That's right. Do you think it would be fun to have access to information that other people can't get? Talk and write letters to interesting people that others can't communicate with? Impress people around you whenever you opened your mouth? Make big jumps in your career, leaving others miles behind?
You can get all this if you speak English well.
Get access to knowledge
What are you interested in? Is it science? Music? Computers? Health? Business? Sports? Today's media — such as the Internet, television, and the press — give you almost unlimited access to knowledge about your favorite subjects. After all, we live in the information age, don't we?
There's only one problem. Most of this knowledge is in English.
Here are some examples of knowledge you can use if you know English:
- Most pages on the Web. That's over a billion (1,000,000,000) pages of information! It's amazing that learning just one language gives you access to almost all knowledge on the Internet.
- Books — on any subject, from all over the world. Read books by British or American authors, and books translated from other languages. Whatever you're interested in, you can read about it in English!
- The press. Only English-language magazines and newspapers can be bought in every part of the world. You don't have to search for Time, Newsweek, or the International Herald Tribune!
- Science. English is the key to the world of science. In 1997, 95% of the articles in the Science Citation Index were written in English. Only about 50% of them were from English-speaking countries like the USA or Britain.
- News reports. Watch international television networks, such as CNN International and NBC. They broadcast news much faster, and more professionally, than smaller, national networks. And you can watch them everywhere in the world.
Communicate with people
We like to call English "the language of communication". Why? Because it seems all the people in the world have agreed to use English to talk to each other.
About 1,500,000,000 people in the world speak English. Another 1,000,000,000 are learning it. (source)
75% of the world's letters and postcards are written in English. (source)
Almost all international conferences and competitions are conducted in English. For example, the Olympics and the Miss World contest.
Diplomats and politicians from different countries use English to communicate with each other. English is the main language of organizations like the United Nations, NATO, and the European Free Trade Association.
If you can communicate in English, you can:
- Contact people from all over the world. Talk about your ideas and opinions on Internet discussion groups. Send e-mail to interesting people. Learn about their life and culture.
- Travel more easily. Communicate with people wherever you go — English is spoken in more than 100 countries (source). Ask directions, have a conversation, or... ask for help. Who knows, maybe English will save your life someday!
- Push your career forward
If you want a good job in business, technology, or science, get out of that armchair and start learning English now! (If you already have a good job, start learning before you lose it!)
Knowing English will let you:
- Put "excellent knowledge of English" on your CV. Get your dream job, and earn more money.
- Gain technical knowledge. English is the language of technology, especially high technology like computer science, genetics, and medicine. If you're going to read about technology, you'll probably have to do it in English.
- Learn computer science. Read technical articles without difficulty. Or write your own articles!
- Be a world-class businessman (or -woman). It's simple. International business is done in English. And all business today is international. So if you want to play, you have to know English — to contact other businesspeople, go to conferences, read international business newspapers and magazines, etc.
- Become a better scientist. Contact scientists from other countries, go to international conferences, visit academic centers abroad. Learn about new scientific discoveries by reading papers, books, and magazines.
- Use your computer more effectively. Most computer applications are in English, so you will understand them better — and become a better employee.
- Learn new skills for your job. The section "Get access to knowledge" explains how English helps you learn.
- Enjoy art like never before
English lets you feel the culture of the world like no other language. With a good knowledge of the English language, you can do wonderful things:
- Watch American and British films in the original. Once you try it, you'll never go back to dubbed versions!
- Read great books. Every famous book was written in English or it was translated into English. There is an amazing number of titles — from classic plays like Hamlet to modern thrillers like Jurassic Park.
- Enjoy English-language music more. Believe us: music is much better if you can understand the words.
- English is easy to learn
English is not only the most useful language in the world. It is also one of the easiest languages to learn and to use:
Simple alphabet — no special symbols such as é or ä. Type in sweet, part, film on your computer. Now try süß (German), (Polish), (Russian). Which is easier?
Easy plurals — simply add s to a word. One car, five cars; one telephone, two telephones... There are very few exceptions.
Words are easy to learn. In French, it's la fille and le chien. In German, it's das Mädchen and der Hund. In English, they're just a girl and a dog. And that's all you need to know.
Short words. Most of the basic words are short: run, work, big, go, man. Long words are often shortened: sitcom = situational comedy, fridge = refrigerator, OS = operating system. Speaking English saves you time. :-)
Words don't change. But in many languages, one word has many forms:
English: The man is blind.
German: Der Mann ist blind.
English: This is a blind man.
German: Das ist ein blinder Mann.
English: I see a blind man.
German: Ich sehe einen blinden Mann.
Call everybody "you". You can say "Do you speak English?" to your friend or to your teacher. In other languages, you have to use the right word for the right person. In English, everybody is equal. :-)
English is everywhere. You can easily access English-language television, music, websites, magazines, etc. You don't have to learn from boring textbooks. You can learn and use your English at the same time. Using your English is especially important because it increases your desire to learn.
English is not only useful — it gives you a lot of satisfaction:
- Making progress feels great. We'll never forget the moment we discovered we could speak with Americans or watch TV in English.
- You will enjoy learning English, if you remember that every hour you spend gets you closer to perfection.
- Using English is fun, too, because every sentence you speak or write reminds you of your success.
- English makes you a more powerful, happier person. It is not difficult to imagine some situations where knowing English gives you a great feeling.