as a Global LanguageThe advantages and disadvantages of english
as a global language are, to my mind, mainly influenced by economics, cultural politics, and freedom of information. The adult non-native english
speakers with whom I’ve interacted view english
as a tool that they must be able to use to do their jobs competently. The children to whom I’ve spoken are all compelled to learn english
, but the ones who enjoy it the most are those who seen english
as a window into a culture with more social freedom. Many want to use their english
skills to travel to other countries where they can immerse themselves in a culture that they see as more permissive and flexible (whatever the realities may be). Freedom of information is advantage that I personally am most interested in. The vast majority of internet content is in english
predominates as the language of coding and techno-jargon.
Economically, having a lingua franca for business purposes simplifies international trade and provides a standardized path for students to take who are interested in entering the global market place. Having a single language that all prospective business students learn allows companies to implement a simplified set of requirements that are applicable to a diverse set of jobs in the field. I worked briefly with a multinational company with branches in Germany, japan
, China, Korea and England. Members of different branches were able to communicate with one another because employees in each location were familiar with english
. It’s much more efficient to have a single common language than for each branch of a company to have specialists in a half dozen or more languages. Having a single language for business makes it easier for companies to expand and reach global markets.
as a lingua franca is, I think, seen in a much less positive light. While some people see communicating in english
as a way of breaking free from some of the cultural strictures of their own language, I believe that more commonly, especially among older individuals, it represents a power struggle between the west, particularly the US and the UK,and the rest of the world. The dominance of english
as a language is seen as an attempt by english
speaking countries to dominate the markets and cultures of other nations. I say this based on conversations I’ve had with students of various ages and backgrounds, and my own introspection on how I would feel were the situation reversed and I was compelled to learn the language of a domineering foreign country. There are also people who fear that as english
becomes increasingly important as part of the hiring process and children are taught english
from younger ages, their native tongue may eventually fade or the cultural values of other english
speaking countries will come to dominate and overwhelm traditional cultural and social mores.
For me however, as an english
speaker myself, I feel that learning english
is advantageous due to the world of information it opens up to the online consumer. The majority of web content is in english
and literature is translated from all languages into english
. I think that learning english
is advantageous to everyone if only for the fact that one becomes able to access and understand english
content, thereby increasing the availability of a diversity of opinions and expanding the breadth of searchable information. It is the language of technology, science and the web.
In conclusion, I feel that the benefits of having a lingua franca are significant enough to support the spread of english
, but I also understand why many people resent the spread of english