widely used than any other language throughout the world due to the history of Britain in the last few hundreds of years. English is my favorite language as well as my mother tongue-Chinese. Thank you for the discussion.
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