David Crystal - Let’s Talk. How English Conversation Works Let’s Talk. How English Conversation Works A third of the seven billion people in the world speak English, with just 400 million of them using it as a first language. Sixty to seventy new Englishes have emerged in the last fifty years alone, and the ‘lingua franca’ in Europe is emerging as another English too. For sure. Can the world’s most acquisitive and adaptable communications tool just keep growing? Crystal has written more than 100 books on the English language. In his latest work he examines the cultural misunderstandings and the huge gains internationally that accrue when people from different cultures communicate fluently in a global language.