“We British have really everything in common with America nowadays, except, of course, language.”
Number of speakers worldwide: around 1.8 billion (300 to 400 million native speakers)
Ranking: estimations varyingly locate it in 3rd place after Mandarin and Hindi or in 4th place after Spanish.
English is the official language of 53 countries worldwide, including the United Kingdom, the United States, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
Considered by many as the “international” language, English is the second most studied and learned language in the world. It is also the language most frequently used on the Internet.
English is one of the United Nations’ six official languages—along with Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish—and one of the UN’s three working languages—along with French and Spanish.
English is a West Germanic language with roots in the Anglo-Frisian dialects that were brought to
American English and British English differ not only in terms of vocabulary (in which meanings of words can often change), in terms of the spelling of certain words (color vs. colour, center vs. centre) but also in terms of pronunciation and accent. Two standards have been established, Standard English (frequently referred to as BBC English) and General American.