The spread of English as the international language is a direct result of the cultural exportations and developments of the United States throughout the 20th century.A testament to the prominence of English as the international language can be seen by examining its use within modern day business participants. Contemporary census research suggests that as many as 377 million people currently speak English, with the largest uses found in the United States and the United Kingdom (Coury 2001). Because of the wide-spread use of English exact figures of how many people speak English as a second language vary, but the number is assumed to be around 300 million – nearly 30 percent of the population of the world. Jane Godwin Coury (2001) discusses at length the overwhelming evidence that English is the international language. Coury states that English is spoken in as many as 60 established countries throughout the world, and that 80% of the information stored in computer databases has been stored in English. She argues that because of the overwhelming use of English in electronic communication and information retrieval, the use of English in business transactions has predominated. Indeed, it wasn’t until late in 2009 that internet website addressed could be constructed using Asian characters. Furthermore, English is the official language used in international flights, through the spoken communication of air traffic controllers.One of the major areas that attest to English as the international language is its position as the language of diplomacy. Since World War II English has replaced French as the language of diplomacy. Researchers note that the beginning of the use of English in international diplomacy began in 1919 when the Treaty of Versailles was written in English, and later translated to French (Crystal 1997). English the language of diplomacy was further expanded as the United States and United Kingdom of Great Britain played increasingly larger roles in international relations and diplomacy; this is exemplified most in the establishment of the League of Nations, and then the contemporary incarnation of the United Nations. Today the seating order and the attendance list are in alphabetical order which is in English (www. Although there are six official languages used at the United Nations, only English and French have been used as inter-functional languages.One of the most prominent adoptions of English in contemporary occurrence has come
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Coury, Jane Godwin. (2001). English as a lingua franca in the Brazilian academic world.
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Department for General Assembly and Conference Management. Jan. 2010
Crystal, David (1997). English as a Global Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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