Languages worldwide  

There are over 5,000 languages in the world:   

  • 32 % on the Asian continent  
  • 30 % in Africa  
  • 20 % to the Pacific region   
  • 15 % on the American continent  
  • 3 % in Europe   

Foreign languages in Europe  

The knowledge of foreign languages in Europe varies according to the EU member states. English is at the top of the list without exception. English is the most widely spoken foreign language in the EU. The following foreign languages, which are widely used, are positioned after that:   

  • German   
  • French   
  • Spanish   
  • Russian   

While English turns out to be the first, i.e. the best mastered foreign language, German, French and Spanish are more often spoken as second or third foreign languages. Therefore, most translators count English as one of their working languages. Translations from and into English are done daily in every translation agency. At Smylingua, translations into and from English are carried out by native English speakers. Our expert translators score points with their specialized knowledge and deliver a perfectly adapted translation from your source language for your documents.   

If you are interested in a technical translation from or into English, you can conscientiously contact Smylingua. The professional English translators will be happy to take on your enquiries, advise you and actively support you.   

Dissemination of English as a foreign language 

  • Most-spoken foreign language  
  • Trade and traffic language (lingua franca)  
  • Most widely spoken mother tongue  

English is one of the most widely spoken foreign languages in the world and is recognized as an official and/or national language in 57 countries. It is also considered a world language, or lingua franca, in another 25 countries. It is used for economic, political or cultural purposes.  English is increasingly chosen as the language of communication between individuals who come together from linguistically different contexts, as the probability of both partners being able to communicate in English is very high. English is a world language which, in addition to its function as a mother tongue, also takes on the function of a language of trade and commerce (lingua franca). In times of globalisation and an increasingly networked world, borders – not only economic, but also linguistic and cultural ones – are becoming permanently more transparent and permeable, so that smooth communication and understanding seem essential. There is no question that the English language benefits from its large number of speakers, its wide distribution and the resulting political, economic and cultural power. English is a language used by many people with different mother tongues as a common language of communication.   

Meaning of English  

There are about 1 billion people in the world who speak English. For about 940 million people, it is even their first or second language. At the same time, English is the third most common native language in the world with approximately 340 million native speakers. Imagine if this percentage of the population could do a mother tongue translation into English...   

Of course, not all native speakers of English have had training as translators, so there are far fewer translators for English. In any case, it is better to entrust your translation to a translation agency where professional translators work according to the native speaker principle.   

At Smylingua you get the guarantee that your translation will be done by a native speaker. Give us a call today. We will be happy to advise you on a specialized translation from or into English.   

Does English influence the learning of other languages? 

Did you know that English does not belong to the Romance language group, but to the Germanic languages, but nevertheless shows French and Latin influences in terms of language history? Since the Middle English period, the lexicon has been strongly influenced by Romance words: 90% of the technical vocabulary consists of words of Romansh origin, if structural words are disregarded. English is a very receptive language for foreign lexicons, since about one third of the vocabulary is derived from French origin. Although the differences between the spoken and written language in English and French are quite large, there are some English spellings that are taken directly from French with the ones in English, such as royal, religion, prison, art.   

English stands in relation to other foreign languages and, through language learning experience and prior knowledge in many areas, serves as a solid foundation for developing knowledge of other languages and gaining further foreign language experience.   

Why it is helpful to speak English:  

  • Being able to speak English is systematically suitable for the parallel development of target language texts by means of cross-lingual comparisons in the lexical, syntactic, morphological and phonetic fields  
  • Previous knowledge of syntax, lexis, morphology or grammar simplifies and favours the learning of other languages   
  • The knowledge and mastery of the English language should contribute to and help to learn other foreign languages  
  • The dominance of the English language should not be seen as an enemy or a problem, but should be used for the benefit of preserving and promoting linguistic and cultural diversity 

Do translators also benefit from knowledge of English?  

A good translator can benefit from his or her good and solid knowledge of English and use this for learning other languages. Our translators at Smylingua are almost all proficient in English in addition to their other specialist skills. The existing knowledge is used to develop other language skills.   

Please do not hesitate to find out more about our range of professional translation services. Smylingua will be happy to advise you and will submit a tailor-made offer for your translations. Moreover, our professional translation services are not limited to English.

You are welcome to contact us by e-mail at or call us on +33 1 76 43 32 76.  


For more information you are welcome to read our other articles about:  

Subscribe to our Newsletter and stay up to date on international news with Smylingua 🙂

* indicates required

/( mm / dd )

+ News

3 Pieces of Advice for...

<div class="at-above-post-cat-page addthis_tool"...

Translation Errors That...

<div class="at-above-post-cat-page addthis_tool"...

4 Good Reasons to Outsource...

<div class="at-above-post-cat-page addthis_tool"...