Does the world need a global language? How does a language become global? The world needs a global language as globalization progresses and globalization is necessary for a language to become global. english
has effectively fulfilled the world’s need for a global language.
Languages functional usage is as a tool for communicating intelligible information among humans, the talking ape. The number of languages currently spoken in the world is estimated at 7000, although this variety of languages is declining as the barriers of time and space between people fall with technological and transportation advances. Like the Phoenician alphabet, borne of sea trading in the ancient Mediterranean, global english
usage has its basis in commerce. Now, when money talks, it speaks english
. Governments and parents of children
in developing countries understand that english
is the language of opportunity.
The most revolutionary of modern day improvements has been in the realm of information processing and exchange. Instead of the flying cars and trips to Mars that 1950s science fiction promised us, the last half of the twentieth century has invested its talents in providing an information superhighway. The desire to translate the human experience in its actual and imaginary forms has elevated the human imagination to a virtual video and audio display. The majority of content on the world wide web since its origin in the united states
, has been and continues to be in english
. The international internet connection is expanding exponentially to reach every neighborhood of this global virtual village with entertainment and art communicated in english
. At the same time, the language of science shifted from German to english
Language’s other role is one of identity. We assume that we define our world with words, but our words also define our world. What can one infer about a culture that uses the word ‘defenestration’? Being thrown from a window was a common enough occurrence to require its own word. Adam Jacot de Boinod uses the South Pacific, Easter Island, Pascuense word, tinga - which means to borrow things from a friend's house, object by object, until there's nothing left in it - to exemplify his study of words unique to a culture that constitute an identity of their distinct values, histories, and relationships.
, as the unconstrained accumulation of spoken words, is a modern mash up of its Germanic origins, Latin and greek
influences, with large doses of french
mixed in, and easily absorbs thousands of words each year to add to its burgeoning vocabulary. As the world’s vernacular alternative, it is mutating to merge with those who wish to adapt it for their own identities in the creation of hybrids such as Spanglish, Chinglish, Singlish, Tinglish, and many others. The divergence of the english
language has prompted language purists and language utilitarians to seek to re-establish the standard equivalent of the Queens’s english
and/or to create a controlled version, Globish, a stripped down version of the peoples’ panoplied discourse.
A catastrophic change in the world order, a technological wonder machine that instantly translates one language into another, or a genetic mutation for translatable telepathy are a few reasons that Global english
may become extinct. The rise of another language to replace english
, such as Mandarin or spanish
, is another, more plausible, reason. The tremendous investment in english
usage that countries are currently making will result in an upcoming generation of multilingualism and english
usage as a common basic skill, and tefl
programs may become superfluous. But, for now, the english
language is thriving, with estimates of 400 million people who speak english
as a first language, 300 to 500 million people who speak english
fluently as a second language, 750 million who speak english
as a foreign language, and about a billion people learning english
Mydans, Seth. Across Cultures, english
is the Word. The New York
Shippey, Tom. The Myth of english
as a Global Language. The Times Literary Supplement. Web.