CHAPTER-I: ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN INTERNATIONAL TRADE 1
1.2 IMPORTANCE OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN INTERNATIONAL TRADE
1.3 INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND WORLD ECONOMY
CHAPTER-II: TRADE FLOW VERSUS LANGUAGE FLOW 27
2.1 EEFECT OF LANGUAGES ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE
2.2 GRAVITY MODELLING OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE FLOWS
CHAPTER-III: MAJOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE SPEAKING COUNTRIES TRADE WITH UNITED STATES 57
3.1 UNITED STATES TRADE WITH UNITED KINGDOM
3.2 UNITED STATES TRADE WITH CANADA
3.3 UNITED STATES TRADE WITH NEW ZEALAND
CHAPTER-IV: ENGLISH IS AN OFFICIAL LANGUAGE COUNTRIES TRADE WITH UNITED STATES 68
4.1 UNITED STATES TRADE WITH INDIA
4.2 UNITED STATES TRADE WITH SOUTH AFRICA
4.3 UNITED STATES TRADE WITH SRILANKA
About the Authors
Mr. Krishnaveer Abhishek Challa (b. 1991) is currently working as Soft Skills Trainer cum Faculty at Department of Foreign Languages, Andhra University. He is pursuing PhD from Department of Linguistics, Andhra University. He is also the Secretary of Linguistics Research Society and Honorary CEO of Tao Educare. He worked as Assistant Professor of English at Gayatri Vidya Parishad College for Degree & PG Courses (A), Visakhapatnam, India. He worked as Guest Faculty at Andhra University College of Engineering (A). He received MA in English Language & Literature from Adikavi Nannaya University and Masters in Journalism and Mass Communications from Andhra University. He qualified State Eligibility Test (SET) for Lectureship/Assistant Professorship. His specialization is International Communication. He also completed Masters in Linguistics and Computer Science. He did P.G. Diplomas in English Language & Linguistics, Communication Skills, Functional English, English Language Teaching and Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy. He did Diplomas in French, Functional Arabic and Yoga. He authored 41 books and published 83 Research Articles, Poetry and Book reviews in reputed Journals, Edited Volumes and Newspapers and Seminar Proceedings. He presented his research papers in numerous Seminars and was the resource person for many Workshops. He was selected as a student at Blekinge Teksniska Hogskola (BTH), Sweden and completed many courses. He won first prize in National Level Debate Competition on ‘Green Manufacturing’. He acted in and directed many Short Films and Documentaries and won an award.
Mr. Santoshkumar Karimilli (b. 29th August 1988) is a Founder & Director of “Tao Educare” (A Vocational Training Institution of Spoken English). He has an M.A in English from Andhra University. He has also two P.G Diplomas in English language & Linguistics and Functional English from Andhra University. He did B.Ed in Special English from A.U. He also obtained two certificate courses in “Gandhian studies and Social exclusion and Inclusive policy” from Andhra University. He wrote twenty books. His articles were also published in various national & International Journals. He served as a Divisional Manager in “Orion EdutechPvt.Ltd.” (Indian’s largest vocational training institute) for one year. He also served as an English Communicative Facilitator in Dr.Reddy’s Foundation for Sixteen months. Now he is serving as a “Visiting Faculty & Soft skills Trainer” in “Sun Degree college” & SSR Degree College, srikakulam. He delivered so many lectures on “phobia in English” and “personality development” in various colleges & workshops. He presented numerous papers at various National and International Seminars.
Hari Venkatesh was born in Vizianagaram, Andhra Pradesh, now he lives in Hyderabad. He did his Masters of Arts from Andhra University in Economics, as a student he discovered his love in subject of Economics. He has cleared UGC-NET, AP SET examination during his post graduation and also he deserved the prestigious academic award “PRATIBHA AWARD-2015”, by Government of Andhra Pradesh. Now he is working as a Research Analyst at AP Planning Board of Andhra Pradesh Secretariat. His understand about the subject of Economics leads him to write this first book. I hope this book will help graduates and post graduate students to understand the critical words of Economics subject very easily.
Trade flow has always been synonymous to language flow. The global economy is in the hands of the global language. English has long become the lingua franca of the globalizing economy, and this book “English EXIM: A Linguistic Study” sets out to investigate how international trade are prepared to meet the linguistic requirements imposed on them by global business.
