Modern English is the worldwide lingua franca and the most important international language for communication. In the business world, in science, the entertainment industry, tourism. In the Commonwealth English is seen as the official language. Many international organizations use English as a preferred language.
Background: 'the language of the British Empire'
The expansion of the English language around the world is parallel with the growth of the British Empire in the nineteenth century, during which time the language was spread worldwide. The position of English has also been strengthened by the status of the United States as a world power with its growing economic and cultural influence since the Second World War. In many professions a good knowledge of English is required, with the result that at least one billion people have mastered the principles of English. It is one of the six official languages of the United Nations.
- English is spoken in the USA and Canada, on the British Isles, Ireland, the Caribbean Australia, New Zealand, Oceania and in large parts of Africa and Asia.
- More than one billion people speak English, of which more than 380 million are native speakers. English is an official language in more than 50 countries, it is also the lingua franca of many international institutions (the European Union, NATO, UN)