Difference between revisions of "English"

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'''English''' is a lightly [[Inflection | inflected]],  [[stress-timed]] [[language]].
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'''English''' (/ˈɪŋ(g)lɪʃ/) is a [[Germanic language|Germanic]] language.  It is spoken as a native language in many communities, and used as a worldwide [[lingua franca]] in business and academia. Consequently, it is a language with considerable [[prestige]], and is learnt by many [[English language learner]]s.
  
It is the subject that [[TEFL]] teachers [[teach]].  There are many varieties of English, including, but not limited to, [[American English]] (AmE), Australian English (AuE), [[British English]] (BrE), Indian English, South African English, and so on. This wide-ranging reality has led to most specialists now preferring to use the term '''the English languages''' or '''Englishes'''.
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There are many varieties of English, including, but not limited to, [[American English]] (AmE), [[Australian English]] (AuE), [[British English]] (BrE), Indian English, South African English, [[Canadian English]], [[Chinese English]] and so on. This wide-ranging reality has led to most specialists now preferring to use the term ''the English languages'' or ''Englishes''.
  
 
== Number of speakers of English ==
 
== Number of speakers of English ==
 
''See main article [[Number of speakers of English]]''
 
''See main article [[Number of speakers of English]]''
  
For various reasons it is difficult to be exact about the total number of native speakers of English but estimates vary from three hundred and nine million to three hundred and forty one million. This would rank English fourth in number of native speakers after Mandarin Chinese, Hindi/Urdu and Spanish.<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_languages_by_number_of_native_speakers wikipedia - languages by native speaker]</ref>
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For various reasons it is difficult to be exact about the total number of native speakers of English but estimates vary from three hundred and nine million to three hundred and forty-one million. This would rank English fourth in number of native speakers after Mandarin Chinese, Hindi/Urdu and [[Spanish]].<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_languages_by_number_of_native_speakers wikipedia - languages by native speaker]</ref>
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On the other hand, if one were to attempt to include the number of individuals who speak English as a second language then the number becomes something in the order of one thousand five hundred million people - a larger number than that of any other language. A 2012 article in ''[[English Today]]'' by Bolton and Graddol, quoting a ''China Daily'' article, states that around 400 million people in China, approximately a third of the population, are currently learning English.<ref>[http://cup.linguistlist.org/2012/09/the-great-china-english-puzzle/ Graddol, D. "The great China English puzzle"] [[Cambridge University Press]]. Retrieved 6th October 2012.</ref><ref>[http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayFulltext?type=6&fid=8691693&jid=ENG&volumeId=28&issueId=03&aid=8691692&bodyId=&membershipNumber=&societyETOCSession=&fulltextType=RA&fileId=S0266078412000223 Bolton, K. and Graddol, D. "English in China today" in ''English Today'' Volume 28, Issue 03, Sept. 2012, pp 3-9] ''[[English Today]]''. Retrieved 6th October 2012.</ref> A more precise figure, that of 390.16 million people who ''had learnt English'' i.e. studied it at school as a foreign language, is quoted by Wei and Su in the same issue.<ref>[http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayFulltext?type=6&fid=8691696&jid=ENG&volumeId=28&issueId=03&aid=8691695&bodyId=&membershipNumber=&societyETOCSession=&fulltextType=RA&fileId=S0266078412000235 Wei, R. and Su, J. "The statistics of English in China: An analysis of the best available data from government sources" in ''English Today '', Volume 28, Issue 03, Sept. 2012, pp 10-14] ''[[English Today]]''. Retrieved 6th October 2012. (Available free of charge until the 31st October 2012.)</ref>
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Additionally, English is used in international trade and industry to a greater extent than other languages. English is the only language for international air transport communications.
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On the other hand, if one were to attempt to include the number of individuals who speak English as a second language then the number becomes something in the order of one thousand five hundred million people - a larger number than that of any other language.  Additionally English is used in international trade and industry to a greater extent than other languages.   
 
  
 
== History of English ==
 
== History of English ==
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Modern English is the product of various Germanic invasions, the Norman conquest, the British Empire and much else.
 
Modern English is the product of various Germanic invasions, the Norman conquest, the British Empire and much else.
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== Phonology ==
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[[English phonology]]:
  
 
==Vocabulary==
 
==Vocabulary==
''See main article [[Number of words in English]]''
 
  
English has always freely absorbed words from other languages giving it the ability express a wide number of [[nuance]]s.  Nevertheless establishing the exact number of [[word]]s is not as exact a science as one might suppose.
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[[English vocabulary]]:
  
== See also ==
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High-frequency words tend to be predominantly of [[Germanic]] origin.  There are also a large number of [[loan words]] from French and Latin.  Loanwords from other languages are also prevalent.
*[[American English v. British English]]
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*[[Learning English conversation questions]]
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== Grammar ==
*[[Standard English]]
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[[English grammar]]:
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English uses a Germanic system of grammar; Modern English grammar is simplified somewhat compared to Old English grammar or the grammars of related languages such as [[Dutch]] or [[German]].
  
 
== References ==
 
== References ==
<references/>
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<references/> [[category:index]]
 
 
{{Stub}}
 
  
  
[[Category:definitions]]
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[[category:languages]]
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[[category:English| ]]
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[[category:index]]

Latest revision as of 07:52, 22 May 2020

English (/ˈɪŋ(g)lɪʃ/) is a Germanic language. It is spoken as a native language in many communities, and used as a worldwide lingua franca in business and academia. Consequently, it is a language with considerable prestige, and is learnt by many English language learners.

There are many varieties of English, including, but not limited to, American English (AmE), Australian English (AuE), British English (BrE), Indian English, South African English, Canadian English, Chinese English and so on. This wide-ranging reality has led to most specialists now preferring to use the term the English languages or Englishes.

Number of speakers of English[edit]

See main article Number of speakers of English

For various reasons it is difficult to be exact about the total number of native speakers of English but estimates vary from three hundred and nine million to three hundred and forty-one million. This would rank English fourth in number of native speakers after Mandarin Chinese, Hindi/Urdu and Spanish.[1]

On the other hand, if one were to attempt to include the number of individuals who speak English as a second language then the number becomes something in the order of one thousand five hundred million people - a larger number than that of any other language. A 2012 article in English Today by Bolton and Graddol, quoting a China Daily article, states that around 400 million people in China, approximately a third of the population, are currently learning English.[2][3] A more precise figure, that of 390.16 million people who had learnt English i.e. studied it at school as a foreign language, is quoted by Wei and Su in the same issue.[4]

Additionally, English is used in international trade and industry to a greater extent than other languages. English is the only language for international air transport communications.


History of English[edit]

See main article History of the English languages

Notwithstanding its many varieties, English has a long and varied history which is, not unnaturally, bound up with the history of Britain, the British Isles and its peoples.

Modern English is the product of various Germanic invasions, the Norman conquest, the British Empire and much else.

Phonology[edit]

English phonology:

Vocabulary[edit]

English vocabulary:

High-frequency words tend to be predominantly of Germanic origin. There are also a large number of loan words from French and Latin. Loanwords from other languages are also prevalent.

Grammar[edit]

English grammar:

English uses a Germanic system of grammar; Modern English grammar is simplified somewhat compared to Old English grammar or the grammars of related languages such as Dutch or German.

References[edit]