How has this language, which was originally spoken by a single nation, become the most commonly used in international relations and transactions? If English is now the dominant language, it has certainly not always been so. In fact, Greek, Latin and French have each had their turn. The dominance of English is in large part due to the old British Empire's conquests, but this is not the only reason; the nature of the English language can in some ways be described as easy. Firstly, English uses the Latin alphabet: building blocks for the greatest number of languages around the world. This alphabet is also the shortest, closely following the Greek alphabet. English uses a basic form of the Latin alphabet without accents (é, è, ê etc), making it easier to use than French, for example.
This all sounds rather straightforward, however things start to get complicated when it comes to pronunciation, which can give both beginners and advanced
learners a headache. Th- sounds can be articulated with or without sound depending on the word, as in thank you and there is, other words may be written in the same exact way but pronounced differently, with different meanings. The present and past form of read for
example. Same spelling but different tense, pronunciation and meaning. Not to mention the numerous troublesome regional differences; an often embarrassing
example is the vital difference in meaning of "pants" in UK and US English. If you are feeling particularly confident in your English pronunciation skills, try reading the following verse aloud: