Learn English Idioms: A Pain in the Neck
Do you want to learn English with a native speaker?…
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Shot and edited by Brian a BBC producer and director and English writer. These videos aim to teach you some relevant expressions which you are able to use in your conversations when you want or need to speak English.
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Because English is so widely spoken, it has often been referred to as a “world language”, the lingua franca of the modern era. While English is not an official language in most countries, it is currently the language most often taught as a foreign language around the world. Some linguists (such as David Graddol) believe that it is no longer the exclusive cultural property of “native English speakers”, but is rather a language that is absorbing aspects of cultures worldwide as it continues to grow. It is, by international treaty, the official language for aerial and maritime communications. English is an official language of the United Nations and many other international organisations, including the International Olympic Committee.
English is the language most often studied as a foreign language in the European Union (by 89% of schoolchildren), followed by French (32%), German (18%), Spanish (8%), and Russian; while the perception of the usefulness of foreign languages amongst Europeans is 68% English, 25% French, 22% German, and 16% Spanish. Among non-English speaking EU countries, a large percentage of the population claimed to have been able to converse in English (note that the percentages are for the adult population, aged 15 and above): in Sweden (85%), Denmark (83%), the Netherlands (79%), Luxembourg (66%), Finland (60%), Slovenia (56%), Austria (53%), Belgium (52%), and Germany (51%).
Books, magazines, and newspapers written in English are available in many countries around the world. English is also the most commonly used language in the sciences. In 1997, the Science Citation Index reported that 95% of its articles were written in English, even though only half of them came from authors in English-speaking countries.
Because the English language has become the new global lingua franca and has sometimes had a large impact on other languages, it has been said to have an influence on language shift and even language death to other languages as they are “not effectively being passed on to the next generation” (Crystal, 2000). Hence, linguists gave rise to the term “English Language Imperialism” . Regardless of some of its effects on other languages, the English language in itself has been the victim of language shift, especially during the Norman conquest of England. Even today, the Englishes around the world are constantly influenced by their regional counterparts. For this reason, the ‘English language is forever evolving’
A version of the language almost universally agreed upon by educated English speakers around the world is called formal written English. It takes virtually the same form regardless of where it is written, in contrast to spoken English, which differs significantly between dialects, accents, and varieties of slang and of colloquial and regional expressions. Local variations in the formal written version of the language are quite limited, being restricted largely to the spelling differences between British and American English, along with a few minor differences in grammar and lexis.
since around the ninth century, English has been written in the Latin alphabet, which replaced Anglo-Saxon runes. The spelling system, or orthography, is multilayered, with elements of French, Latin and Greek spelling on top of the native Germanic system; it has grown to vary significantly from thephonology of the language. The spelling of words often diverges considerably from how they are spoken.Basic English is simplified for easy international use. Manufacturers and other international businesses tend to write manuals and communicate in Basic English. Some English schools in Asia teach it as a practical subset of English for use by beginners.
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