How many countries speak the English Language? Well, to start there is the United States, England and Australia. These countries are the most well-known for having English as their primary language, but they are only a few that speak it. The English Language is the third most popular language in the world. It is used in numerous countries around the globe; including South Africa, Barbados, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Ireland, New Zealand, and the Philippines.Many people stereotype English speakers and believe that in the not well-known English-speaking countries people cannot speak proper English. For Example, In Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED Talk, “The danger of a single story”, she explains how her peers were surprised she could speak English well and fluently because she was from Nigeria. This example is only one of the numerous examples of how humans stereotype English. English is a world-wide language that should not be categorized into only three nations. Yet, people continue to believe that certain countries don’t speak proper English like their popular counter-parts.
English-speaking countries aren’t generally in one area of the world, they are on multiple continents and islands. English is one of the few wide-reaching languages. With the vastness of the language, there are thousands of different dialects around the world. Many times, there are multiple dialects in a country or area. Each dialect develops their own slang words, phrases, and ways of speech. Problems arise when different dialects converse. The miscommunications formed from these conversations are minor compared to language barrier problems. Language barriers are formed from people not speaking the same language; therefore, they are unable to communicate effectively.
Someone’s language knowledge is developed over many years. It is an ever-growing process that begins when an infant is in the womb. Mothers speak their native tongue to their baby, then the child learns that language once they’re born. Babies’ first usage of language is when they’re born and begin to cry. Crying is a universal sign, one of the few signs that any language is able to comprehend. Crying is the first small step to the development of language. As children grow, they begin to speak their native tongue. Someone’s native language is the language that they grew up with, the one they were primed to speak.
In America, usually in High School, students take a foreign language. This begins their journey of learning a second language. Learning a second language is extremely difficult. It is a long process that requires someone to throw away all their old habits and try to develop new ones. A second language is especially difficult to develop when people in the environment do not speak it. This is a major problem with people being able to speak a second language fluently.
Due to the differences in dialect and language barriers, broken English occurs. Broken English is generally used by people who don’t speak English as a first language. It is the greatest complication with effective communication. Yes, differences in dialects can be a struggle, but they can be easily figured out. For Example, we are still able to understand both British and American English, despite the varying accents and slang.
Many immigrants and travelers try to learn English in order to come to the United States and other First-World English-speaking countries. America is the land of the free, a place to begin anew; therefore, America is the home of broken English. This is because of the huge amounts of immigrants living in America who don’t speak English. These non-English speakers have to try and develop their English quickly in order to thrive in America.
Due to English being one of the hardest languages to learn, it is very easy for English-students to develop bad habits and speak improper or broken English. In Amy Tan’s article Mother Tongue, Tan speaks of the struggles her mother had with speaking proper English. For example, her mother’s English wasn’t comprehendible enough for business situations that Tan had to pretend to be her at times. This shows how broken English is able to heavily influence someone’s life.
Not being able to speak a language correctly is a burden on one’s life. Usually, if someone lives in an English-speaking country and cannot talk well, they are not treated with as high of respect as they should be. Their language barrier is a detriment to their life and can prevent them from rising to the status they deserve.
As a society, we stereotype people into a countlessnumber of categories. We judge them based on their race, appearance, and upbringing. It is time to stop this judgement. It is time for us to work together and stop singling people out. Someone should not be judged on the color of their skin or if they can speak a second-language fluently. We all need to understand and respect that everyone has flaws; whether that be in speech or personality.
It’s the time to fix our broken English. Instead of laughing at someone’s language barriers, we need to help them in order to prevent future miscommunications. Also, we need to understand that under-developed countries have fluent English speakers. That all English-speaking countries have smart people who can speak English just as well as an American. Stereotyping a race harms our society just as much as not learning proper English. English speakers everywhere need to come together and fix our blunders of this language. After all, English is an ever-growing language that through teaching and learning will develop one word at a time.