THE dominant language in the world and how

THE HEGEMONY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

Nowadays we are
experiencing globalization in every aspect of our life and English is always a
part of it. English language and globalization walk side by side towards the
goal of communication, business and politics. Riding the crest of
globalization, English has spread to the world as no language ever has.
According to some linguists it may forever remain the “king” of languages. David
Crystal (2003, n.p.). expert on the English language and author of “English as
a Global Language” acknowledges, “This is the first time we actually have a
language spoken genuinely globally by every country in the world”

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Undoubtedly, a
simple question might have once crossed everyone’s mind: “Why is English the
dominant language in the world and how has it established its hegemony?” The
first thought that occurs is that its global status is seen in the fact that it
spans across several countries of the world with great number of speakers. So,
English has already reached all corners of the globe.

Primarily,
English was spoken in the British Isles. British Empire expanded its domination
across Scottish, Welsh and Irish people who lived in the independent dominions
of its territory and were part of the British Commonwealth. Today, English
language has reached a large geographical expansion to each continent, from
Europe to Australia. In Europe English is spoken in Malta, Gibraltar and
definitely in the British Isles. In North America it is spoken in USA and
Canada, whereas in South America is spoken in Guyana. However, it wasn’t just
America who said “hello” to English. In South Africa English represents the
official language while in Asia has a wider spread: in India, Hong Kong,
Singapore, Malaysia etc. In Australian continent English is present in
Australia and New Zealand. In Pacific it seems to be the official language of
Micronesia.

English has
indeed established its own hegemonic position all over the world. From my point
of view, the extension of English language is due to many important factors. It
is essential to mention the three most widespread that cover the past and reach
the present.

The power of the
British Empire and British colonialism played cardinal role to the first steps
of English expansion across the world. The British Empire covered a quarter of
the globe, including North America, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, much
of West and Southern Africa, South Asia and parts of South-East Asia. Despite
the fact that many of these places won their independence, they preserved the
linguistic traditions of the British Empire. During the period of colonialism English
was forced in British Commonwealth, as a result of Britain possessing the most
powerful navy in Europe. In other words, it was British imperial that sent English
around the globe between 17th and 20th centuries. However,
beside the military forces, the powerful navy, the economic and political power,
Great Britain extended its influence in international relationships. The
outcome was reflected in International Pacts, where English language was always
present.

Significant was
also the spread of the English between 18th and 19thcentury
as the language of British leadership. Britain was the birthplace of the
Industrial Revolution, a phenomenon that caused the transition from hand
production methods to new manufacturing processes. Britain which was rich in
coal and iron turned into a large-scale manufacturing and production “machinery”.
Some of the major technological and scientific advancements, materials and
techniques were pioneered there. Britain, the colonial power around the world had
managed such dominance that its colonies served as a large marketplace. Those countries
which needed the industrial knowledge could access it via English, something that
evolved the language rapidly in an international level.

Reaching to the
present, English language has preserved its hegemony due to the foundation of the European Union as well. The
European Union aimed the formation of a common trade all over Europe without
any barriers. In order to fullfil this aim, it was needed a common language to “unite”
the european countries.Despite the fact that there are so many other languages,
the supremacy of English is apparent. English has become the “binding agent” in
our continent.

Having such a
global status, English seems to be too wiedespread and too deeply entrenched to
die out. It remains of great importance, influencing all domains of the world’s
activity. The evolution of English language is likely to continue a lifetime.