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English is indeed a global language; foreign businesspersons take pains to learn English in order to do business with United States companies; foreign students learn English in order to come to the United States to attend universities. In previous decades, it was considered de rigeur for Americans who would travel or do business in Europe to learn French, which was called the language of diplomacy. In more recent decades, Spanish has become an important language for many American native speakers of English to acquire, regardless of whether they travel outside the country. Many Americans now seek to learn Chinese and Arabic. It remains to be seen whether the displacement of the United States as the premier global economic power will diminish the importance of English in favor or Chinese, Hindi, Arabic, Russian, Spanish, and other languages.
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