This book focuses on investigating how well international trade of economies present themselves in their corporate literature and on the internet, which instruments from the wide-ranging selection of marketing tools they apply for communicating with international markets and how the linguistic quality of their international market communications can be assessed. The objective is to provide economies is follow English as a recognized language with a tool to maximize the effects of their international communication efforts based on the analysis of the current state of the art and on the evaluation of previous studies in this field.
The book presents English as the language of global trade by statistically showing that
1. U.K, New Zealand and Canada have high trade with U.S. because their major language is English.
2. If official language of a country is English then its trade prospects with U.S. are high.
3. India, South Africa and Sri Lanka have high trade with U.S. because of their official language is English.
- Mr. Krishnaveer Abhishek Challa
CHAPTER-I ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN INTERNATIONAL TRADE
Languages facilitate communication and ease transactions. Two individuals who speak the same language can communicate and trade with each other directly whereas those without a sufficient knowledge of a common language must often rely on an intermediary or hire an interpreter. The additional complexity inherent in such a mediated relationship, the potential for costly errors and their increased cost may be large enough to prevent otherwise mutually beneficial transactions from occurring. Consequently, ability to speak foreign languages should have a positive economic payoff embodied in better employment opportunities and higher wages, in addition to other, non-pecuniary benefits such as ability to travel study and live abroad, meet new people, read foreign books or newspapers, and the like.
Each country was analyzed using a range of indicators that demonstrates the value of English to a country. These included: ease of doing business; total FDI inflow; percentage of FDI coming from English speaking countries; total employed population; annual gross income per capita; annual gross income per capita for a salaried professional job. Extensive interviews were also conducted with large multinational companies, recruitment agencies, universities and government bodies in order to establish the correlation between English language skills and key economic growth indicators, such as the standard of living and the salary gap between English and non-English speakers.
Over the last half-century, tariﬀ and non-tariﬀ barriers to international trade have fallen considerably around the world as countries join regional and multilateral trading agreements; yet substantial barriers still exist and many countries continue to trade a disproportionate amount intra-nationally. This world of signiﬁcantly lower trade policy barriers and declining transport costs has shifted the focus of economic research towards more informal border barriers to trade. Based on evidence from a number of studies and a wide range of countries, Anderson and van Wincoop (2004) estimate national borders pose tariﬀ and equivalent barriers of 44 percent. Although national borders are not easily erased, attempts to decrease the costs associated with borders may help enhance international trade opportunities and increase income levels.
The last few decades have seen a growth in the role of the English language around the world as the lingua franca for economic, scientific, and political exchange. The term lingua franca means ‘any language used forcommunication between groups who have no other language in common’ (Matthews, 2000:209). According toCrystal (1997), 85% of the world's international organizations use English as their official language in transnational communication. About 85% of the world’s important film productions and markets use English as well,and 90% of thepublished academic articles in several academic fields, such as linguistics, are written in English. Inmany cases, the increased growth in the use of the English language can be attributed toeducational, economic, or cultural globalization. Giddens (2000) defined globalization as a separation ofspace and time, emphasizing that with instantaneous communications, knowledge, and culture could be shared around the world simultaneously. Globalization has been viewed primarilyas an economic phenomenon, involving the increasing interaction, or integration of national economic systems through the growth ininternational trade, investment, and capital flow. However, the definitionhas expended to include also cross-border social, cultural, political, and technological exchanges between nations and in particular, between people. Computer-mediated communication (CMC) is one of thefeatures of globalization and as a result, the Internet has become an important linguistic medium. It hasbeen added to every aspect ofhuman life, including the learning of languages.
Globalization affects language use and language teaching in diverse ways. This study sets out to provide some research-based evidence on the attitudes of people working in companies with English as their official corporate language. The study approaches this theme through the concept of English as a lingua franca and with a focus on business discourses in a globally functioning IT company setting. This topic fascinates me as many companies today have English as their official corporate language and also as I as a teacher would like to know whether there is a need for new language models in the globalized workplace.
