English is the most popular and widespread in many countries around the world. English is an official language of the United Kingdom, the Ireland, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and some Caribbean nations. It is the most spoken language after Mandarin and Spanish by the number of native speakers, approximately 350 million. About 200 million people speak English as a second language in over 100 countries. More than billion people learn English to use when travelling, in business or for work purposes.
1. English’ origins
English together with Frisian (the closest typologically), German, Scots and Dutch belongs to West Germanic group of languages of Indo-European language family. The closest language to English is Frisian spoken by approximately a half of a million people which live in the Germany, Denmark and Netherlands, though Frisian and English native speakers wouldn’t be able to understandeach others. That’s why it is considered that the closest language to English is Dutch.