the many and varied dialects of English spoken in different parts of the world, including not only American and British English, but such varieties as Indian, Pakistani, Australian, and New Zealand English, as well as the English spoken in various African and Asian countries. In some parts of the world, English is spoken as a natural outgrowth of a colonial period during which
certain countries, now independent
, were part of the British Empire. In other places, people have been encouraged to learn English because of its widespread use as a language of global communication.