Transcript: 7 Life-Changing Reasons To Learn English

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Pre-intermediate (A2-B1)
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✅Key Vocabulary:
Lingua Franca (Noun) - Synonyms: Universal language, Bridge language (Lengua franca / Лингва франка / لغة وسيطة / Langue véhiculaire / Ortak Dil / Ngôn ngữ chung)

Official (Adjective) - Synonyms: Authorized, Formal (Oficial / Официальный / رسمي / Officiel / Resmi / Chính thức)

Sovereign (Adjective) - Synonyms: Autonomous, Independent (Soberano / Суверенный / سيادي / Souverain / Egemen / Chủ quyền)

Academic (Adjective) - Synonyms: Scholarly, Educational (Académico / Академический / أكاديمي / Académique / Akademik / Học thuật)

Journals (Noun) - Synonyms: Publications, Periodicals (Revistas / Журналы / مجلات / Journaux / Dergiler / Tạp chí)

More Specifically (Phrase) - Synonyms: In particular, To be precise (Más específicamente / Более конкретно / بشكل أكثر تحديدًا / Plus spécifiquement / Daha spesifik olarak / Cụ thể hơn)

Statistic (Noun) - Synonyms: Data, Numerical information (Estadística / Статистика / إحصائية / Statistique / İstatistik / Thống kê)

Compound (Noun) - Synonyms: Mixture, Chemical combination (Compuesto / Соединение / مركب / Composé / Bileşik / Hợp chất)

Digestion (Noun) - Synonyms: Breakdown of food, Metabolic processing (Digestión / Пищеварение / هضم / Digestion / Sindirim / Tiêu hóa)

Benzene (Noun) - Synonyms: Aromatic hydrocarbon, Chemical compound (Benceno / Бензол / بنزين / Benzène / Benzen / Benzen)

Supplements (Noun) - Synonyms: Additives, Enhancements (Suplementos / Добавки / مكملات / Suppléments / Takviyeler / Thực phẩm bổ sung)

Stock Market (Noun) - Synonyms: Equity market, Share market (Mercado de valores / Фондовый рынок / سوق الأوراق المالية / Marché boursier / Hisse Senedi Piyasası / Thị trường chứng khoán)

Hostels (Noun) - Synonyms: Budget hotels, Dormitories (Hostales / Хостелы / نُزُل / Auberges de jeunesse / Pansiyonlar / Nhà trọ)



Hello everybody!

We have an exciting episode today, packed with information! Today, we'll discuss seven reasons to learn English, these include learning a new hobby, finding romance and love, and English as the language of sharing scientific ideas. We'll also talk about English as a global language.

So, there are many reasons to learn a new language; to learn English, reasons could be to do business, for travel, as you know. But, today I hope I can inspire you with some new reasons for learning.

Welcome to 'Simple English Listening', giving you listening practice on interesting topics, using simpler English you can understand.
So, why should a person learn English? We'll look at 7 key reasons:

1. English as the most widely-spoken language.
2. English as the language of science and sharing of higher-level ideas.
3. English usage on the internet.
4. Traveling and your safety while traveling.
5. Growing your business and finding jobs.
6. Finding love! Could your next romantic partner be an English speaker? Well, there are over two billion people who speak some level of English so, yes, quite easily!
7. Music and the arts.

Mandarin Chinese has the most native speakers, can you guess how many? Over 1.3 billion people. The next language with the most native speakers is 'Hola, ¿qué tal? Hablo Español' - Spanish, there are about 460 million native Spanish speakers, including most of South America.

Where does that leave English? The answer is in third place, with 379 million native speakers. But, English has the most second language learners. There are about 753 million people in the world who speak English as their second language, which makes it the lingua franca of business, travel and international relations.

'Lingua franca' means, it is the common language in which two different countries and cultures choose to communicate in. To quickly list the countries with the largest English-speaking populations: we have, the USA, followed by India, then Nigeria, then Pakistan, then China, then The Philippines, then the UK, then Germany, Bangladesh, and then Canada.

On his TED talk 'The World's English Mania', Jay Walker said there are over two billion people learning English right now and he says that very soon, China will become the largest English-speaking country. It is the official language of 55 sovereign (meaning, completely independent) countries. When I say an official language, 'official' means it is the language used in government and in the school system. Often, there are multiple official languages in a country. For example, in the Philippines, the official languages are English and Filipino. In India, you have English and Hindi. In Singapore, English and Mandarin Chinese, as well as Malay and Tamil.

Actually, if you go to these countries, you'll find that people use English in new and interesting ways, mixing it with their own languages. Have you seen any Bollywood movies? For example, Three Idiots? They'll say one word in Hindi, three words in English, one sentence in Hindi, the next sentence in English. They mix the two languages. I hear that in Singapore, people speak English and Mandarin Chinese at the same time. One sentence in English, the next sentence in Mandarin. They just use whatever language lets them best express their thoughts in that moment. In my experiences in Montreal, in Canada, if you go to any restaurant or cafe, you'll see people switch from English to French, English to French. One word English, two words French, three words English, four words French. It's interesting.

