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I applaud the rise of English as a global language simply because we are in need of one most desperately. Having one language that is recognized as a primary, international language helps to unify us a global or planetary society. Since English is so widely spoken nowadays, many non-native speakers have found that they've been required to learn it to stay in business. English has approximately 375 million native speakers, born in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia and other countries. However, it has been estimated that there are over a billion non-native speakers of English.

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Originally from the United States, I have now made my home in Bolivia at 59 years old. After earning my PHD in Religion (1995) from the University of Southern California, I have traveled much of the world, particularly Latin America. Since 2001, I have dedicated the bulk of my efforts to helping others to be accepted to graduate school, university, residency programs, etc.

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English as a Global Language

Today, English is widespread largely due to the fact that it is used so heavily in television, film and music. Hollywood's global spread has contributed strongly to the international popularity of English. It is also the predominant language on the Internet. Web pages in other languages often tend to have an English translation. The British Empire and the dominant nature of American popular culture have contributed overall to the spread of English across the planet.

There are still significant language barriers between people of different countries. If more people learn English, and come to speak it fluently, these barriers could be broken down. A person in Holland would not need to learn Chinese in order to communicate with his friends in China. Instead, he could use English as a neutral language. Then, if he wished to learn Chinese for his own purposes, he could do so at his leisure, rather than being forced to learn it in a crash course just to be able to communicate with his friend.

 Some people mistakenly think that English is a Romance language. It is rather a Germanic language which was heavily influenced by the Normans upon their conquest of England in 1066. The Normans eventually went on to become the French. The early Britons adopted many of the Norman word roots, which has resulted in many similarities between French and English today.

One important argument in favor of English as a global language is its effectiveness. Chinese has more native speakers, however, it also has simplistic grammar, and it lacks articles, prepositions, verb conjugation and tense, singularity and plurality of nouns making it less effective than English at expressing complex meanings. It is also tonal, which limits the speaker's use of tone for emotional and conceptual expression. Furthermore most Westerners find the Chinese writing system difficult to grasp, whereas the Chinese and other groups tend to learn the Roman alphabet easily. The Roman alphabet is already the most widely used alphabet in the world today, and is shared by many disparate and seemingly unrelated languages, such as English (which has Germanic and French roots) and Spanish (which derives from the Vulgar Latin.) Since the Roman alphabet is phonetic (representing sounds) rather than character based (representing concepts) it is a more effective method of describing the actual sounds of words and phrases. The primarily difficulty with learning English is getting over irregularities.For example, the "gh" in through and laugh representing no sound and f respectively, whereas "g" alone can represent the hard "g" in get or the soft "g" in George, and "h" alone can represent the aspirated sound in hat or no sound at all as in honor. Unfortunately, the only solution to this problem is memorization and practice.