How English Became a World-Wide Language

English is one of the most popular languages in the world and is known as the official language for travel, business, and leisure. With 360 million people speaking it worldwide, you can almost guarantee to hear it on every continent. The fact that it is one of the easier languages to learn may be part of the reason why it is popular. But how exactly did English became as popular as it is today? Continue reading to find out.

The British Empire

The British Empire had a powerful rule over the world in the 17th and 18th Century. At its strongest, it was the largest empire the world had seen. The British Empire had a goal to spread across the planet and did so through colonization. They were able to get colonies in almost all of the continents through one way or another. The colonization of these new areas of the world also came with a new language: English.

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was one of the greatest writers of the English language. His writing and eventual screen plays, influenced millions of people around the world. Because the English language was still growing and in the process of becoming used as an everyday language, the changes and additions to the language were able to stick around. Most notably, he introduced the word “thou” and added an emotional dimension to words, something that hadn’t been seen before. Shakespeare entertained millions of people and influenced others to learn the language to be able to read and enjoy his entertainment.

The Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution changed and improved many of the technologies of the time. Apart from enabling humans to innovate and create the world that is seen today, the Industrial Revolution also played a major role in spreading the English language. Because it started in Great Britain, the most powerful nation in trade at the time, leaders of other nations had to learn English to be able to grow and achieve the same level of success.


Hollywood, California, the entertainment capital of the world, has evolved into a global powerhouse of entertainment. The influence that Hollywood has had on the world has been seen for years. The reach of Hollywood has spread globally, with many different non-English speaking counties falling in love with characters and shows from the USA. It wasn’t until recently that shows began using voice overs of their own languages, so prior to that, non-English speakers would use subtitles and learn the language.

English Has Spread Like a Wildfire

The English language has spread across the world in the last three hundred years. It is sometimes hard to imagine that a language has the capability to spread generation through generation, across different areas of the world. It makes much more sense now how slang and dialects stay in certain regions around the world. There are still many more people that could learn the language, though. With Brighter Learning, you can take teaching assistant courses that allow you to spread this beautiful language to others.