English: The Most Valuable Asset Available to Mankind
Written by: Audrey Jessica Zhu - SMA 3
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Gandhi
You can take your time, live in the moment, and enjoy life to the fullest, but remember, learning English will do wonders for your future. I can guarantee, 100 percent, that English is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. It is, without doubt, the best investment one can make in life. In fact, learning any new concept or activity is one of the best investments in life. Learning a new language, such as English is a crucial asset to everyone in the world. Naturally, English opens the path to countless new opportunities. English is a universal language – it is a lingua franca, almost everyone across the globe knows how to communicate in English. Everywhere you step your foot on, you can find someone who speaks English. More than a quarter of the world’s population speaks English and it is not a hidden fact that it is indeed widely spoken. With that being said, English is vastly the most valuable asset that is widely available to mankind.
English holds such importance to me and to my future. English has the ability to improve my quality of life. It goes without saying, English has been able to provide me with numerous opportunities in life, and still will continue to do that for my future. English yields a great number of job opportunities, which is obviously a stepping stone for my future. I can manage to access more jobs since English opens the door to the global job market. Understanding English helps me broaden my point of view, it helps me create bonds with people around the world, people with different backgrounds, people with diverse cultures, unique lifestyles and helps me speak my mind. Sometimes, I feel more comfortable speaking in English than in any other language that I know. English has also been a great help for my hobby, which is, watching content online and reading informative articles. On apps such as Youtube, Netflix, and of the sort, most of the popular content is mainly in English, such as TV shows, documentaries, videos, novels, and movies. I’ve always been a fan of western literature and the Hollywood lifestyle. Truth be told, these were the sources where I had learned English when I was a child. A lot of my vocabulary extends from these contents, and they are to thank for my English fluency. Because of this, I have never felt the need for subtitles or translations, which has greatly made my life more efficient. Most of the time, subtitles and translations aren’t 100 percent accurate and don’t depict the actual meaning well. So, in that sense, English helps me truly understand the deeper meaning of what is presented. English is also exceptionally important for this era as English has become the language of the internet. In 2008, there were 430.8 million users in the world who use English primarily on the internet. There is no doubt the number has increased significantly from then on. The internet is one of the most important and influential commodities in the 21st century. Without having the basic knowledge of English, we wouldn’t be able to understand half of the things on the internet, which means we’re missing out on A LOT of things.
English will definitely be one of the largest success factors for the future. Of course, success is relative for everyone. In general, success refers to the achievement of one’s goals, and English can become a catalyst for these goals. With the knowledge of English, opportunities will come knocking at your door, as English is very much in demand. It is an important key factor to success. It is considered a norm to know English in this day and age. Without sufficient knowledge, it is almost impossible to move forward in the modern era. Let’s say, a senior high school student’s goal is to continue to higher education. A lot of universities abroad, or even in the country, require an English proficiency exam result in order to apply. If you do not reach the passing rate, then you won’t be able to apply to these schools. However, some universities do give students a chance to advance their level of English. They understand that English is very much an important subject to learn, so they offer English programs for those who do not have sufficient knowledge of English. This shows the significance of English, and how it plays such a big part in determining one’s future. As I’ve stated in the previous paragraph, a lot of jobs require their employees to be fluent in English. This is why English plays a key role in securing a job because each year there are less and less opportunities on the market for people who do not know English, and more for those who know it. English has become the dominant business language and is almost a necessity for them to speak English if they are to enter a global workforce. This is why it is important for companies to hire those who speak more than one language. A large number of big or international companies operate in English, and important documents and meetings are mostly held in English. Income will also be definitely influenced by the place you work and the company you work for. It is beyond doubt that international companies will be able to provide a better quality of life, income-wise and non-income-wise. Even if you are very skilled, it is less likely for you to get employed. It can be said that almost all your skills will be useless in the world arena if you do not have the language. Someone with fewer skills is more likely to be more employable because of the language advantage. But why is English so important for these companies? Hiring bilinguals is important because of several reasons:
- Companies can expand their market: having employees that are able to understand and communicate in English can increase their chances of dominating the market. They are able to reach out to more potential consumers, they aren’t able to miss those consumers who communicate in English.
