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English is an International Language and Must be Studied by All ---- AGAINST --- an essay

-        Richa Joshi
English is a language which has marked the spread of its roots everywhere from North America to Australia. There are very few places in the world which are left untouched by this universal language. However, before imparting the status of mandatory language all over the world, the history and origin of the language should be understood by all. The history of the English language has traditionally been divided into three main periods: Old English (450-1100 AD), Middle English (1100-1500 AD) and Modern English (since 1500). Over the centuries, the English Language has been influenced by a number of other languages.

Modern English (1500 to the present) — Modern English developed after William Caxton established his printing press in 1476. The invention of the printing press made books available to more people. The books became cheaper and more people learned to read. Printing also brought standardization to English. By the time of Shakespeare's Writings (1592-1616), the language had become clearly recognizable as Modern English. There were three big developments in the world at the beginning of Modern English period — the renaissance the industrial revolution and the British Colonialism.

It was during the English renaissance that most of the words from Greek and Latin entered English. This period in English cultural history (early 16th century to the early 17th century) is sometimes referred to as ‘the age of Shakespeare’ or ‘the Elizabethan Era’ taking the name of the English renaissance's most famous author and most important monarch respectively.

Hence, Modern English is the language derived from several other languages. The impact this language has in almost every region of world is not because it is easy to learn but because it is the language which is predominantly spoken in Britain. Britain has invaded almost every part of the world in some or the other time in history. It is known that except 22 countries in the World Britain had their colonies everywhere in the world. English was taken to all of these countries which later became their language. In India Lord William Bentinck made English the medium of higher education. During Home Rule Movement Bal Gangadhar Tilak raised his voice in favour of education in vernacular languages. But during British rule several Christian Schools were set up in northern part of India so as to make it compulsory medium for primary education too. The only reason Indians speak English is because centuries ago country was invaded, colonised and national languages were suppressed. It wasn't for linguistic reasons that English dominated but political.

If we rank the languages on the basis of popularity Mandarin is the highest spoken language in the world. It is much popular than English, then why is there a need to make English international language? Making any language internationally acceptable will eventually cause the extinction of several other languages. Young generations in every country will learn only that language which they feel will help them in their career, they will never learn national languages. This will someday terminate diversity. Language is representation of culture; how can we eliminate diversity of cultures by imposing a single language in every part of the world? English should not be the international language. Neither should Spanish, French, Mandarin or Arabic.

Learning of any language is certainly not detrimental but giving a language mandatory status is not acceptable when we wish to gift diversity of culture and customs to our coming generations. And when we celebrate the joy of discovering differences in various part of the world.


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