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Is the English Language still Essential to Economic Advancement?

Proficiency in the English language has long been held up as one of the most important tools for economic advancement. Is this still as true today as it has been for the last few decades?

It is believed by many people and governments, particularly in Asia, that mastery and fluency of English is vital and essential to economic advancement. On the other hand, English speaking countries are overwhelmed because of the massive acceptance in most Asian countries f the English language.

English speaking countries are confident about maintaining their economic development, due to their current linguistic status. As globalization is widely spreading across countries, the use of the English language has been growing massively as well. Thus, why would people in English speaking countries bother to study other languages, such as Asian languages, when their own mother tongue works very nicely in Asian territories?

However, as prosperity and development spreads out across the other side of the world, such as in Singapore, China, and Japan, a new linguistic form is emerging. The reality is that when an economy is booming, usually people don’t need the English language to be stable or rich. Today, as the Asian economies appear more worth investing in than economies in the U.S or in Europe, Asian languages such as Japanese and Chinese are starting to lead as some of the main languages in international trade and investment.  Thus, it only means that English no longer dominates the world market, and that fewer people now in Asia are using English.

Nowadays, many people from western countries, both language students and business people, come to Asia, for example China and Japan, just to study Asian languages, and this shows that the economic development or advancement doesn’t depend on the former status of the English language, but rather, the prosperity and advancement of the Asian economies is the result of giving importance on their own languages and adapting English as a medium towards globalization.

Today, as China’s economy is growing, many foreign countries are starting to invest in the Chinese market, and thus, require the use  of Mandarin. However, it should be noted that languages play a vital role in promoting the economic status of every country, and thus, people should not neglect the significance of Chinese or English when dealing with international markets.

English is an effective aid to global communication; it has various elements of significance that are key factors for a country or economy to be involved in a wider break for the country to develop. It is useful to know and remember as well that recognising other languages may means respecting other cultures as well, which in turn may be good for business.

If English was dominant in the recent past, and has now been outstripped by the Mandarin language, who knows maybe in few years time, the global market will be dominated by other languagesFeature Articles, such as Arabic.

Source: Free Articles from


Charlene Lacandazo works for Rosetta Translation, a leading global translation agency.

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