English is the second most spoken language in the world (see appendix). In fact, Mandarin is spoken by more people than English, but it has not such a world authority, such a geographical dissemination and such important literature and scientific writings as English. English is spoken as a mother-tongue by about 400 million people (for example in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the British Isles) and as a second language with official status by around 300 million people in countries as India and Nigeria. Furthermore, about 300 million people claim some proficiency in English as an additional language. Since English is spread all around the globe, there exist not only the Standard English, but also many distinct varieties of English.