- More creativity in the team: Employees who have learned a foreign language tend to be more creative and can think from many different perspectives. This allows companies to be more innovative and be able to understand different cultures and policies.
- Able to offer better services to their clients: It is important for companies to have excellent customer service and keep their clients satisfied. With being able to communicate in English, the customers can receive a positive experience with the firm and leave a good impression.
Needless to say, English plays such a big part in one’s success. May it be achieving your own goals, one’s career, or even one’s business, it is vital to unlocking all the doors in life.
The graph above shows how English has been able to provide a better quality of living in different countries around the world. From the graph, it is evident that a rise in English proficiency is connected with a rise in per capita income. This is one of the reasons why Northern European countries, given that they are small and export-driven, have been able to top the spots for many years. They understand the importance of good English that is critical for their continued economic success. This shows how English is a key contributor as to why it is very important for one’s success in the future. If a country can flourish from it, why can you as an individual not?
English is actually one of the languages I use primarily on a day-to-day basis. I talk to my friends in English, and likewise with some of my family members. Communicating mainly in English has birthed many positive and even negative experiences. A lot of people associate learning a new language with the loss of culture and losing the sense of patriotism and nationalism. I beg to differ because with learning a new language, we are not losing our sense of patriotism but instead we are able to spread our culture to many different places in the world in a way that everyone can understand, which is through English. English is the unofficial second language of this country and is tested in the national exam, but we don’t lose our nationality just because we speak English. Another negative experience that I’ve encountered very often is when I’m playing online games. It has become such a common thing to the point where you would expect people to mock you for speaking English. My friends and I mainly communicate in English and especially in the game, where there are many Indonesians, mock us for speaking English. They say derogatory terms, they make fun of you, they even go to the point where they curse you out. The picture on the side shows the events where this had happened. They feel as if we’re trying to brag and flaunt our English skills, but it’s just never meant to be that way. I speak in English because it’s comfortable for me, not because I want to brag about how good I am. I also have never understood why they are so offended when I speak in English because, in my opinion, English is really such a valuable skill to have. On the bright side, English has brought more positive experiences rather than negative ones. It has helped me make friends with people all over the world, and learn more about other countries. I get to learn about various cultures, and it’s safe to say that English is able to break down a cultural barrier that socially divides us. I am able to be more open-minded and understand different things from different cultures.
With the English language, I can also enjoy many works of art, such as literary works. My favorite novels are all written in English, and I don’t need to wait for a translated copy. The shows that I watch are mainly in English, so I also don’t need to rely on translations. Sometimes these translations don’t capture the meaning and emotions well, so they don’t feel as nice if you actually are understanding what the original version is saying. I also am able to access almost half of the internet. An estimated 565 million people use the internet every day, and an estimated 52 percent of the world’s most visited websites are displayed in the English language. I am able to get content from all over the world and see the world in their eyes, which makes me see things from a different perspective. The part where my English skills get to be used the most is when I’m traveling. When I go to a foreign country, I am able to survive because I am able to communicate with the locals in English. Learning English makes it easy to travel to just about everywhere. It goes without saying that, when traveling to a country where you don’t speak the language, you are guaranteed to find someone who understands at least some English.
Given these points, English does really prove itself as a tremendously valuable asset for those who want to succeed in the 21st century. Although English can be very time-consuming and challenging, it has proven itself to be worthy of the work that goes into learning it. It creates many opportunities and breaks down walls to reach your successes. It is not only useful but also very satisfactory and gives birth to a whole new world with a whole new meaning. The benefits reaped from English are undeniable, and we have to accept that learning English is very much necessary. English is the key to open the world’s door, once we reach the other side, why would you ever turn back?
Saya generasi muda yang peduli literasi! Artikel ini ditulis sebagai bentuk serta EF Literacy Day Competition 2021: https://www.ef.co.id/writing-competition
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