字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 English is a global language. It is spoken as a first or official language in many countries in the world, and on every continent. About 350 million people speak English as a first language: for example, in Great Britain, the USA, Australia and Canada, but also in places like Jamaica, Singapore and Nigeria. In addition to this, more than 430 million people speak English as an official language in Asian countries like India and the Philippines, and in many African countries like Cameroon and Gambia. Today, English is also used as the official language in lots of international organisations, for example, the United Nations and European Union. It is the language of business, technology and medicine, and it is necessary for a lot of different jobs. For example, if you want to be a tourist guide or a journalist, or if you want to work with computers, you really need to know English. So, why did a language that originated in a very small island like Britain become so important? One reason is that Britain was a very strong colonial power during the 18th and 19th centuries. In fact, by the beginning of the 20th century the British Empire controlled almost a quarter of the land in the world! At the same time it dominated commerce in countries that were not part of the British Empire, so the use of English expanded over an even bigger area. When the British Empire finished, many countries which became independent maintained English as their first or official language. Then, when the United States became the dominant world power in the 20th century, the English language became even more important. American English is, of course, based on British English, but some words and expressions are different. All modern languages continually change and develop. Many words that we use when we speak English today come from other languages like Italian, German and French, But English is also giving words to other languages. For example, the Italian language has 'adopted' English words like computer, weekend, jeans, T-shirt and club.