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Ael bjørnar


English as a global language

English is used and spoken by almost everyone, you speak it, I speak it, even the random German guy you asked for directions speaks it. It is used on the news, in social media and it is used in international business. In the 17th century, there was only about five million people who spoke English. Now it is the Lingua Franca. What happened in these 400 years that made the English language explode, is what I am going to talk about in this text.

It all started with the expansion of the British colonies. The colonies started softly with the expeditions in America and India in the 15th century. The Brits continued to expand and create new colonies in the next 500 years and in 1912 the colonies included over 25% of the world population and covered over 35% of land on the earth. Naturally, they spoke English in the colonies and people were forced to learn the language. This had a big effect on these countries, some of them even use English as their main language because of this.

Now, there is estimated to be around 300-400 million people who has English as their first language. These are people in different countries from all over the world, countries like Trinidad, Tobago, United Kingdom, and United States of America has it as their first language. There is also estimated to be around 1,5 2 billion people who has English as their 2nd language.