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Bilingualism Facilitates The Ability To Compete In The Globalized World

1863 words - 7 pages

In today's globalized world the borders between cultures and societies are becoming increasingly blurred. Cultural and national ideologies are becoming intertwined in a process that is extremely difficult to observe or define due to its complexity. In the English language (by way of derivation) this complex system of occurrences and processes has been dubbed 'globalization'. According to the English dictionary by Merriam-Webster, globalization is defined as the following "the act or process of globalizing: the state of being globalized; especially: the development of an increasingly integrated global economy marked especially by free trade, free flow of capital, and the tapping of cheaper foreign labor markets" (Merriam-Webster). For the purpose of this essay the term 'globalized world' is in reference to the world as an international community, and the societies affected by this integration between nations, cultures, and industries that is presently occurring. Humanity has long ago chosen spoken language as our primary form of communication and thus language is the key factor that both unites and separates us individually, culturally, and often politically. The meshing of cultures caused by globalization has caused vast increases in bilingualism and multilingualism. The definition of bilingualism is the ability to speak two languages, and multilingualism is defined as the ability to speak in more than two languages (Merriam-Webster). For the purpose of this essay the term multilingual will be used as an umbrella term referring also to bilingualism. This essay will debate the importance of being multilingual in the globalized world and prove the following. Increases in multilingual speakers will cause industry, information, and general communication to flow around the globe more quickly, in turn increasing general knowledge and economic growth for all parties involved.To discuss multilingualism it is important to remember that developed nations are the societies in discussion, seeing as the globalized world is where multilingualism is highest. In a remote village (of any region) where one language is spoken, it is not as important or useful for individuals to be multilingual. In the global village the importance of knowing how to communicate with many other cultures is high for many reasons. Are we as individuals responsible for increasing communication and cultural understanding by learning other languages? Do we have a duty to others to learn their methods of communication and vice-versa? Political turmoil can be aided through understanding between cultures, because of the translation between the languages of enemy nations, and the removal of linguistic miscommunication. It is often difficult to understand why learning a second language is not more popular in places like America due to the infinite usefulness of doing so. "For many Americans, bilingual education seems to defy common sense - not to mention the Melting Pot tradition." (NABE) This...

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