Trade seems to have occurred naturally between tribes and nations since time immemorial. Gunpowder and stirrup invented in China spread to the Western world and changed the course of military history. Cotton developed in the Indus Valley gradually spread to the rest of the world and immensely improved the quality of life for humanity. However, trade volume has not been really significant until the last few decades. Nations have been trading goods and resources on an unprecedented scale since the early 1970s; the total value of world trade increased from US$332 billion in 1970 to US$3708 billion in 1993 (Yearbook of International Trade Statistics, various years). In the United States, imports represented only about 4% or less of GDP before 1970, but have hovered around 10% of GDP in recent years. Two large free trade areas also have been formed in Europe and North America during the postwar era.
The notion that an international lingua franca is necessary to allow worldwide communication has emerged in correspondence with the ongoing process of globalization. Although the spread of the English language is often portrayed as an inevitable consequence of global forces, it can also be conceived as a subtle and insidious form of western imperialism. The proliferation of English Language Teaching (ELT) programs can be viewed as an instrumental part of this. The inequality produced from the global spread of English, through the threat it poses to indigenous languages and cultures, raises questions about the common representation of ELT as universally beneﬁcial. Merely focusing on the function of language as a means of generating mutual intelligibility trivializes its importance in individual identity and group culture. According to the Whorﬁan hypothesis, the structure of a language directly inﬂuence how speakers will understand and organize the social and natural world around them. In opposition to this, sociolinguists have tended to view language as a reflection of the social structure. Similarly, the structural functionalist approaches to language identiﬁes its functional role in the maintenance of social structure. All of these positions, however, point to the integral role of language in the formation of personal and distinctive cultural meanings and identity. Language can thus be seen as a repository of a unique world view, so that the disappearance of a particular language will have major social consequences. Language also cannot be removed from its economic and political context.
According to Antonio Gramsci, language is a ﬁeld of force where different ideologies, interests and styles can compete. Likewise, the post-structuralize position moves beyond the conception of language as merely a functional linguistic system, pointing to the existence of ‘discourses’, the articulations of ideology and power relations in language. The promotion of and resistance to the global spread of English, therefore, cannot be separated from broader economic, social and political contexts. The spread of English can be seen as the consequence of its penetration into economic and political institutions worldwide, which in turn arose from the growth in the global economic market controlled by the English-speaking countries. Language planning has been used for centuries in the engineering of social change; it can be argued that the increase in English language United States is the result of a directly orchestrated systematic strategy, particularly through education policies, to facilitate the development of Anglo-American political and economic power. Robert Phillipson suggests that “the very concept of an international, or world, language was an invention of Western imperialism”. The process of globalization, facilitated by rapid advancements in information and communications technology and marked by increased mass communication and movement of people, can be viewed as imperialist in spirit. Changes in structural relations have helped maintain global inequalities, which in turn serve the interests of capitalism in English-speaking countries. Thus, English has become the language of capitalism. As well as functioning as the medium of globalization, English also works as a tool for its extension, the gatekeeper of access to international trade and information. The attempt to create a dominant global position for English can be traced back to the nineteenth century, when British colonialism reached every continent and language teaching came to be used for the active development of political unity. English successfully acquired an official status in many countries because it was promoted as a neutral solution to competition between indigenous languages; many African countries have retained it as a lingua franca for communication at a national level. Because Britain was one of the earliest countries to develop industrially, English developed a monopoly of certain technical terminology. By the end of the century, the United States became a major impudence in the global spread of English, its economy surpassing that of Britain. “The fact that the North Americans speak English “was Bismarck’s response in 1898 when asked what he believed was the most important feature in the determining of modern history. Linguistic imperialism was then used in conjunction with military colonization, with language central to the conduct of trade and the communication of information and cultural norms. Western planning policies, and in particular the introduction of British and American teaching programmers, were instrumental in this process.
Language planning was chieﬂy justiﬁed through the application of the core ideas of Modernization Theory which argued that countries could be successfully modernized in a similar manner to the rebuilding of Europe. This ethnocentric interventionist approach, which included the Enlightenment ideal of creating human progress through educational investment, produced the perception of a dichotomy between so-called developed and developing countries, whereby the latter needed to be liberated from traditional institutional structures which inhibited economic growth. Furthermore, it was asserted that improvements could be achieved through an imitation of the institutions and cultures of industrialized countries. Recent approaches, such as Dependency Theory and World Systems Theory, have questioned the notion of a linear development towards modernity and point to the role of aid in disguising business investments. Modernized western countries are considered responsible for creating and maintaining the barriers to economic prosperity and international equality.
