The total number of languages in the world is from 2.500 to 5.000.The most widespread among them are Chinese, English, Spanish, Russian and some others. These languages are considered alive, because they are in use. There are also the so-called "dead" languages which are no more means of communication. These are, for example, Latin, old Greek, old Slavonic, etc. All these languages are called natural, but there are also artificial or universal languages, such as Esperanto. We have also programming languages, used in computers. They are called specialized languages.
The most popular language spoken practically all over the world is English. It is spoken as the mother tongue in Great Britain, the United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand. A lot of people speak English in China, Japan, India, African and other countries. English is one of 6 official and working languages of the United Nations Organization. It is studied as a foreign language in secondary schools and higher educational institutions of Ukraine.
The rise of English is a remarkable success story. When Julius Caesar landed in Britain nearly 2 000 years ago, English did not exist. Today English is used by at least one billion people, and almost half of them speak it as their mother tongue. At the end of the 2O-th century English is more widely spoken, read and written than any other language has ever been. It has become the language of the planet, the first truly global language. The statistics of English are astonishing. Three-quarters of the world's mail, telexes and cables are in English. So are more than half the world's technical and scientific periodicals. English is considered to be the language of technology. About 80% of the information stored in the world's computers is in English.
Nearly half of all business deals in Europe are conducted in English. It is the language of sports, glamour festivals, competitions, the official language of the Olympics. Five of largest broadcasting companies in the world CBS, NBS, ABC, BBC, CBS transmit in English to audiences that exceed one hundred million people. English has no equals!
Task 3. Answer the following questions:
1. What is the total number of languages in the world?
2. What are the most widespread among them?
3. Why are Chinese, English, Spanish, Russian considered alive?
4. What “dead” languages do you know?
5. What languages are called specialized?
6. In what countries is English spoken as the mother tongue?
7. In what countries is English spoken as working language, as foreign language?
8. When did Julius Caesar land in Britain?
9. Why do many people use English as an international means of communication?
10. What are the statistics of English?
11. Is English the main language at international meetings and conferences, the Olympic games and glamour festivals?
12. What broadcasting companies which transmit in English can you call?
Task 4. Pick out from the text all the word combinations with the following words and give their Ukrainian equivalents:
Language, mother tongue, to study, to be in use, business deals, to be conducted in, to transmit
Task 5. Translate the following sentences and pay special attention to the underlined words or phrases:
1. I understand perfectly well that learning English at the University, especially legal English, is a good chance (opportunity) for me to improve my languageskills, first of all those of spoken English which are in constant need of brushing up.
2. At the English lessons we work with newspaper articles, watch films, analyze stories, listen to audio cassette tapings, read documentaries on British and American life and history, do vocabulary and grammar tests. Not long ago we began to master legal English which enables us to read foreign literature on speciality (on law).
3. Learn the language by ear. Listen to records. Listen to tapes. Turn on radio and listen.
4. Do speak up. He who keeps thoughts to himself, may well be blessed but you will do better if you don’t go by this principle when speaking a foreignlanguage.
5. Don’t worry too much about mistakes. You will make them anyway - there is no getting away from it. It is far worse when something goes unsaid.
6. Remember that learning a language is a never-ending process.
Task 6. Make the following sentences complete by translating the phrases in brackets:
1. English is the national language in such countries as (Великобританія, Сполучені Штати, Канада, Австралія, Нова Зеландія).
2. It is (рідна мова) of nearly three hundred million people.
3. Many people use English as ( міжнародний засіб спілкування), because English has become (дійсно глобальною мовою).
4. (Наукові конференції,торгівля, спортивні змагання) of various kinds have given the English language the status ( однієї з найбільш важливих мов світу).
5. The rise of English is (дивовижна, успішна історія).
6. About 80 % of the information ( яка зберігається в світових комп’ютерах) is in English.
7. Five of the largest (радіомовні компанії, які передають/ транслюють англійською мовою аудиторії, що перевищує) one hundred million people.
Task 7. Complete the following expressions choosing a suitable preposition; find the best way of expressing them in Ukrainian:
There is no getting away …it
To build … one’s vocabulary
To be in constant need… brushing them …
To read literature … speciality
To be good … spoken English
To be … use
Task 8. Give synonyms to the words in bold type:
1. What English-speaking countries do you know?
2. What is his native/ first language?
3. To know a foreign language is of great importance nowadays.
4. He knows English very well.
5. English has become a worldlanguage because of its usage in many countries of the world.
6. The new words have made English what it is today, an effective medium of international communication.