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English as World Language

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Due to the popularity of the discussion about learning second languages under @RisingThumb 's profile post, it has come to my attention that many of us, myself included to some extent, have english as their second language.

In this context, what is your opinion of english having become the world language?

(By that I mean the lingua franca, the language used in international communication, as we do here.)

Are you satisfied, or would you suggest a better alternative? How does the spreading of the english language influence your local culture? Would you prefer french, the previous choice? Or should we rather all be speaking Esperanto? Should we RETVRN to latin? Or learn chinese to welcome our new overlords?

Discuss!




For me it is very convenient, having migrated from an english speaking country at a young age, that it is the language I already know. I get the benefits, say in employment, for free. In Germany, where I live now, this also makes me the "good sort" of foreigner, however fucked up that may be. When it comes to widespread local adoption of english, In my own case, both languages are so close together, that the mixing them creates some sort of linguistic uncanny valley effect. This coupled with Germany's inferiority complex when it comes to it's own culture leading to people and companies using english to seem "with it.", results in ridiculous effect. "Engrish" is often mentioned online, but "Denglisch" is in my opinion an equal contender.
The amount of terrible english here is simply staggering! Once I went past a factory with a massive floor to roof high advert reading "100 YEARS ICONIC BATHROOM SOLUTIONS" (Zis basthroom vill last a sthousand years! Amirite? Funny how it often ends up in unintentional nazi connotations.) I remember seeing some skincare/massage place whose slogan, in english of course, unintentionally suggested the violent removal of your skin; Inviting! Of course, us calling our phones "Handys" takes the cake. It would be sad if it weren't so hilarious.
The words previously imported from french mesh way better, I find, but I am pedantic.

edit: formatting
 

power gem

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i can't find it rn but I remember reading an article some years ago by an academic whose first language was not English. the central argument of the piece was that the flexibility of English makes it easy to make oneself understood on a basic level, but simultaneously makes it almost impossible to master. i don't really speak any other languages so i can't comment on whether or not that is true compared to french or chinese or swahili, but I found it interesting. in my experience most young people from western and central europe speak english as well as or better than native speakers, but the germans seem uniquely bad at it. i always assumed this was a performative way to assert national/cultural pride like how some europeans will claim that they will shit their guts out and die if they take 1 bite of a mcdonalds chicken nugget.
 
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Voicedrew

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For the last ~300 years, an English-speaking hegemony has led the world. That is unlikely to change any time soon, and even when it does, I imagine there will be lots of resistance to the change, even among people for whom English is not their native tongue. People from across the globe mix English words into their everyday speech, despite it being completely unnecessary.

Maybe someday, in the far off future, we will view English the same way we view Latin. Of course, I hope that future is very far off.
 
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Sketch Relics

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Due to how loose the language is with it's rules as a result of being composed of several different languages and dialects of itself, its tendency toward picking up new words as it sees fit, and general lack of care about its own historical consistency, English is arguably the only language that can currently serve as a world/trade language.

Maybe someday, in the far off future, we will view English the same way we view Latin. Of course, I hope that future is very far off.

I think it's more likely to splinter off into a true trade language, granted it would probably be more of a back up since auto translators are very likely to be a thing at that point.
 
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no matter the language, symbols gestures or tones, you have to learn it either way.
well, if not telepathy , then; or some wannabe universal pictograms
 
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Alixie

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I have always found Esperanto interesting, due to it being made especifically to be a world language. It never turned out into anything in the end, which is kinda sad since it has existed since the 1890s if I remember well.
The problem that could arrive with Esperanto becoming mainstream is that the eating bugs gang (W.E.F., big corps, etc.) could use it as another method for global homogenization (or totalitarian regimes as a whole). But I don't really know if that would really happen. And the other problem is that, as @Adeptus said, international languages displace national ones, leading to the dissapearance of cultures.
Still, I am going to learn Esperanto. It would be cool if more people did so.
 
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Boxerdog

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Its easy to understand someone that has broken english than it is for any other language, that is the real reason why its so wide spread. Some one who has broken german or japanese will have a way worse time trying to form coherent sentences together than an fob english speaker. The world language used to be french but they lost too many wars.
 
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sushi

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Still, I am going to learn Esperanto. It would be cool if more people did so.
I'm trying to learn it too (never was good at keeping up with learning languages) and it's quite easy and fun to play with.

I really wish Latin were still common, I think it's a very interesting language but it is way too complicated to ever return. English is very expressive but I kind of find it boring. Maybe because it is my first language? I've never really had fun playing around with writing things in English as I have other languages I've tried to learn.

I think it is good to have some common language and it would be great if Esperanto were to have actually gotten somewhere. How cool would it be if you could increase your ability to fluently communicate with a large part of the population after spending only a few months (or so they say) studying a language? I don't think a global language will come to fruition, it will probably be something along the lines of translator chips in your brain before that happens, then it won't be necessary.
 

ThyOde17

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I think Latin shovld make it's retvrn so I can jvst pvt the letter V over the accvrsed final vowel of the Latin alphabet.

