English Language and the Internet
As the internet has accelerated the pace of globalization, so has the relationship between the English language and the internet had an impact on our emerging digital culture. The English language is the universal language of the internet. This has come about because the internet was invented in the English speaking world – the United States of America, to be exact. Thus the relationship between the English language and the internet is influenced by the following facts:
the English language and the internet
80 per cent of the world’s’ electronically stored information is in English.
English is the lingua franca of the internet. Most texts accessed through the internet are in English.
Most of the major search engines are in English.
Computers are English orientated in that the vocabularies of computing – Netscape and Java – are in English.
One-quarter of the world’s population speak basic English.
It is the common language of nearly every internationally connected profession, including science, medicine and air traffic control.
The dominant language of music today is English.
To be able to speak English is a valued educational qualification.
In some countries which have other languages as their first language – Sweden, Holland, for example – English is the required in the workplace.
English has assisted and hastened the process of globalization.
English is spoken in some form or dialect by three times as many nonnative speakers as native speakers.
Teaching English as a Second or Foreign language is a billion-dollar industry.
Nearly one-third of the world’s population are studying or can communicate in English.
The reason for the dominance of the English language and the Internet is historical – the Internet began in the USA, which is the leading user of it, and the USA is an English-speaking nation
400 million people are native English speakers. For 300 to 500 million, English is a second language in which they are fluent. About 750 million people speak English as a foreign language.
The largest English-speaking nation in the world, the United States, has only about 20 percent of the world’s English speakers.
In Asia, an estimated 350 million people speak English.
The future evolution of the language, scholars say, is more likely to belong to the broken-English speakers of far-off lands. English is an aspirational language.
These facts demonstrate the indisputable link between the English Language and the internet. The English language and the internet are so intertwined that most of the thinking is that it is the language of the digital age.