By Natalia Neira Melendez (FIGRI, The World in English elective)
Many events have allowed English to place itself as a world reference language; the expansion of the British Empire was one of the first events that helped English become really important in the world. Another is connected with the United States and the decades after World War II. Since the end of the war, the American country played an essential role in the reconstruction of Western Europe, but it was not only about bricks and cement: that reconstruction went further, reaching cultural levels in each nation. In a short time, not only European countries but a large number of states around the world accepted the increasing American influence in many fields. From business to films, TV, music, and many other areas, American content became more popular over time, which generated a new way to understand the world.
Another factor that was critical in strengthening English as the universal language is related with significant advances in global communications. If English was becoming very popular before the arrival of the internet and the influential development of computing science, these advances allowed people from every corner of the world to obtain content in this language with an ease and a speed never seen before, due to the increasing popularity of electronic devices in international markets.
At present, it is possible to see the dominance of the English language in many fields at a global level. For example, a very important part of the financial sector’s biographical information is in English. In addition, most worldwide financial operations are mainly carried out in English. Another case is related to technology, especially with software development. Most parts of programming languages are based on English and most parts of computing field advances are produced in English-speaking countries or are published in that language with the goal of reaching a larger public.
In conclusion, given the ease of communication currently available and, given that a large number of fields of study worldwide are based on English, that language is still showing that it is the “global language” and the language that humanity has been seeking since its beginnings.