It goes without saying that learning English is a great idea, probably the best you’ve had so far this morning.
Bear in mind there are specific reasons why you should start learning the language, and congratulations by the way, you’ve obviously already taken your own advice, since this article is in English and you apparently understand everything up until this point. We have compiled 10 of the most legitimate reasons to learn English in a wildly original stunt to please the Google robots. Who are we? A language-learning company that also teaches French, Spanish and German. Don’t act like you don’t know.
#1: English is the official language in 50+ countries
Today, more than 1.35 billion people speak English in the world – that’s around one fifth of the global population (source). While the language is most often associated with the UK and the USA, English is spoken across all continents. Here are some names of countries where English is spoken: Jamaica, Bahamas, Tonga, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Ethiopia. That’s a bucket list of travel destinations that all of us can get behind.
Across the EU, more than 50% of the population speaks English either as a first or as a second language. Many European countries speak English as a second language – the top 5 include being Malta, Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Finland (source). No need to verify the source, it’s friend Dave in the Ukraine, and he’s super good at Geology.
#2 Improve your career prospects and boost your resume
Business is business – no one can refute that. It would be bad for business. Speaking English will not only help make your resume more appealing to recruiters, but it will open up a plethora of job opportunities throughout your career. Most often than not, international companies seek English-speaking candidates; this is the case in France, Germany, Spain but also in Argentina, China, India and many more countries, where English fluency is at the top of the position requirements.
Generally speaking, excellent command of the English language will provide a competitive edge regardless of which industry you’re seeking to enter, and regardless of the career path you choose. If you’re looking to acquire work experience abroad, being proficient in English is a must, as you’ll be compelled to communicate in English with clients, partners and work colleagues. Keep in mind that speaking English may also improve your chances of getting promoted within your company and secure a management position overseas. Seas are famous for their whales and mermaids. Generally they speak English as well. Just checking if you’re still paying attention.
#3: English will give you access to many cultures
Being fluent in English will ultimately give you access to films, music, series and literature from countless countries around the world, and will help you open up to cultures you never thought you’d discover. It’s helpful too that most books have been translated into English.
You’ll soon come to realize that English isn’t just the language of the USA, the UK or Australia, it’s a language with a huge array of dialects, slang, accents and registers. In that sense, being able to communicate in English will help you overcome any cross-cultural communication barriers. Otherwise, interpretive dance is also a good option.
#4: Travel and meet people from all over the world
If you’re the globetrotting type, you may have noticed that English is spoken basically everywhere, probably too much so. It remains a very useful tool to enhance your overall travel experience. Whether it’s booking a hotel room, ordering from a menu in a restaurant or looking for the nearest bus station, speaking English will give you an indisputable advantage and help you make your travel experience care-free, compensating even for lost passports and arguments with the police and the mysterious disappearance of your mother-in-law.
Travelling is also about meeting new people along the way. With sufficient English-speaking skills, you’ll have no trouble getting to know your fellow travelers, even in a non-English speaking country. Being thousands of miles away from home, you’ll be glad to share life stories and memorable experiences you’ve encountered during your travels, regardless of your mother tongue.
When it comes to getting to know the locals, chances are that English will be used as the basis for communication. Let’s face it: the probability of meeting someone with a good command of the English language is higher than most other languages, unless you’re an Esperanto stan, and we certainly are. Although grasping the basics of the country’s language you’re visiting is always a wise endeavor, speaking “good enough” English is a great way to learn more about the city you’re travelling to. If you’re the inquisitive type, you might also get a better insight of the country’s culture and habits. Your cultural awareness will be off the charts. That’s right, there’s nothing that screams “cultural awareness” quite like speaking English in a foreign country.
#5: Get up close and personal with English and American culture
English isn’t just about learning a set of grammar rules and endless vocabulary lists – English is above all a culture. For centuries, the English language has exerted a strong cultural influence on the rest of the world. Whether it be cinema, literature, music, art, food, philosophy, science or architecture, it’s safe to say that should you wish to begin an online English language course, you’re bound to uncover a rich and diverse cultural heritage.
