Essay # 1
English is a useful language. The people who speak English today make up the largest speech community in the world. A speech community is similar to other kinds of communities. The people who make up the community share a common language. Often they live side by side as they do in a neighbourhood, a village, or a city. More often they form a whole country. Many nations are composed of a single major speech community, for example, Italy, Sweden, and Japan. National boundaries, however, are not always the same as the boundaries of a speech community. Some nations (for example, Russia and India) are made up of many speech communities. Some speech communities (for example Arabic, Spanish and English) extend across national boundaries. (A speech community, then, is any group of people who speak the same language, no matter where they happen to live.)
We may say that anyone who speaks English belongs to the English-speaking community. For convenience, we may classify the speakers into two groups: one in which the speakers use English as their native language, the other in which the speakers learn English as a second language for the purposes of education, commerce, and so on. In the former group we, obviously, would include England, Canada, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. In the latter group, we include, among many others, India, Denmark, Kenya, Myanmar, Turkey, Ethiopia, and the Philippines. Not all these countries use English for the same group we include, among many others, India, Denmark,
Kenya, Myanmar, Turkey, Ethiopia, and the Philippines. Not all these countries use English for the same purpose or to the same extent, but each uses English for important social and commercial activities.
The English Language
Essay # 2
When the English came to India, they, of course, brought their language with them; and it has been spoken in India, more or less, for over two hundred years. At first, of course, very few Indians learnt it; but now it is spoken, written, and read by large numbers, and is the medium of instruction in colleges and the upper classes of schools. Some object to the use of English, because we have our own languages; but English has become so necessary for educated people, that while we must cultivate our own tongues, we must learn it and use it. It is not an easy language to learn, the spelling and pronunciation being very irregular, but its advantages are so great that we cannot well do without it.
India is a subcontinent of many kinds of people, each having its own language. But India has now become one nation and has been feeling the need for a common tongue. For one of the chief obstacles in the way of its national unity is its diversity of tongues. Owing to historical reasons, English promises to be the common language or lingua franca of the educated classes in India, and everyone who pretends to education will have to know it.
There are Indian languages such as Urdu or Hindi; which might become the common tongue of India, but English is to be preferred because it is already an international language, and promises to become universal. Urdu and Hindi would be of no use to us outside India, but English would carry us all over the world. It will be a link between us and the rest of mankind.
English is certainly necessary for anyone entering government service, trade, or the legal profession. Lawyers cannot plead in the upper courts without it, and anyone in the business of any pretensions soon finds he is handicapped if he does not know English.
Lastly, English is a noble language, and possesses one of the finest kinds of literature in the world. Knowledge of English introduces a man to some of the finest books ever written. It is a key to the “Kings’ Treasuries,” as Ruskin called books.