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TOP TEN

THE MOST SPOKEN LANGUAGES IN THE WORLD

WORK MADE BY: NUMBER: CLASS: YEAR: TEACHER: TUESDAY, 16TH OCTOBER 2012

I - TOP TEN THE MOST SPOKEN LANGUAGES IN THE WORLD

1- ENGLISH IS THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE OF MORE COUNTRIES THAT ANY OTHER LANGUAGE. ITS SPEAKERS HAIL FROM ALL AROUND THE WORLD, INCLUDING THE U.S., AUSTRALIA, ENGLAND, ZIMBABWE, THE CARIBBEAN, HONG KONG, SOUTH AFRICA, AND CANADA; 2- MANDARIN THE MOST WIDELY SPOKEN LANGUAGE ON THE PLANET IS BASED IN THE MOST
POPULATED COUNTRY ON THE PLANET, CHINA;

3- HINDUSTANI IS THE PRIMARY LANGUAGE OF INDIA'S CROWDED POPULATION, AND IT


ENCOMPASSES A HUGE NUMBER OF DIALECTS (OF WHICH THE MOST COMMONLY SPOKEN IS

HINDI);

4- SPANISH IS SPOKEN IN JUST ABOUT EVERY SOUTH AMERICAN AND CENTRAL AMERICAN
COUNTRY, NOT TO MENTION SPAIN, CUBA, AND THE U.S.;

5- RUSSIAN IS SPOKEN NOT ONLY IN THE MOTHER COUNTRY, BUT ALSO IN BELARUS, KAZAKHSTAN, AND THE U.S. ; 6- ARABIC IS ONE OF THE WORLD'S OLDEST LANGUAGES, IS SPOKEN IN THE MIDDLE EAST,
WITH SPEAKERS FOUND IN COUNTRIES SUCH AS SAUDI ARABIA, KUWAIT, IRAQ, SYRIA,

JORDAN, LEBANON, AND EGYPT. FURTHERMORE, BECAUSE ARABIC IS THE LANGUAGE OF


THE KORAN, MILLIONS OF MOSLEMS IN OTHER COUNTRIES SPEAK ARABIC AS WELL;

7- BENGALI IS SPOKEN IN BANGLADESH; 8- BECAUSE PORTUGAL GOT IN SO EARLY ON THE EXPLORING GAME, THE LANGUAGE
ESTABLISHED ITSELF ALL OVER THE WORLD, ESPECIALLY IN BRAZIL (WHERE IT'S THE NATIONAL LANGUAGE), MACAU, ANGOLA, VENEZUELA, AND MOZAMBIQUE;

9- MALAY / INDONESIAN IS SPOKEN IN MALAYSIA AND INDONESIA; 10- FRENCH - OFTEN CALLED THE MOST ROMANTIC LANGUAGE IN THE WORLD, FRENCH IS
SPOKEN IN TONS OF COUNTRIES, INCLUDING BELGIUM, CANADA, RWANDA, CAMEROON, AND HAITI.

I I- OF COURSE ENGLISH IS ONE OF THE MOST SPOKEN LANGUAGES IN THE WORLD - BUT WHY IS ENGLISH CONSIDERED THE WORLD LANGUAGE?

1- FIRST OF ALL, BECAUSE OF THE BRITISH ECONOMIC POWER


TH

CREATED BY THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION IN THE 19 CENTURY;

2- WITH GOOD ECONOMIC CONDITIONS, THE COLONIALISM WAS A


SUCCESS TOO, AND ENGLISH WAS SPREAD IN TO THE WORLD;

3- MORE

IMPORTANTLY, THE STRONG POLITICAL AND MILITARY PREDOMINANCE OF THE

U.S. AFTER WORLD WAR II OPEN THE WAY FOR A SUBSTANTIAL ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL
INFLUENCE THAT DISPLACED FRENCH FROM THE SPHERE OF DIPLOMACY AND FIXED ENGLISH AS THE STANDARD FOR INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATION;

4- TODAY'S

SEARCH FOR INFORMATION AND NEED FOR GLOBAL COMMUNICATION HAVE

ALREADY PROMOTED ENGLISH TO BE THE INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE.

III - ENGLISH IS LEARNED AS A SECOND AND FOREIGN LANGUAGE ALL OVER THE WORLD:

ENGLISH IS BY FAR THE MOST WIDELY LEARNED FIRST FOREIGN LANGUAGE AT ALL LEVELS OF
EDUCATION ALL OVER THE WORLD.

ENGLISH

IS THE ONLY LANGUAGE LEARNED AT PRIMARY LEVEL EXCEPT IN A VERY FEW

COUNTRIES, SUCH AS LUXEMBOURG WHERE THERE ARE THREE OFFICIAL LANGUAGES.

IN

LOWER SECONDARY EDUCATION

ENGLISH

IS STUDIED EVERYWHERE.

IN

SEVERAL

COUNTRIES MORE THAN 90 % OF PUPILS ARE LEARNING ENGLISH.

IN ADDITION, MANY PUPILS HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO


FOR EXAMPLE, IN

STUDY A SECOND LANGUAGE, AS, AND ICELAND WHERE

DENMARK, ITALY, CYPRUS, ROMANIA, FINLAND

MORE THAN 75% ARE LEARNING TWO LANGUAGES.

AT

UPPER SECONDARY LEVEL THE PATTERN IS THE SAME, EVEN IF MORE STUDENTS ARE

TAUGHT A LANGUAGE OTHER THAN

ENGLISH

AT THIS STAGE. IN GENERAL, A HIGHER

PROPORTION OF PUPILS LEARN FRENCH OR GERMAN THAN SPANISH OR RUSSIAN

THERE ARE ONLY A FEW CASES WHERE OTHER FOREIGN LANGUAGES ARE TAUGHT. THOSE
ARE NORMALLY RELATED TO THE SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES IN THE COUNTRY CONCERNED, SUCH AS

BELGIUM (WHERE DUTCH DANISH

AND

FRENCH

ARE BOTH COMPULSORY IN PART OF IN

PRIMARY EDUCATION),

IN ICELAND,

SWEDISH

FINLAND

AND

ESTONIAN

IN

ESTONIA.

IV - THE TOP TEN IN TERMS OF NATIVE SPEAKERS

THIS DIAGRAM SHOWS PRECISELY WHAT HAVE BEEN SAID BEFORE, THE SITUATION OF ENGLISH AS THE MOST SPOKEN LANGUAGE IN THE WORLD CHANGES IN TERMS OF NATIVE SPEAKERS, BECAUSE THE MOST POPULATED COUNTRY IS CHINA. EUROPE
IS SMALLER IN TERMS OF POPULATION BECAUSE THEIR COUNTRIES ARE MORE

DEVELOPED IN TERMS OF CULTURE AND FEMALE EDUCATION.

V - IN SHORT: WHY ARE THEY IN THE TOP TEN?


1. NUMBER OF PRIMARY SPEAKERS; 2. NUMBER OF SECONDARY SPEAKERS; 3. ECONOMIC POWER OF COUNTRIES USING THE LANGUAGE; 4. NUMBER OF MAJOR AREAS OF HUMAN ACTIVITY IN WHICH THE
LANGUAGE IS IMPORTANT;

5. NUMBER AND POPULATION OF COUNTRIES USING THE LANGUAGE; 6. AND SOCIO-LITERARY PRESTIGE OF THE LANGUAGE.