Background and status
The English language is spoken all over the world. It is difficult to exactly count how many people speak English as not all countries that use the language have census data. However, it is an official language of almost 60 sovereign states, the most commonly spoken language in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand, and a widely spoken language in countries in the Caribbean, Africa, and Southeast Asia. It is the third most common native language in the world, after Mandarin and Spanish. It is also widely learned as a second language and is an official language of the United Nations, of the European Union, and of many other world and regional international groups.
It is safely said that the total of people who have English as their first language is at least 300 million, potentially reaching a total of around 400 million. As a second language, however, is where the English language is the most popular, with over 200 million speakers of English as a second language. It is estimated by some linguists that this total is actually in the region of around 1.8 billion, due to the English language being taught in many Asian schools, as well as being something of a lingua franca of the world.
Growth and usage
The English language is one of the most useful languages to learn in the world. Whether you are considering taking your business to other countries or looking to learn a language that can be used in many countries, the English language is surely one of the most popular options. While there are more speakers of the Mandarin Chinese and Spanish languages, the English language is the one that has spread the furthest over the world. It is also the standard language for world communication, especially in the fields of science, business, information technology and economy.