How English became a Global Language

English has always been one of the top languages spoken globally, behind Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. I started teaching business English at corporate companies in Germany four years ago and quickly realized how many people and companies need English to communicate in everyday work life. Besides learning general English, business English is the number one branch of English taught amongst individuals who live and work in non-English speaking countries. On top of business English, you have English for specific vocabulary within the Business sector. For example, English for marketing, for law, medicine, technical English, etc. The list goes on.

Global meeting

So, how did English become the number one language spoken globally and in business? According to renowned linguist, David Crystal, he suggests that „a language becomes a global language because of the power of the people who speak it.“ Political and military factors played a significant role during the British empire’s expansion, creating the ‚power‘ English has globally and in business.

According to Robert McCrum, another renowned linguist, and, Mr. McCrum suggests that English „does a good job“ in allowing non-native speakers to adapt to it. He also tells that „with English, it’s always bottom-up…implicitly… there’s a quality to the English language which is different from German or French or Chinese. That quality is approachability, usefulness, and adaptability.“ (Source: I would have to agree with this statement. When getting feedback from my students, a lot of them find learning English to be relatively easy and approachable instead of learning Chinese or Russian. Yes, in some aspects of learning English, it can be quite tricky because the rules can become pretty technical, but all in all, it’s a language that they are happy to learn since it is so universal.

I am incredibly happy that English is a universal language; otherwise, I wouldn’t have found this new passion. Years ago, I never thought that I would be teaching English, let alone teaching anything! Luckily, English was my best subject in school, and it makes me so happy that I can help, guide, and inspire people along the way.