When people in other countries speak English, they usually translate it directly from their own language, which can lead to some strange sentences. The spelling of the UK and American versions of the English language diverged some time ago, when Benjamin Franklin, and other early Americans, “modernized” our spelling. Now scientists are asking why we can’t modernize it even more, to make it easier for kids to learn to read.

Darlene Superville writes in LiveScience.com that people who advocate more simplified spelling say it would help children learn to read faster. People have been trying to simplify the English language for centuries?both Andrew Carnegie and Theodore Roosevelt tried to do it around a century ago.
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Despite the recent crackdown on bad language on television and radio shows, swearing is nothing new. In fact, many of the same words that are considered “clean” today were considered “dirty” in the past.
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Americans don’t realize that the English they know is not the same as what the rest of the world speaks. As more and more people around the world speak English, the pronunciation and even the meanings of words will change. The same thing happened in the 18 century, when Americans switched from British English to their own unique form of the language.

Language expert Margie Burns says, “Take a simple greeting. In some African English-speaking communities, a person will greet another by saying, ‘You have put on some weight.’ Most Americans would be offended by this greeting, but in Africa, it is a compliment that acknowledges how healthy and prosperous a person looks.”
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While it seems as if more and more people, around the world, are now speaking English, a British language expert thinks that will change in the future. David Graddol says the number of people who speak English as a native language is falling, and the idea that English will become the world’s main language “is past its sell-by date.”

More and more people speak more than one language, even in the U.S., where people often have trouble learning a second language. But immigration is changing this. Last year the Census Bureau reported that almost one in five Americans speak another language than English at home. Spanish is the most common second language, followed by Chinese.
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