Future Of English Essay

1456 words - 6 pages

English has established itself as a world language. Like no other language English dominates different aspect of our lives. These aspects are culture, politics, finances and many others domains related to public and international life. I will have a look at some scenarios such as English losing the status of a world language or English becoming a so called dead language. I will consider English not only as a world language, but also as a language of culture. In fact, I will have a closer look at English as a vehicle of culture and international relations and how these two provide scenarios for the language itself. Another scenario treated in this essay will be the scenario of English replacing all the other languages. In the end I will see if the English language has a future or if like so many other things its future is not predictable, because our world is in a constant change.
In A History of the English Language by Albert C. Baugh and Thomas Cable, we find a sort of definition for a dead language. ‘When a language ceases to change, we call it a dead language’(Baugh & Cable, 2002, p.2). This is interesting and as an example they give Classical Latin which is considered a dead language. Could English await the same fate and become a dead language in a distant future? It might be possible if some conditions are met like another language replaces English in all the sectors mentioned above in the text and when people gradually stop speaking English. Nevertheless it is highly improbable that English will become a dead language in some near future. English like other ‘living’ languages is changing constantly. New words come into the language by borrowing, some words are replaced by others and this process makes the language ‘alive’. The best example for English being a language of change is found in its approximately 1,500 year old history. English went to a multitude of changes from Old English in 450 until the Present day English. The hypothesis of English ‘dying’ can be put aside as it as it proved in the course of its history English is a language that can survive.
This survival of the language leads me to my next point, which is English as a world language. A world language is used as a common language between all the countries in order to understand each other. The role of such a language is important as it is due to it that peace treats and friendly relationships between different countries can be formed. If politicians all spoke only their first language it would be difficult, if not impossible, to have negotiations about different subjects. However the position as a world language is not as secure as one may believe. As Baugh and Cable point out the honour of being a world language could have fallen onto French two centuries ago (Baugh & Cable, 2002, p.8). Due to certain circumstances such as losing many colonies in North America to the English Empire, French was unable to become a world language. English indeed became a world language...

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