In an increasingly diverse, global economy, having a language in common greatly facilitiates cross-cultural communication between people from different regions and nations. The English language is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, second only to Mandarin. English being a widely-spoken language throughout the world is only one of the many advantages of learning the language.
English is the primary language of business throughout the world. Most international business transactions, including emails, memos, reports and contracts, are written in English. Frequently translating purchase orders, forms, offers and correspondence is time consuming and potentially fraught with errors.
The ability to fluently speak English in addition to your native language can be beneficial if you're seeking job opportunities with international companies. Many employers prefer or require English speaking and writing proficiency. Job interviews for international business positions are often conducted in English. The ability to speak this more universal business language can place you a step ahead of the competition.
Entertainment and Media
Major Hollywood movies and many television shows popular around the word have dialogue in English. The plot is easier to follow if the person watching the movie speaks English. Subtitles in other languages can sometimes cause the meanings of words to be lost in the translation, and they can be a distraction or even block the action taking place on the screen. Translating print materials like books or magazines is also time consuming.
Travel and Tourism
The English language is predominantly spoken throughout the world, so international travelers may find that speaking English can make their travels a little easier. Most hotel and restaurant employees, as well as store merchants, probably speak English to some degree. Being able to converse with people living in the area where you are vacationing adds to the richness of the cultural experience.
Students from other countries who attend school in the United States will benefit greatly if they know basic English. This knowledge will help them communicate with their host families as well as students and teachers at their school. These international students will also have an easier time with their studies, including reading lengthy texts and researching topics for classes. A large amount of research in scholarly journals is written in English. Knowing English can helpful for scholars who wish to communicate their ideas and research findings to peers in their field.
Computers and Technology
Most software programs are written in English. Those seeking to expand their computer knowledge can find the ability to read and understand the English language invaluable. Members of research teams need a shared language to exchange ideas. English proficiencey enables engineers and technicians to quicky adapt to new software tools of their company or the industry.
Jeanne Baird is a freelance writer with a decade of experience as a proofreader, editor and writer. She has been the associate editor for an engineering society handbook and a project manager for an independent publishing company. Baird also has edited business and entertainment news from several international newswires.