Find in the text the sentences with the Simple Passive.

4.2. Put the verb to study in the sentence into the correct tense form. Pay attention to the words given in the brackets:

My friend (to study) the second foreign language (now, last year, next year, recently, from January till June next semester, by the end of the next year).

4.3. Translate the text into Russian. Ask different types of questions to it:

Most widely spoken language by number of native speakers

Which are the most widely spoken languages in the world, is one of the most interesting questions to answer. There are plenty of surveys carried out worldwide just to find out how many languages are spoken commonly worldwide. Every country has its own language and every language has its own sub-languages and each sub language has its own dialect that is native to a particular region or community.

Let us begin with countdown for the top 10 most widely spoken languages worldwide. And the winning contenders are as follows:

Mandarin Chinese

With the most number of Chinese in the world, the language is bound to be the most spoken language. You may say there are more English speakers, but Mandarin Chinese beat English by a 2:1 ratio. Mandarin Chinese also takes the title of the hardest language to learn. More than
a billion people in China can speak one of the most difficult languages.


English has taken up the second position as the most spoken language in the world. A recent study has proven that there are more English language speakers in India than in all of Western Europe with the exception of the United Kingdom. It was seen that English was the primary language for 2.3 lac Indians, second language for 86 lac Indians and 39 million Indians speak English as their third language. The multilingual Indians have found the key to stay connected with the world by becoming fluent with the most spoken language worldwide.


The second most populous country in the world, India's national language Hindi takes the third place as the most spoken language in the world. Hindi is the primary language in the multilingual Indian continent. And India has been predicted to soon surpass China as the most populous country, so Hindi is bound to be spoken by more number of people. Hindi has many dialects that are spoken in different states of India. You can have a look at the Hollywood movies of India to understand and learn a bit of Hindi with a lot of drama, dance and a dash of Indian 'masala'.


The land of fiestas, traditions and bullfight, Spain has its national language Spanish bagging the fourth place as the most spoken language worldwide. The animated cartoon character Speedy Gonzales has made the Spanish sentence, '¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba!' (Hurry Up, Get Up) famous worldwide. Similarly, Spanish is a widely used language as it is spoken in every Central and South American country, Cuba, Spain and also in the United States. In fact, the Spanish language has been a forerunner in contributing some of the words like tornado, taco grande supreme and patio, etc. to the English diction.


One of the oldest languages of the world, Arabic is spoken in the
Middle East. This is the 5th most spoken language in the world with
speakers living in countries that include Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon. Many Muslims all over the world can read, write and speak Arabic even though Arabic is not their mother tongue. This is because Arabic is the language of the Muslim holy book, the Koran. Arabic has been made the 6th official language of the UN in 1974.


Say Portuguese and it reminds you of the greatest explorer of the world, Vasco Da Gama. With all the explorers from this country who went on in search of new, exotic places, Portuguese became a language that was established in many other parts of the world. The counties other than Portugal where Portuguese is spoken include Brazil, Venezuela, Macau, Angola, Mozambique.


With over 120 million people as the population of the country, Bangladesh can pride itself as the country with the 6th most spoken language, that is, Bengali. This one language is spoken by one and all in Bangladesh. Also, there are significant number of speakers of Bengali in the neighbou-
ring country, India. Although, Bengali may be a new discovery for you, there is a significant population in the world that speaks Bengali.


Russian is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world that is also spoken in Belarus, Kazakistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan even America and many other countries apart from Russia. Russian is also one of the six languages in the UN. Thus, Russian takes the 8th
position in the list of top 10 languages.


The French language takes the 9th slot in this list. French is the language of romance and is spoken in Belgium, Canada, Cameroon, Rwanda, Haiti. France is famous not only for its Eiffel Tower and Haute Couture, but also for French one of the most popular languages in the world.


The first language of Germany that is spoken by more than 95% of the population comes 10th in the race of languages that are spoken the most. Germany also has speakers in Luxembourg, Liechtenstein and some German-speaking communities of Northern Italy, East Cantons of Belgium, French Alsace region South Jutland county of Denmark and many more parts of Europe.

Other honorable mentions that did not make it up to the top 10 list are Malay-Indonesian, Japanese language, Urdu, Punjabi, Korean, Telugu, Tamil, Marathi, Cantonese, Wu, Vietnamese, Javanese, Italian, Turkish, Tagalog, and Thai.