The use of English in maintaining and extending western power has also depended on an imperialist discourse whereby the creation of a hegemonic position for English has been sought. This has involved the presentation of English language learning as commonsensical; an idea to be internalized even though it may not be in the interests of non-native speakers to do so. English can then be viewed as the ‘Trojan horse’ of western imperialism. The implied superiority of English can be linked to its promotion as a language which is intrinsically varied, interesting and capable of adapting to societal changes although it is, in fact, an extremely difficult language to learn, particularly because of its unusual vowel sounds and highly idiomatic nature. The endeavor to create an ideology whereby acquiring a knowledge of English is necessary to overcome disadvantage is also enhanced through extrinsic factors, with huge levels of resources being allocated towards the training of teachers and the publication of textbooks and dictionaries. Perhaps the most signiﬁcant aspect relating to the status of English is the emphasis placed on its functional qualities in offering potential access to information, prestige and economic prosperity.
While the development of hegemony relies on a promotion of the perceived beneﬁts of one language, there will also be a corresponding inferred threat that negative consequences will result from a failure to convert to the dominant ideology. The attribution of undesirable connotations, such as poverty and conﬂict, to minority languages, which are then seen as handicaps to accessing resources, is intended to increase the desire to acquire knowledge of English. A disciplining of those who do not comply can also occur, exempliﬁed in the denial of political rights to non-English speakers in Britain and the United States. However, the very spread of English has meant that the UK and the United States no longer have sole possession of English: its fragmentation into international varieties is thus possible. The success of linguistic imperialism then depends on the dominant countries retaining authority, through a lack of reciprocity, exempliﬁed in the standardization of English through dictionaries and texts which are controlled by the educational and media institutions of western industrialized countries.
The ﬂow of knowledge through English is largely unidirectional as seen in the almost monopolistic control by the United States over the software industry, at a time when the Internet is becoming increasingly important in international communication. The greatest possible threat to the use of English as a global language “it has been said with more than a little irony, would have taken place a generation ago and if Bill Gates had grown up speaking Chinese”. However, despite efforts to hinder the legitimacy of alternative varieties of English, the development of telecommunications technology can provide an opening for the organization of resistance to a dominant capitalist ideology. The aim to foster an asymmetrical relationship in the ﬂow of information can be extended to the dissemination of western culture, so that linguistic and cultural imperialism are clearly intertwined. The United States spends a larger proportion of its gross national product on mass advertising than any other country and the enormous circulation of its newspapers is unequalled.
There has been growing interest in art forms from developing countries but the United States still retains a strong position in the international music and ﬁlm markets so that “it is extremely difficult for a society to practice the free ﬂow of media and enjoy a national culture at the same time unless it happens to be the United States of America”. In the Arab world, globalization and the international spread of English are often viewed as synonymous with Americanization; American culture is present in a variety of forms, including fashion, entertainment, food and business transactions. Similarly, the cultural and ideological consequences of the ideological elevation of English can be seen in East and South East Asia where the language is presented as a ‘magic wand’ for gaining access to the perceived advantages of an American lifestyle.
English Language Teaching and globalized trade
The international spread of English has primarily occurred through the medium of education, which has always been a major part of language planning. English is the main medium of teaching in higher education in many nations, including countries where it has not achieved official status. ELT is one of the world’s largest expanding industries; it is estimated that 1,000 million dollars people may currently be learning English. ELT is presented as a service industry, a response to the increasing global demand for English, but it can be argued that this demand has been manufactured by those countries that are responsible for the provision of foreign teaching programmers. The retention of control over the teaching of English facilitates its use as a form of linguistic imperialism. The frequent perception of ELT as an area distinct from broader political policy is misleading, as seen in the authority of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office to determine which countries will be targeted for the introduction of teaching programmers (currently the focus is on Africa and the Middle East, areas that are of great strategic importance for Anglo-American political and commercial connections). Winston Churchill clearly recognized the economic and political advantages of a spread in English abroad. The widespread use of this would be a gain for us far more durable and fruitful than the annexation of great provinces. The original objective of the British Council, alongside the promotion of British culture, was the spread of the English language. The British Council, in its early stages, explicitly referred to its role in the active establishment of English as a universal language and in the 1950s it began collaboration with the United States, which involved the joint teaching of courses. At this point, both countries adopted a policy of promoting the use of English as an international second language in order to develop and maintain western economic interests. ELT providers have focused almost exclusively on professionalism in teaching, which facilitates a perceived separation of ELT from its political, economic and cultural context and means that the introduction of an explicit imperialist agenda can now be avoided. The British Council set up the School of Applied Linguistics in 1957 to give its teaching programmers a theoretical basis but the studies conducted therein remained ﬁrmly within the ﬁeld of functional linguistics, excluding areas such as psychology, sociology and anthropology.