But on a more serious note, I always found it interesting and kind of sad imagining the rise and fall of a lingua franca or even just a widely spoken one in general. You have languages like Akkadian, Sanskrit, Aramaic, Old Church Slavonic, Latin, etc. that at one point were widely in use only for us to view them as mere spectral voices of the past. English will one day reach that point too, and like all other languages of the past, it will evolve only for the English that we know will be viewed as how we view Old English if not something even more distant.

If you want my opinion, I think Latin should have remained as the Lingua Franca as it did for most of the Europe's history even after the fall of the Roman Empire. Yes that opinion may be a bit Eurocentric, but It's impact on numerous languages can still be seen. In addition to that, it still makes it's presence known in certain fields of study along with the fact that it was the universal language of pretty much most things in the past that we continue to look back to. Bare minimum, the language could have more use than where it is at now, mostly relegated to the halls of the Vatican.

English is cool too I guess, so maybe we could just keep that or something, what do I know.
 
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I think Latin shovld make it's retvrn
El lenguaje de los enemigos de Asterix y Obelix ¿Para que? Si tenemos algo muchísimo mejor, sus secuelas, ergo, espiñol, brazuca, spaghetti, rumBano, franchute. Uyyyy y eso que no hablamos de las expansiones y DLC de las mini lenguas romances. PepSiDawgwitcan
1700032816560.png

(Es q te lo juri wn, chile tiene su propi wea de lengua po wn qliao la raja)
 
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幽邃森林

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I think English's status has two paths to go in the future.

It can be overshadowed by another lingua-franca similar to the way it overshadowed French in Europe or Hindustani in India. This will only happen if the USA continues to decline and a new hegemon arises.

The other scenario (and my prediction) is that it goes the way of Latin, Middle Chinese or most recently Arabic. It won't die out, but its dialects will split into completely independent languages that are no longer mutually intelligible and the original English language continues its use only as a written language.
 
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Alixie

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I think it is good to have some common language and it would be great if Esperanto were to have actually gotten somewhere.
Esperanto got pretty far compared to other constructed languages (Lingua Franca Nova, Interlingua and Ido as some of the most known example. There are even more, I reccomend investigating the subject). It's a shame it's losing more and more popularity as time passes, but even as someone who really likes the subject I donthink it can grow that much now. Maybe reach its peak of popularity again, but not a lot more than tat.
 
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turntableToothache

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I think English is pretty bad as a world language, mainly because the pronunciation makes no sense , Spanish is a much better option to be quite honest with you fam.
 

Raskolnikov

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I think English's status has two paths to go in the future.

It can be overshadowed by another lingua-franca similar to the way it overshadowed French in Europe or Hindustani in India. This will only happen if the USA continues to decline and a new hegemon arises.

The other scenario (and my prediction) is that it goes the way of Latin, Middle Chinese or most recently Arabic. It won't die out, but its dialects will split into completely independent languages that are no longer mutually intelligible and the original English language continues its use only as a written language.

I'm a bit confused by this; how did English overshadow 'Hindustani' (I assume you probably just mean Hindi-Urdu) ? Most Hindi-speakers I've met speak absolutely abysmal or no English. It's mostly South Indians (who won't be speaking Hindi) that are actually fluent in English given that the region there is far more linguistically fractured and English serves as an excellent lingua franca there.
 

ThyOde17

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El lenguaje de los enemigos de Asterix y Obelix ¿Para que? Si tenemos algo muchísimo mejor, sus secuelas, ergo, espiñol, brazuca, spaghetti, rumBano, franchute. Uyyyy y eso que no hablamos de las expansiones y DLC de las mini lenguas romances.
I speak Portuguese at about a B1 level and as much as I love it, I think that it isn't as freeing as Latin has the potential to be. I just think Latin is kind of cool I guess. And once again, so is English so I guess I am glad that took the place as the world Lingua Franca.

It's a shame it's losing more and more popularity as time passes, but even as someone who really likes the subject I donthink it can grow that much now. Maybe reach its peak of popularity again, but not a lot more than tat.
From the looks of it, it appears to be making a comeback thanks to the internet. I know of at least one major discord server that uses it along with the subreddit along with conferences and other things. I was really interested in learning it for a bit, but a lot of the people who are involved with the community are a bit insufferable, in part because they are fanatical about it needing to be the lingua franca rather than viewing it as a project that creates a unique group of hobbyists. Esperanto doesn't really have a true culture that you find in virtually all other natural languages and there is a serious lack of original literature which kind of drove me away along with the fanatics. Esperanto is cool as something fun, and if that stuff is your cup of tea you should study it (t is apparently easier than the average natural language) but honestly you may as well learn something like Uzbek or Albanian instead imo.
 
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I just think Latin is kind of cool
idk, i always saw latin more for people who either wants to preserve the past, larpers or really pretentious individuals, perhaps is how i see the world, i don't find a real use for our language grandaddy, i mean spanish is the third most spoken language after all (second if you only count native speakers and not bilinguals), perhaps is because of my third world background, in which all your skill have to serve an actual purpose and help you to make money somehow, at least speaking for myself i really don't see the purpose to learn a dead language.

Because i'm already fluent in both spanish and english, the only languages that i find really useful in the long run would be something between the lines of mandarin, french, japanese, russian and german, beyond that would be mostly a fun hobby, just like me learning dutch, i know a little bit but mostly because i love netherlands, not because i actually find it useful. :tou3:
 
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