More than half of the world's technical and scientific documents are in English. Approximately three quarters of the world's mail is written in English. About eighty per cent of the data in the world's computers is in English. Around seventy-five per cent of the one billion Internet users communicate in English.
English is a useful language to speak because it is the language of international communication. It unites people, countries and cultures. It is the principal language of air travel, business, science, technology, diplomacy, sport, international competitions, pop music and advertising.
There are around two million words in English today. English constantly "borrows" words from other languages, from Latin, Greek, French, Spanish. For example, siesta or fiesta. It also quickly invents words to describe new inventions, for example, iPod.
There are around 6,800 languages in the world. The most spoken world language is Mandarin Chinese with over a billion speakers. Spanish is another important world language, with about 425 million speakers.Estimates say there are a total of 750 million English speakers around the world, but only 350 million are really native speakers. So next time your teacher says "Speak English!" remember he or she is opening the door to a big world!
Adapted from British Council website and http://anthro.palomar.edu/language/language1.htm (in Step Ahead 8º4)
Can you complete the following sentences with these "new" words?
1. DVD 2. software 3. pirate copy 4. modem 5. mobile 6. search engine
a) A ... connects your computer to the telephone line.
b) A ... helps you find information on the Internet.
c) Another name for computer programmes is ...
d) An illegal copy of a film, CD or programme is a ...
e) Another name for a digital versatile disc with sound and graphics is ...
f) A ... is a portable telephone.
Mary ate a little lamb,
A little toast,
A little jam,
A little pizza,
And some cake,
Some French fries,
And a chocolate shake,
A little burger
On a bun.
And that's why Mary
Weighs a ton.
By Bill Dodds
CAN YOU GUESS WHAT IT IS?
It's chique smart stylish and small. It's something you've got to have because all your friends have one. It connects you to far away people and cuts you off from those sitting next to you.
Can you guess what it is?
Answer: Mobile phone
Language code and meaning
B4 = before
LUV U = love you
THX = thanks
M8TS = mates
CU L8TR = see you later
RUOK = are you OK?
WOT RU DOIN 2NITE? = what are you doing tonight?
GR8 2 CU = great to see you
PCM = please call me
DO U LUV 2 TEXT? = do you love to text?
Can you understand this message?
RUOK? PCM 2NITE B4 U GO 2 THE CINEMA. LUV U.