There are over 2,700 languages in the world, but English today is the most important international language. Four hundred million people speak English as their first language. Six hundred million people speak it either as a second or as a foreign language. That is 20 percent of the world's population. English is spoken practically all over the world. It is spoken as the mother tongue in Great Britain, the United States of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. A lot of people speak English in China, Japan, India, Africa and other countries.
England’s history helps to understand the present condition of English. Many English words were borrowed from the language of Angles and Saxons. Hundreds of French words came into English. These French words didn't crowd out corresponding Anglo-Saxon words. There exist "act" and "deed", "beautiful" and "pretty", "form" and "shape".
Many new words were brought by traders and travellers. These words came from all parts of the world: "umbrella" — from Italian, "skates" — from Dutch, "tea" — from Chinese, "cigar" — from Spanish.
English is the language of the United Nations, summit meetings and international conferences. 80 percent of all information in the world's computers is in English. Besides, there are a lot of brilliant world-famous English, American, Canadian and Australian writers and poets who gave the world their wonderful works. The reader can fully appreciate them only in the original. And finally, many young people learn English as a foreign language because it is the language of rock and pop music.
TOPIC 2. MY NATIVE TOWN.
Chelyabinsk is a city and the administrative center of Chelyabinsk region of Russia, located in the northwestern side of the rgion, to the east of the Urals , on the Miass River. It is located on the border of Europe and Asia.The Population of the city is about 1130000 people. The fortress of Chelyaba, from which the city takes its name, was constructed on the site in 1736; town status was granted to it in 1781. Around 1900, it served as a center for the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway. During the Soviet industrialization of the 1930s, Chelyabinsk experienced rapid growth. Several industrial establishments, including the Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant and the Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant, were built at this time. During World War II a large part of Soviet factory production was moved to the places out of the way of the advancing German armies in late 1941. This brought new industries and thousands of workers to Chelyabinsk. The production of T-34 tanks and Katyusha rocket launchers existed in Chelyabinsk, which became known as "Tankograd" (Tank City). Chelyabinsk and the whole region has had a long association (since the 1940s) with top-secret nuclear research, as nuclear facilities such as Chelyabinsk-70 (Snezhinsk) are located outside the city. A serious nuclear accident occurred in 1957 at the Mayak nuclear fuel reprocessing plant. The province was closed to all foreigners till 1992. Chelyabinsk is one of the major industrial centers of Russia. Heavy industry predominates, especially metallurgy and military machinery, notably the Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Combinate (CMK, ChMK), Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant (CTZ, ChTZ), Chelyabinsk Electrode plant (CHEZ), Chelyabinsk Tube Rolling Plant (ChTPZ) and Chelyabinsk Forge-and-Press Plant (ChKPZ).