Its research policy continues to avoid any analysis of broader issues and focuses mainly on language, literature and teaching practices. Funds are not allocated directly towards research, which generally involves an evaluation of small projects. The disconnection of pedagogy from its relationship with political and economic concerns serves to absolve ELT experts from questions of cultural and linguistic imperialism and allows for the assumption by teachers that their services are undeniably beneﬁcial in the counteracting of underdevelopment and promoting democracy. The preoccupation with teaching practices draws attention away from the ideological implications of ELT, the result that teachers may remain unaware of the political contexts of education. Power relations in classrooms reject authority-relations Kashrus ‘centre’. Traditionally, classes have been organized in a hierarchical fashion where the teacher often directs choral responses from students. More recently, methods have been adopted which appear to give more control to students but this frequently places them in a situation whereby they are forced to lead discussions at the command of a teacher who continues to follow a curriculum and encourages students to give correct answers, rather than allowing debates over rationality or meaning. Even when teachers recognize the imperialist agenda of ELT, they are generally employed as short-term employees and trained to use an uncritical pedagogy so that it is extremely difficult for them to apply a more exile approach to the teaching of English. Similarly, teachers may also remain largely unconscious of their implicit role in the dissemination of western culture. This ethnocentric approach, where teachers will always work according to their own world view, means that learners are often stigmatized as decent and so need to be educated and re-socialized. The notion that ELT programmers can be applied uniformly irrespective of context ultimately leads to a devaluing of other cultures and education systems. Efforts are not made to integrate teachers into communities and the blurring of lines between different types of ELT, such as English as a Foreign Language (EFL) or English as a Second Language (ESL) conveys that little differentiation is made between the needs of various groups. Course content frequently contradicts the norms and values of other societies and even when a more cosmopolitan approach is attempted in the preparation of textbooks and curricula, this has tended to deal with the area of travel, even though notions of holiday romances and the casual spending of money are inappropriate to many cultural groups. Outlined at the Makeree conference in 1961, the tenets of ELT reﬂect its Eurocentric approach and lend support to the inequality produced from the global spread of English. For example, the principle that monolingual instruction will foster efﬁciency facilitates a legitimation of a patronizing view of native languages and cultures and has allowed bilingualism to be associated with poverty and conﬂict. In the United States, ELT has been used to aid the assimilation of foreign languages into English. Resistance has occurred here, however where groups have attempted a revival of minority languages,as in the introduction of bilingual signage in areas of New York to facilitate the large Puerto Rican community.
History of English language and International Trade
Currently, English is possibly at its pinnacle; it will surely be challenged in the future and we will try to look at these plausible changes later. In order to lay a proper background for our discussion, the issue is what way does language connect with trade? This section describes the origins of English language and juxtaposes them with the origins of exchange.
Modern humans emerged around 200,000 years ago and language has been estimated to appear from 250,000 to 50,000 years ago, with the most commonly assumed timeframe at 100,000 years ago. The reasons for the appearance of language vary, but many scholars agree that its primary function was for survival and that its roots lie in biological evolution. As in the animal world, we communicated in order to acquire allies and form stronger groups, which thus lessened chances of extinction. Language was a social function used to elevate one’s status and become a group member:
“Members of other species do not speak because it is not in the interests of their survival and reproduction to do so. We humans do speak because a fortuitous change profoundly altered the social organization of our ancestors, who found themselves faced with the necessity, if they were to survive and breed, of forming sizable coalitions. Language then arose as a way in which individuals might show off their value as members of these.”
Their virtue was exhibited when they conveyed salient information, which could be used to benefit others. This mode of cooperation could be termed collective intelligence a concept which is the converging point of our deliberation on the common thread of language and trade. This collective intelligence may be viewed as a human trait predisposed towards survival. This brings us to trade one of the main building blocks of early societies. As Smith puts it “trade and commerce are among the oldest, most pervasive, and most important human activities, serving as engines for change in many other human endeavors.”
