English is one of the most commonly spoken in the world. It is impossible to tell exactly how many people speak English, but it is believed that around 380 million speak it as their native language, and a billion more have some knowledge of it. It is a West Germanic language that arose among Anglo-Saxon immigrant communities to Britain during the Migrations period. The language went through a creolization process through contact with Old Norse, and later incorperated much Norman French due to the take-over of England by William the Conqueror in 1066. The language also has many Latinate roots, due to a propensity for borrowing from Latin for the construction of new words rather than deriving them from native Germanic roots. Because Britain colonized many places such as parts of North America and the whole of Australia, and enforced their rule on native peoples in Africa and India, among others, English was spread very far. Though not every country that was part of this British Empire adopted English, the two largest areas that where colonized by English speaking British peoples, the United States and Australia, now have a majority of English speakers.
Some hope that eventually everyone in the world will learn to speak English which they claim would result in better understanding among the people of the world. Others, however, believe that dominance of English oppresses cultures' rights to their own languages and is a form of eurocentrism.
Status of the official language in the United States of America
In the USA 23 states have "English Language laws" making Americal English language legally the official language of those states. It must be noted that English language is the de-facto official language in many more states, which simply do not have a piece of paper which this fact is written on. Most government positions are declined to non-english speaking part of the population, the children are forced to learn english language in many schools, etc.
Types of English language
- American English language
- British English language
- Australian English language
- International English language
- Lanugage Legislation in the US
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