V. Speaking

5.1*. Read and translate the following statements and jokes about English. Whose opinion do you appreciate best? Why?

1. He who knows no foreign language does not know his own
one (W. Goethe).

2. German and Spanish are accessible to foreigners: English is not accessible even to Englishmen (George Bernard Shaw).

3. Writing in English is like throwing mud at a wall (Joseph Conrad).

4. The most known dead languages are Old Greek, Latin and literary English (Unknown Author).

5. Making English grammar conform to Latin rules is like asking
people to play baseball using the rules of football (Bill Bryson).

6. I am is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that «I do» is the longest sentence? (George Carlin).

7. The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: « I’m from the government and I’m here to help» (Ronald Reagan).

8. My English is a mixture between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Archbishop Tutu (Billy Wilder).

9. When I read some of the rules for speaking and writing the English language correctly, I think any fool can make a rule, and every fool will mind it (Henry David Thoreau).

10. I speak twelve languages. English is the bestes (Stefan Bergman).

5.2. Read and dramatize the interview given by the experienced linguist from the Moscow State University to the reporter of the journal FOREIGN LANGUAGES and formulate the main matters were discussed. What other questions could you ask?

R.: Is there an ideal method of learning languages?

L.: Unfortunately, there is no universal or ideal method of learning languages. Everybody has his own way. Sometimes it is boring to study grammar or learn new words. But it is well known that reading books in the original, listening to the BBC news, communicating with native spea-kers will help a lot. When learning a foreign language one learns the
culture and history of the native speakers. One must work hard to learn any
foreign language.

R.:When do children usually start learning foreign languages in

L.: Much depends on the parents. Some children start to learn foreign languages very early, in kindergartens for example. They are taught ABC English there: they sing songs, recite nursery rhymes and learn to construct some phrases. Others start learning languages at school. At some specia-lized schools foreign languages are taught from the second to the eleventh class. But generally pupils learn foreign languages from the fifth to the eleventh class.

R.: Are foreign languages included in entrance exams?

L.: Many Universities include foreign languages in entrance exams. Students who specialize in humanities, such as History, Sociology, and Philosophy need to know foreign languages for their professional career.

R.: Why do people learn foreign languages in Russia?

L.: Russia is integrating into the world community and the problem of learning English for the purpose of communication is especially urgent today. In Russia people learn English to be able to exchange the latest information concerning science, technology and commerce with their colleagues; to be able to read foreign newspapers and books. Learning foreign languages is especially popular among young people. For them English is a way of exploring a completely new world. A person who travels a lot also needs English. Even in the countries where English is not an official language people will generally be able to understand it.

R.: What is a distinguishing feature of English?

L.: English belongs to a group of Germanic languages. Thus German is relatively close to English. At the same time England had numerous contacts with France, so French had tremendous influence on English. Today a person who knows both English and French will easily find numerous similarities in these languages. Those who already know English will have less difficulties learning French.

R.: Is English an easy language to learn?

L.: Yes, it is. Basically English is an easier language to learn than
almost any other language. Its grammar is not difficult at all.

R.:What do you think is the most difficult about English?

L.:The richness of the vocabulary makes English a difficult language. Moreover, spelling and pronunciation make trouble. Another thing is that Russian and English are very different. It is not easy for a Russian to learn how to use definite and indefinite articles properly because there are no articles in Russian. In this context it should be said that the Germans and the French have less difficulties with English.

R.: Why are foreign languages important for specialists?

L.:Specialist should know foreign languages to communicate with their colleagues at the conferences, through books and journals or the Internet. Today it is not enough for a professional to know only one fo-reign language. That is why many young people who begin to think about their future early start learning several languages. For Russian specialists it is good to know not only English, but German and French as well.
Undoubtedly, English is number one language that specialists should learn.

R.:What kind of foreign language do specialists have to know?

L.: Specialists have to know that kind of English which will help them to solve their professional problems. They need English for specific purposes. It has been established that there are important differences between, say, the English of commerce and that of engineering. That is why a great deal of English courses for specific groups of learners have been developed. The discovery that language varies from one situation of use to another allowed to determine the features of the specific situations making them the basis of the learners course. Today specialist of different branches of sciences and professionals can learn English for their specific purposes. Nowadays there are English courses for Biology, Geography, Law, History, Mathematics, Medicine, Economy, and other sciences.

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