Why Learn English?

You are losing your competitiveness without learning English.

Why are you learning English? No matter what reasons you have, no doubt that English is an excellent tool for communication with about 840 million people.

By the way, all the numbers below are likely to change as time goes by, but we can easily guess the importance of English would never become weaker than now as English does seem to be the de facto ‘global’ language.

I will also compare the figures of English to those of Korean as an example, to maximize emphasizing the importance of learning English, since I am originally from Korea. So, please forgive me for not doing the same things for your language.

Lists of languages by their number of speakers by Wikipedia

  • The number of English speakers (840 million) is about 11 times more than Korean speakers (77 million).
  • English speakers (840 million) = native speakers (340 million) + second language speakers (510 million)
  • Korean speakers does not contain second language speakers in the list. I assume that it is because there might not be many Korean learners over the world to affect the statistics.

When we also consider EFL (English as a foreign language) learners, the difference increases by about 50% as below.

ESL vs EFL by Wikipedia

  • ESL (English as a second language) is used for non-native English speakers learning English in a country where English is commonly spoken. (e.g. a Korean student who is learning English in an English school in Ireland)
  • EFL (English as a foreign language) is used for non-native English speakers learning English in a country where English is not commonly spoken. (e.g. a Korean student who is learning English in an English school in Korea)

List of countries by English-speaking population by Wikipedia

  • When taken from this list and added together, the total number of English speakers in the world adds up to around 1,200,000,000. Likewise, the total number of native English speakers adds up to around 350,000,000. This implies that there are approximately 850,000,000 people who speak English as an additional language.
  • The number of English speakers (1.2 billion) is about 16 times more than Korean speakers (77 million).

The difference dramatically increases even much more when it comes to website contents.

Usage of content languages for websites by W3Techs.com

#1 English : 53.1%
#2 Russian: 6.4%
#3 German: 5.5%

#16 Korean: 0.7%

As you see, more than half of website contents (53.1%, as of 16 April 2016) on the Internet is written in English.

  • English contents (53.1%) is about 75 times more than Korean contents(0.7%) on the Internet.

All the statistics so far are shown that not having English skills could give you a huge disadvantage, comparing to your competitors who are in the same working industry and also can do English well enough. Simply put, you are losing your competitiveness just because you are giving up learning English. The amount of information that you and your rival can access is about 75 times different, considering almost all of us heavily rely on the Internet. Let alone difference of communication ability.

Again, you should learn English not only because it is just cool to do, but also because you are likely to be falling behind with missing a lot of valuable information your rival James can quickly access unless you are still cool with that.

I know you might have never come across any unfair situations yet due to lack of your ability in English. But I am pretty sure that the time will be coming soon, especially as you get older and hope to be promoted in your company.

English will turn your life totally around as far as you keep trying to improve it. At least for me. It requires a great deal of patience, but efforts never betray you.

I hope you are now convinced or already know for sure you have to learn English. If so, it is time to continue to work on it.