Today, English is the most widely spoken and written language on the planet. English was first spoken in Britain by Germanic tribes in the Fifth Century AD. At that time it was known as the Old English (Anglo-Saxon) period. During the Middle English period (1150-1500 AD), many Old English word endings were replaced by prepositions like by, with, and from. We are currently in the Modern English period which started in the Sixteenth Century.
The number of words in English has grown from 50,000 to 60,000 words in Old English to about a million today; the largest of all languages by far. An average educated person knows about 20,000 words and uses only about 2,000 words in a week. Despite its widespread use, there are only about 350 million people who use it as their mother tongue.
It is the official language of the Olympics. More than half of the world’s technical and scientific periodicals as well three quarters of the world’s mail, and its telexes and cables are in English. About 80% of the information stored in the world’s computers (like this text) are also in English. English is transmitted to more than 100 million people everyday by 5 of the largest broadcasting companies (CBS, NBC, ABC, BBC, CBC). It seems like English will remain the most widely used language for some time.
The field of finance was pioneered by the United States of America as an extension of mercantilism. This was at a time when study of anything but economics was considered unworthy as compared to hard sciences like math, chemistry and physic and kissing up in the king’s court was highly regarded. The first business schools were established in the United States for this reason and still maintain their dominance. Finance has many words such as “put” and “call” for which there are no translations in other languages.
It is critical that you develop your financial vocabulary. My understanding of the financial vocabulary is vast compared to the average person because of my Ph.D. that I hold in the field as well as my investing experience as a futures and options trader and long term stock investor.
Many years of study at the doctoral level combined with direct practice in investments has allowed me to develop a vast financial vocabulary. This allows me to capture the essence of investment readings and conversations that the average person does not understand. Many investors fail not for lack of intelligence (I am of average intelligence) but lack of comprehension of what makes the stock market tick. This is due, in great part, to a lack of vocabulary that the common man on the street has not developed. Take the time to develop your financial vocabulary and you will excel over time as an investor!