Although throughout history there were curious instances of silent trade where two communities could not, or chose not to, speak with other to negotiate, origination of trade is regarded to coincide with the emergence of language. Trade could be as old as 150,000 years. There is archeological evidence of certain Tanzanians from between 100,000 and 130,000 years ago with tools made of obsidian, a material present 200 miles away from their cave. This indicates trade, since their range of foraging was no more than 50 miles.
Exchange of items between bands first came about as bartering when those hunters or gatherers met accidentally and discovered something they wanted from each other. Trade, like language, is also grounded in the desire not to perish in the changing environment: “Exchange between people living considerable distances from each other, beyond the range of normal movement, and perhaps other changes associated with the Late Paleolithic, may have been part of the strategy deal with increased environmental stress, specifically the last glacial onslaught.”
Exchange served to strengthen relationships during meetings of whole communities and was accompanied by rituals such as feasting and marriage, owing to family and clan affiliations having a major role in these dealings. The act of giving bestowed respect upon the givers, just like communicating relevant information raised the status in the case of speakers, as previously described. The link between language and trade appearing here is the social function it fulfilled. Besides, the traded objects often carried no practical value; their worth was determined by the distance it traveled or their exoticism. Later on, the ceremonial system was still in place, but new modes of trade started appearing, such as “down-the-line” and “trickle” systems. They facilitated encounters with other chain-linked groups and widened the availability of resources. Subsequently, trade evolved and took on a more commercial character with the invention of agriculture, which gave rise to growing, permanent settlements and further increased the amount of articles to be exchanged. But not only increasingly robust economies centered around trade hot spots allowed for a rise in population, which in turn intensified demand for all kinds of goods, and growing communities drew newcomers with their new articles, cultures and languages. This process brought the onset of civilization an idea where language and trade meet again, through a certain criterion adopted by many scholars to define civilization itself: writing. Although some civilizations managed to function without it,
Andrew Robinson explains that: “... eventually, almost every complex society – ancient and modern – has required a script or scripts. Writing, though not obligatory, is a defining marker of civilization. Without writing, there can be no accumulation of knowledge, no historical record, no science (though simple technology may exist), and of course no books, newspapers, emails, or World Wide Web.” Proto-writing and writing alike originated in most instances from the need to keep records, for example: Ice Age cave signs, tally sticks, knotted-rope quipus, clay tablets, tokens and even such contrivances as bullae – a clay ball sealing the tokens like a bank envelope for protection against shady business practices. The number values they carried were used for accounting, and in consequence for trading. From there, it became obvious that symbols could as well be used to record speech, and basically any thought that occurs to man.
With time, certain objects such as precious stones, jewelry, ceremonial axes, etc. acquired great significance as prestigious items and became symbols of status. Here, trade also solidified communities and languages in another interesting way by helping change the shape of human societies and giving rise to nations:
“Hunter-gatherers early agriculturalists lived in basically egalitarian, acephalous societies. Different people enjoyed different status as, for example, elders and shamans, but there were no social hierarchies. Beginning the fourth millennium BCE, the importance of social dominance and eventually the appearance of ranking and the assumption of power became more evident if the key to power was control over wealth, those who controlled long-distance trade may have imposed themselves over the old kinship structure of society and emerged as a ruling class. Or perhaps the ruling class did not emerge from traders but came instead from the ranks of tribal chiefs, that is, people who already had political power. Wealth from trade provided a leader with the ability to pay for an army that could be used to get the rest of the community obey him. And, by controlling trade, he had access to prestige goods from outside, which he used to attract clients, creating assistant ranks in the structure that became the state.”
The roots of English Language
The birthplace of the language we today know as English is in the British Isles. The region has been inhabited by humans for as long as 50,000 years. With the arrival of the Ice Age, populations living there had migrated back to Europe, and subsequently returned by about 12,000 BC. From around 5,000 BC, i.e. the Neolithic Period, a farming culture developed and by 500 BC the land was peopled by Celts. The Celts have laid the foundations for the language today known as English. With the military expansion of the Roman Empire, Britain was then twice unsuccessfully invaded by Julius Caesar in 55 and 54 BC, only to be later conquered by Emperor Claudius in 43 AD. This marks the 400year occupation of Britain by the Romans. However, as the empire crumbled in the fifth century AD, Germanic tribes took over the rule of Britain and brought their languages with them. These tribes are known as Angles, Saxons and Jutes; the term Anglo-Saxon survived to this day and the English language itself in named after the Angles. Circa the ninth century Viking raids form Scandinavia began, and after much struggle for power, a region of Viking influence called Dane law was established covering the middle and eastern parts of England.
