Happy English Language Day 2019 to those 1.5 billion of us who speak English!!!
Amazingly enough, just 400 million of us use English as a first-language. As seen in the infographic - out of the top 5 English speaking countries only the US has English as both its official and primary language. In fact, the next country where English is both an official and primary language, the UK, is ranked 8th.
Some additional facts about English as a first-language:
- English is the first-language in 106 countries.
- The English language traces its origins back to the year 450 when conquering Germanic tribes spoke a language somewhat similar. The language of this time period is referred to as Old English.
- The current English language spoken is referred to as Late Modern English. It originated around 1800.
- Oxford English Dictionary lists 171,470 words in current use.
- Average active vocabulary of an English speaker is around 20,000 words and passive vocabulary is half that.
English Language Day originated at the UN and is celebrated on 23 April, the date traditionally observed as the birthday of William Shakespeare. If you can’t make it to one of the UN events celebrating English Language Day, then celebrate by reading one of William Shakespeare’s many plays such as Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet or King Henry IV!
Spread awareness on social media for English Language Day by using the hashtags #EnglishLanguageDay, #English and #EnglishDay.