As the world becomes more interconnected every day, communication plays a greater role than ever before. Technology has expanded connectivity, allowing people to communicate anywhere in the world. Quite simply, technology has revolutionized the way we communicate with people around the world.
Think back to the beginning, how the postal service connected the spread of information, which was then transformed into the telegraph. As development progressed, great inventions continued with Morse code, the telephone, the fax machine, and then finally, one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century, the World Wide Web.
The power of the internet allows us to communicate in real-time and gives us options on how we communicate. Now, with the same means of communication – the internet – you can write, talk, or video conference anyone in the world who has the ability to connect. Not only that, but the ease and availability of transportation have allowed us to travel around the world and experience new environments. Now that the infrastructure is available, there remains one final obstacle: language.
There are over 6,500 languages spoken around the world. Whether for business, education, or social interaction, you may find that language is the barrier separating you from the international community. After Mandarin, English is the most commonly spoken language throughout the world. While there are a host of languages you could learn, English is considered to be one of the most important languages to learn.
Most international business is conducted in English. Are you looking to be employed by an international company? Many international companies have minimum English language requirements in order to advance in your career. Even if the people in your workplace all speak your native tongue, you may find that corporate information is all in English! Having English as a skill would allow you to read and understand magazines, journals and newspapers that have worldwide recognition. It would also allow you to attend conferences and seminars, and connect with other individuals in your industry.
If you are planning to study overseas, you may find that your school has a minimum requirement of English that you must meet in order to attend. In fact, most schools in English-speaking countries require that you have a minimum understanding and proficiency in English — commonly determined based on English language exams.
English is also one of the main languages of entertainment. Movies, songs, magazines, books are all waiting to be understood. There is nothing like reading original texts to understand the full meaning of what is trying to be conveyed. No more subtitles for you; sit back, relax, even close your eyes, and you will still be able to follow along!
Do you like science? If you do, then English is a must! In 2010, an estimate of 80-90% of all papers published in scientific journals was written in English. If this is not enough to convince you of the importance of English, you will find that there is over a billion pages of websites in English – which is the primary language of the internet. The number of ways English can come in handy is limitless!
Now, some may say that English is decreasing in importance because of emerging markets. As developing countries like China and India continue to grow, it is predicted that other languages will emerge and will outnumber the population of English speakers. Even if this is the case, there is no doubt that English will still be an important language to have as part of your skill set.