Eventually, the rule of Britain changed hands once again with an invasion from the continent – this time it was the Norman Conquest, led by William the Conqueror in 1066. Hence, French was imposed as the official language for almost 300 years. The nobility spoke French but the gentry continued to use English. Very interestingly, English, subdued for such a long time and confined to the underground, managed to survive and emerge again in the course of the Hundred Years’ War (1337 – 1453 AD).
At its root, English belongs to the Germanic family of languages, but as we can see from the above summary, it is in reality very diversified. This great variety was due to many outside influences. All the mentioned invaders brought their languages with them; Celtic, Latin, English, Norse and French were ultimately molded into one. A great amount of foreign vocabulary poured into English; its grammatical structure evolved as well.
1.2 IMPORTANCE OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN INTERNATIONAL TRADE
The United States of English Language has become significant in our daily life. It is a fact that English Language is the language that is used globally in the world nowadays. Many countries' governments practice English Language as the formal language to carry out their jobs and to complete the paper works. The importance of English is yet another example of the impact of globalization on the world. Not only is the dollar the most important foreign currency, but so is English. This is yet another reason why many developing countries are unable to enter the market. Foreign investors want to invest in countries that speak English so that they have an easier time communicating with the workers, banks, governments, etc.
The role of English as the language of trade, finance and technology has grown into a development strategy in the 21st century, with the increasing recognition of its importance starting in the early 1990s. The intense globalization and human migration taking place within the Asia-Pacific Region has highlighted not only an appreciation of the multiple languages and cultures but also the significance of the ability to communicate effectively with people across language barriers. English in this era of globalization will increase the capacity of people to communicate and exchange ideas and goods across borders. The English language skill has become a necessity for establishing linkages with the rest of the world in international trade, economic development and even in the use of new technology.
If enough people in both country A and country B speak the same language, they will be able to communicate with each other more readily. Consequently, trade between these two countries will be easier and cheaper. Hence, we should expect languages to foster bilateral trade. This observation, of course, is not new. Indeed, most studies using the gravity model to analyze trade account for common official languages between countries (for example, French is the official language of France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Canada, and dozens of former French and Belgian colonies). Such studies invariably find that sharing language translates into greater trade intensity. However, languages need not be formally recognized as official languages in both countries in order to foster trade: international commerce is increasingly conducted in English, even if neither party to the transaction is from an English speaking country.
The use of English and other foreign languages for cross-border communications is important in many areas of trade ranging from tourism to the trade in financial services. Free and open communication across borders is important in building a stronger regional economy. The increasing involvement in trade, tourism and international relations among APEC Member countries where English is not spoken as the first language poses some problems and barriers in achieving aspired regional cooperation. For instance, the understanding of local laws and regulations which would be in a language other than English might result not only in confusion nor misunderstanding but even misinformation among businessmen and traders due to lack of readily available translation. The simplest forms of international transactions must have English translations if only to achieve increased global transparency.
Trade and Finance
Most governments have long acknowledged that knowledge of the languages of the countries with whom they trade provide advantages. In this regard, learning languages is in itself a growth industry in the world. In the last four decades, researches have attempted to carry out economic analyses of language learning and use. The potential importance of language as a contributor to trade linkages has several foundations. Worth mentioning is the functionalist approach proposed by J. Carr which stated that “money and language share similar characteristics… just as money allows society to move beyond barter, a common language also facilitates transaction and lowers cost.
To wit:“The benefits resulting from knowledge of a second language are spread over time. Learning a second language therefore is an investment or the acquisition of an asset… It is a form of human capital, capable, like all capital, of being increased or depreciating—although, unlike material goods, it does not deteriorate with use—or even of becoming outdated.” These economic theories have been confirmed by several gravity model studies showing language variable/ trade determinant with a positive relation with trade.
