Argumentative Essay on whether English should be a global language
The English language arose from the early Anglo Saxon inhabitants in ancient England and spread to Scotland and other European countries via the British Empire and later to the United States through colonial political and economical influences. It later dispersed to other parts of the world through these same influences to become one of the leading languages of the world. It has over the years developed by adopting different dialects to create a language, which is the standard lingual Franca in many countries. The rapid growth of the English language and its adoption by different cultures across the globe is sufficient ground to make it the global language.
According to Crystal, the English language presents “an uncomplicated scenario suggesting the universality of the language’s spread…” (Crystal 1). This shows that the English language has spread to many parts of the world and more and more people have come to accept it as their language. This has lead to its adoption by countries that had no prior contact with the language during the early colonization and dominance by the British and other English speaking countries.
English is highly effective as a language more than any other language in the world. This is because it has different verbs, prepositions, conjunctions, tenses and nouns that make it easy to learn compared to other languages like Chinese and Spanish whose system is hard to grasp. In most cases, many non-English and Chinese speakers will understand the English alphabet faster than the Chinese and Spanish alphabet.
Based on the number of people who use it as a language and its easy nature to learn, English is the best candidate as the global language, which should facilitate communication in the changing environment. This draws the line between English and other languages whose usage is predominant across Europe and parts of Asia. In terms of numbers and effectiveness in learning, English is more superior to other languages.
Background of the English language
English is spoken by more than 2 billion people across the globe. It is also the official language in 55 states in the world. The English language is the official language used in all European Union meetings and Commonwealth delegations and it is considered the third most spoken language after Chinese and Spanish. Other statistics also show that English is the language, which is mostly taught as a foreign language. Other indexes show that more than 70 percent of articles written in different books, magazines and newspapers are written in English. In this perspective, English has absorbed many native languages that were spoken traditionally. Some research indicates that English “has even affected the syntax of other language” (Bryson 431).
Supporting evidences on the adoption of English as a global language
It is evident that the world is going through different stages of globalization, which is turning different customs and cultures into a common state. Globalization is evident from all spheres of life including transport, communication, trade, education, political development and economical affairs. This highly requires the adoption of a common language, which can bring together these different groups of people. By adopting English as a global language, a common standard is developed which allows for faster integration of different cultures into one. This is essential for bridging the gap between different cultures. This eliminates the culture of superior cultures since communication is centralized into a common language.
According to the media, English as a language is a force to reckon in order for individuals, communities and countries to be identified properly. Research shows that English “is still the world’s most common native language” (Wallraft 55). The applicability of English in the modern world has increased with the rise of globalization. With the current developments, it is difficult for any person to separate himself or herself from the need of relating with others. This requires countries to utilize a common language. Many people have been driven to linguistically rage since they fail to be understood by their friends as they fail to communicate in English. Others have felt isolated since they cannot enjoy jokes and funny stories since they are afraid to explore the English language (Bryson 432).
The globalization of the English language is not aimed at finishing other languages but creating a more accommodative forum that will allow a Chinese, an American, an Arab, and an African to understand one another. In one of the articles being referred to in this paper, it is stated that globalizing English can be equated to “basic ability to communicate” (Wallraff 66). All these cultures will also be encouraged to conserve their native languages since they are parts of their cultures. However, it will remain important to learn English in order to be in line with current development.
It is a common knowledge that English movies, TV programs and advertisements have a larger impact to audiences when they are done in English than any other language. In most cases, foreign films are done in English with supporting subtitles to help native viewers. This shows the extent to which the English language is used even in the entertainment sector. Alternatively, in the trade sector advertisements phrased in English are easier to understand than foreign ones (Crystal, 4). The language of advertising is better received when it is done in a clear language, which can strike numbers. Advertising is all about numbers and the greater the audience, the more effective the advertising. By adopting English, many firms improve their probability of penetrating the market. This perspective of the English language in relation to trade and advertising is a clear indication that English has all the attributes of the global language.
