“Do you speak English?” – with this phrase begins the conversation between two people, that speak different languages and want to find a common language. It’s very good when you hear: “Yes, I do”, and start talking. Knowledge of foreign languages helps us to develop friendship and understanding among people.
Foreign languages are absolutely necessary for people nowadays because of our growing international contacts with foreign countries. I think, it is very important to speak at least one foreign language either English or German or French and Spanish or any other one. There is a saying: the more languages you speak, the more times you are a human being. It is not surprising that many intellectuals and well-educated people are polyglots. Some people learn languages because they need them for their work, others travel abroad, for the third studying languages is a hobby.
I like English. It is my favourite subject at college. I learn it with pleasure. English is a wonderful language. I like to speak English, to read and translate texts, to learn poems or topics by heart. Learning English is very important today though it is not an easy thing; it is a long and slow process. It takes a lot of time and effort.
One day I went to the food shop in my village. It is not very large, but there is a big choice of different goods. Maybe I was not so attentive before and didn’t pay any attention to the surrounding things, but at that time I was very surprised seeing so many English words on different kinds of food or other goods. I got interested and decided to find out where else we can see or use English in our everyday life. So since that time I began watching more attentively at the surrounding things and came to the conclusion that we meet English words in our everyday life more often as we can imagine. I want to tell you about the results of my observation today.
The rise of English is a remarkable success story. When Julius Caesar landed in Britain nearly two thousand years ago, English did not exist. Do you know that in Shakespeare’s time only a few million people spoke English? It was unknown to the rest of the world.
The English language began to spread throughout the world only in the 17thcentury, when the first English settlements arose in North America. The rapid growth of population in the United States in the following years increased the number of English-speakers greatly. In the course of massive migration of people in the 19thand 20thcenturies, English became a mother tongue or one of the official languages in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the South Africa Republic. That finally established English as a world language.
Nowadays English is the most widespread language geographically, second only to Chinese in the number of people who speak it (there are 400 million speakers of English against 700 million Chinese speakers; 200 million people speak Russian and 100 million people speak Russian and 100 million people speak German as a native language). In short, one person in seven of the world’s population either knows English or learns it.
Many people believe that the English language is rather an easy language to learn because it doesn’t have such a difficult grammar as modern Russian, German or Greek. But it is true only by half. One shouldn’t forget
1) the problems of English spelling, pronunciation and prepositions;
2) there are many exceptions to every rule;
3) English has the largest vocabulary in the world: there are about 500 000 words and 300 000 technical terms in it.
So learning any foreign language is not an easy thing. If you want to master a foreign language, you must be ready to make efforts and be patient.
Today English is represented on every continent and in the three largest oceans: the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific. English is becoming a universal language on our planet. The English language has become a world language in politics, science, trade and cultural relations. It is one of the official languages of the United Nations Organization and other political organizations. Top-class diplomats, politicians, scientists, artists and sportsmen everywhere in the world use English to communicate with each other. As you know, almost all business in Russia today is international. Even a secretary has to write letters in English and speak English on the phone.
English is the language of computer technology and we can’t imagine our life without computers nowadays. Besides most of the websites on the Internet are in English and we can get access to any information if we know English. English is the medium for 80% of the information stored in the world’s computers.
It is known that half of the world’s scientific magazines are in English. It is absolutely necessary for a good specialist in any country to be able at least to read English. English is the language of sport and glamour: the official language of the Olympics and the Miss Universe Competition. The largest broadcasting companies in the world (CBS, NBS, ABC, BBC) transmit in English to audiences that regularly exceed one hundred million. Besides, the English language is the language of the great literature. William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, they all wrote their books in English. A lot of modern literature and many new films in English come out every year. If you know English, you can understand them without translation. No wonder that most educated people speak English fluently.
I learn English because I understand that I can use it. As I like music, I often listen to English songs. It is very important for me to understand what they are about. I know what the names of the worldfamous British, American or other foreign pop groups and rock groups mean ( for example “Beatles”, “Deep Purple”, “Queen”, “Rolling Stones, “Modern Talking”, “Nirvana”). I want to read the English literature in the original. I want to watch and understand films without any help. I want to make friends with boys or girls from other countries.
In my future life I want to travel abroad. But it is difficult to visit countries, when you don’t know the language spoken there. My knowledge of English will help me a lot, because English is used not only in England but also in other parts of the world.
There are also some “international” professions, such as airline pilots and air-traffic controllers, which require a working knowledge of English. However, there is no doubt that every educated person should know a foreign language. No matter what I am going to be in the future, I know quite well that I must know English perfectly. I want to be successful in life, so it is necessary for me to know English.
Today we can see English words everywhere. For example we can see a lot of advertisements, signboards and names in the streets. They are in foreign languages. Very often they are in English.
If you know English well, you can read and understand them.
Now we buy many clothes from other countries. If you know English well, you can read something about the size of this or that thing. It is clear to you what it is made of.
If you know English well, you can take part in an exchange programmes for students. For example, there is a popular programme “Work and Travel” in the USA and Alaska, where you can travel through the country, earn money and make new friends.
