Universal language EnglishEnglish is the most widespread language in the world. But Mandarin, or High Chinese, has the most native speakers. English is the native language of ‘only’ 350 million people. However, English has a great deal of influence on other languages. Since the middle of the 20th century it has taken on greater significance. This is largely due to the development of the USA into a superpower. English is the first foreign language taught in schools in many countries. International organizations use English as their official language. English is also the official language or common language of many countries. It is possible, however, that soon other languages will take over these functions. English belongs to the West Germanic languages. Therefore it is closely related to German, for example. But the language has changed significantly in the last 1,000 years.
Earlier, English was an inflecting language. Most endings with a grammatical function have disappeared. Therefore, English can be counted among the isolating languages. This type of language is more similar to Chinese than to German. In the future, the English language will be further simplified. The irregular verbs will most likely disappear. English is simple compared to other Indo-European languages. But English orthography is very difficult. This is because spelling and pronunciation differ strongly from one another. English orthography has been the same for centuries. But pronunciation has changed considerably. As a result, one still writes the way one spoke in 1400. There are also many irregularities in pronunciation.