Ironically, European integration has further driven acceptance of English as the de facto lingua franca in Europe. Nominally, all EU languages have equal status, but there is now no chance of any of them replacing English. Also, English's Germanic base and largely Romance upper vocabulary make it sort of compromise between the Romance and Germanic language families, though this is not what drove adoption; economics and politics did.

Southeast Asia has a situation similar to Europe, where no one local language is strong enough to challenge English as the regional lingua franca, and English is becoming essential for anything international. Unlike Africa, the other colonial European lingua francae rapidly disappeared from Southeast Asia.

In the Indian subcontinent and half of Africa, English was the colonial language and continues to be widely used domestically in education and government. It is even the ordinary domestic lingua franca in some countries like Nigeria, which may be the 4th most populous country (after China, India, USA) in a few decades. Africa and India currently have the highest rates of population growth; that plus the spread of higher education and Internet use will guarantee a large global user base for English, with fluent if not native skills. At some point English's greatest use as a lingua franca may be as the medium for Indians to communicate with Africans.

The other regional lingua francae that are still strong are Spanish, French, Arabic, Russian and Portuguese, but even in these cases,countries where these languages are not used natively or as the major national lingua franca are now questioning the value of maintaining fluency in another regional lingua franca where English is needed anyway for more and more.

This said, in global multicultural organizations, simply expecting all employees to speak one common language,such as English marginalizes the potential impact of international talent and leaves mono-lingual staff ill equipped to help the organization compete effectively in a globalized environment.

English is certainly a very important- perhaps the most important- language for international exchange, but contrary to what has been said above there are many languages that are used today as lingue franca: Arabic and Urdu, in Eastern Europe German and Russian, in Latin America Spanish and Portuguese (Brazil), in Asia Mandarin is itself something of a lingua franca without forgetting Japanese in Japan, Korean in Korea and in Africa French. These regional linguae francae take on especially important role outside the capital cities of such countries. While people based in Moscow, Warsaw and Beijing often encounter English-speaking executives, this is often not the case in faraway branches.

Beside of the roughly 1 billion people who now have internet access, English is spoken by 300 million, followed by 128 million Chinese speakers and 80 million Japanese speakers. Chinese speakers online will grow the fastest pace, doubling over the next 5 years. This year, Non-English speakers will represent 80% of all internet users.

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