If we go to the shop, we can see many names of different goods written in the English language: soaps, shampoos, toothpastes and other things of everyday life. There are also many English food names too: chips, tea and coffee, chewing gums, chocolates, candy bars, tins and others. If we know English well, we can read and understand all the instructions and other necessary information which are sometimes very important for us.
I have learned that many best-selling perfumes, candy bars and famous music groups are named after common everyday words. For example,
Obsession– when a person’s thoughts or feelings are dominated by one’s persistent idea or desire.
Mars– the fourth planet from the sun in our solar system;
Milky Way – the galaxy that contains the solar system which can be seen as a group of light in the night sky.
Today in Russian speech we also hear many English words. Some of these words came into our speech and we don’t notice that they are English, we use English words free. We can hear English words practically every day in the magazines and newspapers, on TV, in chats, in messages and in everyday speech of the young people. They are: бойфренд, грант, журналист, клуб, офис, тест, универ, шопинг, шоу, смайлы, уикенд, постер, супер, хэппи-энд и другие.
The words and their meanings from the newspapers and magazines:
Бoйфрендboyfriend — a man or, а boy with whom a person has a romantic relationship — парень;
Журналистjournalist — a person whose job is to collect and write about news in newspapers and magazines or talk about it on TV or radio;
Интернетthe Internet — the international system of computers — глобальнаясеть;
Клубclub — a group of people who meet regularly to share an interest, the place where they meet;
Компьютерcomputer — an electronic machine that can store, find information, etc.;
Коннектconnect — to be joined to something — знакомство;
Лайнline — a long thin mark on the surface of something — линия;
Никnick — имя;
Ноутбукnotebook — a small book in which you write things that you want to remember — мини-компьютер;
Офисoffice — a room where people work, sitting at desk — контора;
Серверserver — a computer that stores information that a number of computer can share;
Скейтбордskateboard — a short narrow board with small wheels at each end that you can stand on;
Сноубордsnowboard — a type of board that you fasten to both your feet and use for moving down mountains that are covered with snow;
Тестtest — a short exam to measure smb’s knowledge — опрос, анкета;
Френдыfriend-a person that you know and like and who likes you — друзья;
Чатchat — a friendly informal conversation — беседас несколькимилюдьми одновременно;
Love storyлюбовная история;
SMS short message system — короткоесообщение.
English words in chats:
Геймерgamer — игрок;
Комментcomment — something that you say or write that gives your opinion about smth — комментарий;
Мэйк-апmake-up — powder, cream, etc that you put on your face to make yourself more attractive — макияж;
Пиплpeople — more than one person — люди, народ;
Смайлыsmile — an expression on your face in which the corners of your mouth turn up, showing happiness — улыбочки;
Уикендweekend — Saturday and Sunday — выходной;
Универuniversity — an institution that provides the highest level of education — университет;
Фореваforever — for all time, permanently — навсегда;
Хай hi — an informal word used when you meet smb you know well — привет;
Шопингshopping — the activity of going to the shops and buying things — делать покупки;
Шоуshow — a type of entertainment performed for an audience.
English words in messages:
Дискdisk — a flat piece of plastic that stores information for use by a computer;
Плизplease — used a polite way of asking for smth — пожалуйста;
Постерposter — a large printed picture that is put on a wall — плакат;
Ситиcity — a large and important town — город;
Суперsuper — bigger, better, stronger than other things of the same type — самый;
Хай hi — an informal word used when you meet smb you know well — привет;
Хэллоуhello — an informal word used when you meet smb you know well — привет;
Хэппи-энд happy-end — счастливый конец;
Шоу-бизнесshow business — the business of entertaining people;
DJ disc jockey — a person who plays records and talks about music on the radio or in a club;
Okokay — agreement or permission — хорошо;
I want to mention another fact. As you know in the nearest future there will be at least three important sport events in our country. They are Universiade in Kazan (2013), Olympic Winter Games in Sochi (2014), FIFA World Cup (2018). Russia has been getting ready for them for a long time. Do you know that they will need very many volunteers, interpreters and translators on these events? If you know English well, you may take part there, because thousands of guests from the whole world will come to Russia. It will give you a lot of practice of English. Besides you can make friends with the young people from other countries. So take your chance! Why not?
As a conclusion I want to say that indeed English is becoming a universal language on our planet. It makes people’s life more fruitful, interesting and enjoyable. It makes our outlook wider. But its greatest role will be in the future when mankind starts solving the most important problems of war and peace, ecology, democracy, social and moral codes and many, many others. It will greatly help us to reach mutual understanding which will tremendously improve the people’s life on our planet.
That’s why we should go on learning English as hard as possible. I believe that in the nearest future it will help us to become highly-qualified and successful specialists. It will help us to find a good job and make a career. To know English today is absolutely necessary for every educated person as we meet it in our everyday life more and more often. We can not imagine our life without English. ENGLISH HAS NO EQUALS! SO LET’S LEARN ENGLISH !