The Importance of English in the World of International Business
It is the technology that allows people to travel further and faster than ever before. It is the Internet that links people regardless their nationalities and countries they live in. And technology is also the reason why lots of business people are active globally and why more and more entrepreneurs are on the move than ever before. In this world full of the state-of-the-art technology English serves as a uniting element in many situations, giving all entrepreneurs and small companies a better chance on the market and an ideal comparative advantage over those who lack the ability to communicate in this language.
There is no doubt that professional knowledge and experience is essential for entrepreneurs and managers. But reaching and staying at the top requires more than just being knowledgeable and experienced. One of the reasons why some entrepreneurs are successful and some of them are, let us stay optimistic, less successful, may lie in the ability to communicate knowledge in a foreign language. Of course, one has to agree that entrepreneurs and companies can hire interpreters who are both fluent and skilled. However, entrepreneurs cannot expect that people, who are not really involved in a company’s matters, will establish relationships in the way loyal and committed employees of the company can. The solution to this problem lies in constant learning and studying the foreign language. But first of all, it is significant that employers realize the importance of learning (Business) English at the workplace. Over the years, research and needs analyses have produced a wide range of the language-using tasks an employee should be able to tackle in order to deal with the exigencies of the situations which may arise at the workplace. These are:
- The ability to communicate appropriately with superiors, colleagues and subordinates, and to representatives of other companies from abroad,
- The ability to assist an English-speaking (native or non-native) person when hosting business partners from abroad,
- To participate in the social life of the enterprise (e.g. sports and social clubs, etc.) when visiting business partners abroad.
Finally, let us realize that a quarter of the world’s population, i.e. 1.2 to 1.5 billion people, can speak English. Moreover, English has become the lingua franca of international business. These and many other factors make learning English interesting and useful for all those who might be using it when they enter the exciting world of business.
Each country was analyzed using a range of indicators that demonstrates the value of English to a country. These included: ease of doing business; total FDI inflow; percentage of FDI coming from English-speaking countries; total employed population; annual gross income per capita; annual gross income per capita for a salaried professional job. Extensive interviews were also conducted with large multinational companies, recruitment agencies, universities and government bodies in order to establish the correlation between English language skills and key economic growth indicators, such as the standard of living and the salary gap between English and non-English speakers. Economic performance within the researched countries varied. Pakistan and Nigeria are the largest economies, with some solid indicators of future success already evident. Bangladesh, Cameroon and Rwanda are less developed. Although all three are actively developing new economic strategies, they face more challenges.
English is the essential medium in business and trade, but its dominant role in other areas as well is difficult to overestimate. In order to fully grasp its significance, it is important to get a general understanding of the language’s scope and reach around the world:
- There are 75 territories in which English has held or continues to hold a special place as an official, co-official [or de facto] language, and where it is used as a first or second language. On the basis of the 2001 census, the total population of these territories is 2.24 billion people ([then] one third of the world’s population).
Countries where English is an official or de facto official language
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accessed 18 April. 2015.
- Of the 2 billion people in the world who use English, only some 400 hundred million are native speakers [including speakers of creoles and pidgins]. The remaining 1.6 billion are speakers of English in countries where the language has some sort of official status or in countries where it is the first foreign language taught in schools.
However, as reflected in Figure 2, what we also have to take into consideration is geographical reach. For example, Mandarin Chinese, the official language of China and the most widely spoken group of Chinese dialects, has about 845 million L1 speakers and is spoken in 20 countries. English, spoken in 120 countries, has about “only” 328 million in comparison (not including speakers of creoles and pidgins).
Contrast between the concentration of Mandarin Chinese and the spread of English
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Source: Maps adapted from: M. P. Lewis (ed.), 2009. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition. Dallas, Tex.: SIL International. Online version: http://www.ethnologue.com/.
- English still tops the list as the most widely used language in the internet (see Table 1).
- 56 percent of online content is English-only; in 2011 half of the pages on the internet were in English.
- English is dominant in international banking, finance, diplomacy, media, cinema and technology.
- It is believed to have a vocabulary of over a million words – the largest in the world.
- English is now the international currency of science and technology, and 90.7 percent of scientific publications were in English by 1996.
- It is an official or working language in virtually all of the major international organizations (about 85 percent).
Table-01 Top Ten Languages Used in the Web - December 31, 2013 (Number of Internet Users by Language)
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Source: Top Ten Internet Languages, http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats7.htm, accessed on 18th April 2015.
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