A LÍNGUA INGLESA PELO MUNDO - ENGLISH AROUND THE WORLD
* Após o texto em inglês, confira abaixo a versão em português.
Some facts about the Language
Non native-speakers of the language now outnumber native speakers 3 to 1.
English is spoken as first language by more than 370 million people throughout the world, and is used as a second language by as many, if not more. One in five of the world's population speaks English with some degree of competence. It is an official or semi-official language in over 70 countries, and it plays a significant role in many more. English is not just one standard language, but can be thought of as a "family", which includes many different varieties. The map below shows where English and its varieties are spoken nowadays:
|countries with significant concentrations of native speakers of English (in all of these countries English is an official or de facto language of administration)|
|other countries in which English is an official or important administrative language|
Source: Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page)
Within a decade, 2 billion people will be studying English and about half the world - about 3 million people - will speak it. Non-native speakers of the language now outnumber native speakers 3 to 1, according to English language expert David Crystal. He recognizes that there is never before been a language that's been spoken by more people as a second language than a first. In Asia alone, the number of English-users has topped 350 million - roughly the combined populations of the United States, Britain and Canada. There are more Chinese children studying English - about 100 million - than there are Britons.
What people use English for
The massive English-learning industry in India alone is a $100 million-per year business. It's the front line of a global revolution in which hundreds of millions of people are learning English, the planet's language for almost every kind of transaction. English is the main language of commerce, technology, communication, science, academic conferences, business, entertainment, airports and air-traffic control, diplomacy, radio, newspapers, books, sports, tourism, international competitions, pop music advertising etc. - and, increasingly, empowerment.
Over two-thirds of the world's scientists read in English. Three quarters of the world's mail is written in English. Eighty per cent of the world's electronically stored information is in English. Of the estimated forty million users of the Internet, some eighty per cent communicate in English, but this is expected to decrease to forty per cent as speakers of other languages get online.
Some types of new Englishes
The new English-speakers aren't just passively absorbing the language. They are shaping it, arising an interesting event: the blend of two names of languages in one, which forms a new name for that new language. This blending is called portmanteau. Some examples of portmanteaus from names of languages are:
Englog (or Enggalog)= English + Taglog (spoken in the Philippines)
Japlish = Japanese + English
Hinglish = Hindi + English
Spanglish = Spanish + English
What about the Future?
All languages are works in progress. But English's globalization, unprecedent in the history of languages, will revolutionize it in ways we can only begin to imagine. In the future, suggests David Crystal, there could be a tri-English world one in which you could speak a local English-based dialect at home, a national variety at work or school, and international Standard English to talk to foreigners. With native speakers, a shrinking minority of the world's Anglophones, there's a growing sense that students should stop trying to emulate Brighton or Boston English, and embrace their own local versions. Researchers are starting to study non-native speakers' "mistakes", as "She look very sad," for example - as structured grammars. In a generation's time, teachers might no longer be correcting students for saying "a book who" or "a person which."
The Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary (7th edition - 2005);
- "Not the Queen's English"; Newsweek article From the magazine issue dated Mar 7, 2005 (http://www.newsweek.com/id/49079/page/1);
- British Council (http://www.britishcouncil.org/new/).