517.

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1) It is common knowledge that today English is one of the major languages in the world.

2) But in Shakespeare’s time only a few million people spoke English, and the language was not considered to be very important by other nations of Europe, and was unknown to the rest of the world.

3) English has become a world language because of its establishment as a mother tongue outside England, in all the continents of the world mostly due to the British Empire.

4) This exporting of English began in the seventeenth century, with the first settlements in North America.

5) Above all, it is the great growth of population in the United states, assisted by the massive immigration in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, that has given the English language its present standing in the world.

6) People who speak English fall into one of the three groups: those who have learnt English as their mother tongue; those who have learnt it as a second language in a society that is bilingual and those who are forced to use it for a practical purpose, — administrative, professional or educational.

7) One person in seven of the world’s population belongs to one of; these three groups. Incredibly enough, 75% of the world’s mail and 60% of the world’s telephone calls are in, English.

8 ) Old English, like modern German or Russian, had many endings but over the centuries it has been simplified and has become over the past five centuries a very flexible language.

9) This also involves the free admission of words from other languages and the easy creation of new compound and derivative words.

10) Geographically, English is the most wide spread language on Earth, second to only Mandarin Chinese, as well as professionally, for today it is the language of business, technology, sport, music, air and sea navigation, education and scientific conferences.

#1.(…) Has English substantially changed in its structure over the centuries?

#2. (…) What are the sources of language enrichment nowadays?

#3. (…) How is it used for different purposes at present?

#4. (…) Which data can prove the importance of English in contemporary world?

#5. (…) Has it previously been so significant for mankind?

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