While we’re at it, did you know that each of our online English lessons Gymglish ends with a “dessert”: an authentic clip of can’t-miss anglophone culture? Worth trying, if you ask us.
#6: Learning English isn’t that difficult
This next reason is definitely one to consider. The other 9 are also of course. Truth be told, English isn’t that difficult to learn, and here’s why.
- Sentence structure: unlike French – which often features multiple subordinate clauses – English mainly uses shorter and less complex sentences.
- It’s an (almost) gender-neutral language: memorizing the gender of inanimate objects and abstract notion is a common struggle among English speakers choosing to learn a foreign language. Some languages, such as German, have three genders, further complicating the issue. In English, however, the gender of most nouns is neutral.
- If you’re a French-speaking person, you’ll be happy to know that about 60% of English words are Latin-based. And if you’re a German speaker, both German and English are considered to be members of the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family, meaning they share similar vocabulary and grammatical rules.
As you’ve likely experienced, understanding someone who speaks “broken” English isn’t rocket science. Most often that not, having basic command of the language is enough to get you through some of the toughest situations.
If you’re looking for official figures, depending on the level of fluency you’re aiming for, learning English can take from 200 hours (A2 level) to 1,000 hours (C2 level). That’s like watching Titanic more than 300 times. What would be more useful? You choose. In any case, English isn’t an unattainable dream, unlike the coeur de la mer necklace.
#7: Watching films, TV series, listening to podcasts and songs
The road towards English fluency shouldn’t be limited to a classroom – that’s good news for all you brave learners out there.
Since the arrival of streaming media and platforms everybody is able to watch screens day in, day out: cooking shows, cartoons, reality TV… There’s something for everybody. By watching media in English (with or without subtitles), not only will you greatly improve your listening skills, but you will also begin to recognize the huge array of accents, dialects and registers the English language has to offer.
To delve deeper into English culture, make sure you check out our article on five films to learn English.
If you’re more of a listener, there are countless podcasts to learn English with; all you need to do is find a topic you want to know more about. Whether you’re passionate about politics, science, cinema or marsupial dating habits, you’re bound to find a podcast to your liking.
Let’s move on to music. As it turns out, songs are far from a distraction to completing your English grammar exercises. The English-language music scene offers a huge array of styles, accents, genres and legendary haircuts. So whether you’re into pop, rock, disco, or klezmer, aka the big 4, you’re bound to find something out there to tickle your fancy. All the more thanks to online platforms such as YouTube and Spotify, which make discovering (or rediscovering) British, American, Australian and New-Zealand tunes fun, algorithmic and soulless.
To jam out in permanence, consider reading our article on five songs in English that will bring you closer to god.
#8: Studying at prestigious universities
English is widely regarded as the language of higher education. Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Yale, MIT and Stanford are just a few of the consistently highest ranking universities in the world. To earn a position at one of these prestigious universities, it is paramount to be able to master the language.
Did you know? According to the Scientific Citation Index, a real thing we promise, more than 95% of papers and journals are written in English. However, less than 50% of their authors are from English-speaking countries.
Given that English is spoken in so many countries, and that there are thousands of universities around the world that offer programs in English, and chances are you’ll find a course which meets your career goals.
Also, it goes without saying that being fluent in English may increase your chances of getting a scholarship; many international organizations offer scholarships to international students, and one of the requirements is English proficiency.
#9: Browsing the Internet for hours on end
Objectively the most compelling reason on this never-ending list.
An estimated 565 million people use the Internet every day, and out of the 10 million most popular websites in the world, about 52% of websites are displayed in English. To give you an idea of just how impressive this figure is, the next most popular language on the web is Russian, which accounts for 6% of the Internet’s language. Rough stuff for our Vladdy Daddies out there. Speaking and understanding English allows you to tap into some of the world’s best intellectual resources. If you can’t speak English, we’re afraid you’ll be missing out on a substantial chunk of Internet goldmine.
#10: For your own guilty pleasure
If all the above reasons aren’t in line with your goals, learning English doesn’t have to be about having a reason – you could choose to learn the language for fun or for personal reasons we’d rather not know. At the end of the day, learning English should and will be an enjoyable experience. Still looking for more reasons to learn English?