The English Language

September 10, 2018

The British Empire, which once ruled the world, uses a language known as English. Former Prime Minister Winston Churchill wrote his memoirs using 1500 different words only. The usage of a relatively restricted language allowed the British government to ensure that in its colonies, people from an immense variety of origin, could communicate together.

Many people do not know that the English language is one of the richest in terms of words, estimated to be about 300,000 words. (Nobody knows the precise number, because the language has also added many words taken from other languages.)

Between the languages, Dutch and Flemish counts about 250,000 words, French 100,000 and the German language not exceeding 135,000 words.

The Arabic language has some 200,000 words, whilst Chinese exceeds 350,000 words.

How many people really know English? In many places, such as in Oman, very few people have a command of the English language. In some areas, the immigration office, customs, or other governmental bodies, hardly anybody speaks proper English.

When foreign companies established in Oman want to hire young Omanis, the first criteria is their knowledge of English, which shows how interested they are in developing themselves in their profession.

Having a command of the English language, allows people to progress, to better communicate with others and as a result reach better positions.

To the educators in Oman, the advice on improving the language skills of the students is an essential criteria to ensure their success in their jobs.

Spanish, Chinese and English are the most spoken languages in the world. Can we really survive if we have not learned to communicate with the others on the same planet?

By Saleh Miri