English is a West Germanic language originating in England, and the first language for most people in Australia, Canada, the Commonwealth Caribbean, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America (also commonly known as the Anglosphere). It is used extensively as a second language and as an official language throughout the world, especially in Commonwealth countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and South Africa, and in many international organisations.
Modern English is sometimes described as the global lingua franca. English is the dominant international language in communications, science, business, aviation, entertainment, radio and diplomacy. The influence of the British Empire is the primary reason for the initial spread of the language far beyond the British Isles. Following World War II, the growing economic and cultural influence of the United States has significantly accelerated the spread of the language. On an average school day approximately one billion people are learning English in one form or another.
A working knowledge of English is required in certain fields, professions, and occupations. As a result over a billion people speak English at least at a basic level. English is one of six official languages of the United Nations.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "English language". You can explore more on the Wikipedia website. The text and the images are used here only for educational purposes.
Questions about the text
Descubre el origen de las palabras en The Story behind the Words
What's in a Word? Fascinating stories of more than 350 everyday words and phrases