English as a Global Language

Topics: English language, Lingua franca, Language policy Pages: 5 (1347 words) Published: January 11, 2013

English as a Global Language – Debating the future of world English with references to Cristal, Phillipson and Reid.


The aim of this essay is to explore the positions of Cristal, Phillipson and Reid and to consider how to address and how not to address the global language situation. There have been many different opinions expressed by academic linguistics as to weather the spread of one dominant language is an advantage or a disadvantage. Thus, this paper will present some of the main positive and negative aspects of English as a global language.

The term global language introduced in 1997 by David Crystal, a British linguist, in his book entitled English as a global language. It is the language used by the globalizing world. For centuries in Western culture the role of Latin met, when he was a dead language, which no one spoke, but which still taught in schools at the age of twenty-grit. So it was a common language (lingua franca) for scientists from different countries and the Western Christianity.

Firstly, because everyone is able to learn one foreign language and English is available in most influential mass media, it may contact people to get comfortable with the whole world. In other words, anyone can become a citizen of the world. Until recently, the citizens of the world were the only people who know several languages. They were often lucky to wealthy families, brought up by foreign governess.

According to Cristal’s view for those who do not speak English will be, in almost every case, empowered by learning English. Furthermore, Crystal postulates that the explosive growth of non-native English speakers has resulted in a world English, which is being shaped and directed just as much by these non-native English speakers as by mother-tongue English speakers. Crystal emphasizes a new world view, based on global interdependence, which “sees English playing a central role in empowering the subjugated and marginalized, and eroding the division between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’.”

His view was to introduce the positive example of the English as a global language and its role in regards to international safety. A common language could led people travel around the world and communicate in one tongue. Today work of people whose profession requires solid foreign relations, it is now much easier. A good example is, of course, academics. A few decades ago, need to know, at least passively, not only English, but also German and French. Furthermore, in some disciplines was necessary also Russian. In these languages ​​were published work and papers spewed. Currently, except for specific situations, researchers need to know only English.

The relationships and influence on each other different languages, often adjacent to each other. This effect manifests itself in general in such a manner that they utilize each other's vocabulary.

According to Cristal (2000) people for whom English is first language have the advantage of it; others however have to learn it as a foreign language, which is relatively easy only in childhood.

English often call it the continental. Example, if you meet a Pole, a Frenchman and an Englishman, a Frenchman, a Pole, and usually speak English simplified, and the Englishman is trying to adapt to them in order to be understood. Among other things, try not to use idioms. Another example is the scientific publications, which are usually written in simplified English.

Phillipson (2001) however, states that translation problems from other languages into English cause serious problems for people doing business. For example, a recent doctoral study in international law in the United States concluded that the French language protection measures are in conflict with the principle of a common market with the free movement of goods, services, labor, and capital. Such conflict, it is believed, could soon lead...
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