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  • English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and is now a global lingua franca. It is the national language of numerous sovereign states, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and a number of Caribbean nations; it is an official language of almost 60 sovereign states. It is the third-most-common native language in the world, after Mandarin and Spanish. It is widely learned as a second language and is an official language of the European Union, many Commonwealth countries and the United Nations, as well as in many world organisations. English arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and what is now southeast Scotland. Following the extensive influence of England, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom from the 17th to mid-20th centuries through the British Empire, it has been widely propagated around the world. Through the spread of English literature, world media networks such as the BBC, the American film and television industry as well as technology, English has become the leading language of international discourse and the lingua franca in many regions.

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