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The Sun Never Sets On The English Language

1468 words - 6 pages

English has evolved in the last hundred years from being a fragment of the old Latin world to being widely spoken around the new world. Despite living in America, we see international meetings where leaders of many countries all speak English to communicate with each other. Is it possible that English has become the lingua franca and will continue into the future to be the global language? There are many sources that indicate that future can only hold English as its selected language. In the future we will have a variety of “Englishes” that will dominate global communication, and this will occur because the dominance of English is believed to be ‘inevitable’, practical to foreign nations, and finally it appeals to a multicultural perspective for a cosmopolitan society.
Everywhere you look around the world you can find the English language. In The Mother Tongue: English & How it got that Way, Bill Bryson explains, “In Yugoslavia they speak five languages. In not one of them does the word stop exist, yet every stop sign in the country says just that” (Bryson 179). Around the world we see examples of countries that don’t natively speak English but use English as a marketing scheme. Further Bryson mentions, “…On the bottom of the eraser is a further message: ‘We are ecologically minded. This package will self-destruct in Mother Earth’. It is a product that was made in Japan solely for Japanese consumers, yet there is not a word of Japanese on it” (Bryson 180). We can see the rise in world distributors producing ‘English’ products as the world looking for a common language; it’s seen as trendy, and obviously something that the people want. With the history of English starting at relatively the same time as the romance languages, it’s hard to argue that the people of the world don’t want a common language. Christof Demont-Heinrich conducted a survey that showed nowadays people are starting to believe the spread of the English language is ‘inevitable’ (289). So now its spread farther than whether or not people want English to become the world language, now people are thinking it’s going to happen no matter what!
According to questionnaires administered in southwestern United States and to some non-American students studying at a Danish university a common belief about English as a global language is that its dominance is inevitable (Demont-Heinrich 289). With fewer students studying foreign language it’s hard to see a future where English is not dominant; today there are less than half the amount of students studying a foreign language (French & German) than there was just 16 years ago (Liston 1). This means that in the future we’re going to have even less and fewer people who speak a second language that isn’t English. Xavier, a French national who was interviewed while studying in Denmark said, “…it makes it handy when people from many countries can communicate thanks to a common language… you just need to be flexible and adapt, though having...

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