Ok, reason two: so, it is the language in which people share higher-level, academic and scientific ideas. In fact, the top 10 journals of science are published in English. According to the QS university rankings, 18 of the top 20 universities are mostly taught in English. The two that are not, are Tsinghua University in China, and ETH Zurich in Switzerland. ETH Zurich offers all Master's programs in English, but Bachelor programs are in German. More specifically, ten of the top twenty universities are in the USA, five are in the UK and two in Singapore.

Additionally, many university courses around the world teach in English, even if the university is not in an English-speaking country. You see this especially in northern Europe. To give you a statistic - nearly 100 BA Bachelors courses in Sweden are taught in English. And - in The Netherlands, a Dutch-speaking country, 1500 courses, among its 55 universities are taught in English. You can say 'fifteen hundred', or 'one-thousand five hundred'. 'Fifteen hundred', 'one-thousand five hundred', both are correct.

A personal example of recently accessing new information and newer discoveries: I've recently tried to be healthier and tried to learn how different vitamins and minerals affect my body. I became interested in sulforaphane. Sulforaphane is a compound we can find in broccoli, cabbage, and kale. I learned how sulforaphane helps the heart, helps digestion, is anti-cancer, and helps the brain and helps cleanse the body of benzene, which you find in air pollution. I learned all of this from a famous podcast called 'The Joe Rogan Experience'. It's one of the biggest podcasts of all time! Maybe you've heard of it? It has been listened to 1.5 billion times this year. His guests are free-thinkers, scientists, academics, journalists, politicians, artists. I strongly recommend this podcast to advanced-level English learners. Some guests have been people like Elon Musk, Bernie Sanders, and Edward Snowden.

One guest, called Dr. Rhonda Patrick, is a scientist, and very famous in the field of health and nutrition. Sulforaphane is something I learned about from her. There is not much information about it on the internet, even in English. It would probably be very difficult to find much good information on sulforaphane in other languages. It's very difficult to find pills and supplements with sulforaphane.

OK, my third reason is: the internet. According to the website Business Insider, over 50% of all information on the internet is in English. If you want to get better at and research your favorite activities and hobbies for example: baking, hiking, making tables, making movies, recording music; most Youtube videos, articles, and online information is in English - by a long way!

So are there any new skills you want to learn? Coding, learning new programs, painting, making websites, learning about the stock market, learning to invest money, how to make your brand, your business, etc.. When I decided to make this podcast, I had to learn how to use a video editing program called Da Vinci Resolve. I learned how to use this program through Youtube, how to fix the sound quality, how to change the colors, how to do transitions between scenes. Which instructional videos can you watch if you only speak say, Malay, or Swedish? Or even French? Unfortunately, your options, your choices are limited. 'Limited', meaning there are not many options. There is a smaller pool of knowledge because fewer people speak these languages. There is usually a smaller amount of high-quality information in languages other than English.

My fourth reason to learn English is traveling. English will allow you to go to a wider range of countries, to do a wider range of research on the internet, and to give you a wider range of experiences of new people and activities. I travel often and I've stayed at different youth hostels and hotels. When you meet people when traveling, say, you're on a table with a French guy, a Spanish guy, an Indian girl, and a Korean couple, you speak the lingua Franca to socialize and to meet them.

Another thing - safety while traveling. Okay, safety. If you're in a foreign country and you get into trouble, and you need to go to the hospital or even talk to the police - if you know English, you may be more confident and comfortable in these situations.

My fifth reason - business. Many of you are learning for this reason. If you want your business to grow worldwide, unlimited.

My sixth reason: finding romance! More possibilities in your love life! More options. If you fall in love with somebody from a different country. How will you speak with them? Now, people are meeting partners from all over the world with dating sites such as Cupid and Tinder.

Actually, here in Vietnam, I know two men here who met their wives in Vietnam, while still living in the UK. They met on the internet, and then they moved to Vietnam to be with them. Aww.. Here in Vietnam, I often see mixed Vietnamese and foreigner couples and they speak to each other in English because it's the common language.

Ok, reason seven: music, film and the arts. English lyrics can give musicians a worldwide audience, worldwide fans. For example, The Scorpions from Germany, Bjork from Iceland - even K Pop bands today such as BTS, sing half the songs in English. These are international bands who do world tours that are not from English-speaking countries. It's also the language of many art exhibitions, technology fairs, and international festivals and film festivals.

Final point - my sister and brother-in-law work in the movie industry. To think, is a Hollywood movie an American movie? Well, not necessarily. It is an international production nowadays! It takes a team of hundreds and hundreds of experts from around the world to make a film, or TV series like Game of Thrones.

Ok, that's all I can think of for now! If you have anything to add, please let us know in the comments.

To give you a conclusion: I will quote from Jay Walker from his 2009 T.E.D (TED) talk 'The World's English Mania'. He says (open quote) "English is the world's second language. Your native language is your life but with English, you can become part of a wider conversation, a global conversation about global problems. The world has other universal languages: mathematics is the language of science. Music is the language of emotions. But now English is becoming the language of problem-solving, not because America is pushing it, but because the world is pulling it. Like electricity, or the fall of the Berlin Wall, English is a turning point. It represents hope for a better future, where the world has a common language to solve its common problems" (closed quote).

Okay, so I hope you've enjoyed this episode! I'm always open to your ideas for topics I can make videos on. If you enjoyed the video, feel free to subscribe if you want to receive new videos in the future and also, feel free to share these videos to anyone you think may benefit. Okay Take care now, and see you next week.