The use of English language assures that linguistic works enjoy sales since they can be read by all people across the globe. Additionally English can be easily translated into other native languages incase of misunderstandings. Most writers who write in English can avail their books to different people across the globe. The globalization of English will therefore ensure that unknown writers from native areas can access the mainstream market together with other writers from other areas since their abilities will be brought together by their common language. This has led to the latest calls among writers that in order to reach a bigger audience one should write in English since it is the best passage to communicate to their audience.
The classless nature of the English language makes it a perfect companion to nay person who wants to fit to the rapidly evolving culture. This has necessitated the rise of language classes, which has seen native adults take English lessons. The advent of technology is highly supported by English since they originate from the US and Europe. English is the official language of the internet, pop culture and the young generation. Although it is important to preserve ones origins as far as language is concerned is also primarily important for one to remain relevant in the changing world by abiding changes, which includes language.
The emergence of one language as a global language has been attributed as the main reason for the linguistically death of many languages. However, since human beings started the process of communication, language has rapidly developed to match the dynamics of the exact community. It has over the years led to disappearance of many languages. However, globalization of one language does not end the use of the other since the natives are free to use their native language. Supporters of globalization of English therefore argue that globalization of the English language will indeed lead to development of groups aimed at conserving the language of minorities. Indeed, it is worth noting that “English words are not taken just as they are, but sometimes are adapted to local needs” (Bryson 432). This shows that globalization of the English language is after all a harmless idea to other languages.
English language is primarily responsible for the fizzling out of the native languages that are in line with different cultures. Language is an important component of every culture since different cultures have different modes of communication. This means that it is important for conservation efforts be introduced to preserve these cultures. The introduction of English as a global language is therefore a negative step since it will destroy the very efforts of conserving the fizzling cultures of minority groups. Critics to the use of English as the global language argue that English represent the dominance of the American and the English culture over other cultures. This creates a situation where English-speaking nations will adopt a superiority altitude towards other non-speaking countries that would lead to unnecessary tension that may cause non-speaking nations to feel less appreciated especially in linguistic platforms.
Additionally, globalization of the English language will eliminate the motivation of many adults from non-English speaking nations to learn the language. This means that the older generations that are developed with the language will find it completely hard to start learning a new language. This will thereafter disqualify them in communication especially with the younger generation. Despite the wide usage of English language, it does not have the very dominant numbers that may make it surpass Chinese and Spanish as the most spoken and used languages globally. The efforts to make English a lingual Franca in the world is not supported by its numbers since other languages have better numbers in applicability.
English is on a path of becoming the global language in terms of dominance. It has been adopted by different sectors making it one of the most used languages in the globe. This has been attributed to its effective nature, easy learning and rich history. However, conservative groups exist who argues that there should be global language since it may cause the emergence of superior cultures. Nevertheless, it is evident that different cultures ranging from the early polish immigrants, the African American community, the advertising and media will greatly benefit from the globalization of the English language. This will prove in the end that English is indeed a global language.
In order to make English the global language it is important that efforts be directed to educational institutions to ensure that it is introduced to the young generation who are still in their language development stages. This sows the seed to ensure that they grow while in constant usage of the language. On the other hand, it should be introduced to older generations who should be encouraged to take English classes. This ensures that the growth in English as a global language is not only done in spoken form but also in written form. English should also be adopted in all global forums that include political meetings, United Nations meetings and other continental forums across the globe.
Bryson, Bill. “English as a World Language.” Changing Words in a Changing World: 429-436. Print.
Crystal, David. English as a Global Language. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2003. Print.
Erling, Elizabeth. “English Today: The many names of English.” English Today: 21.1 (2005): 40-41. Print.
Nunan, David. “The Impact of English as a Global Language on Educational Policies and Practices in the Asia-Pacific Region.” Tesol Quarterly. 37.4 (2003): 589. Print.
Wallraff, Barbara. “What Global Language?” The Atlantic Monthly. Nov. 2000: 52-66. Print.