Universal Communication

Topics: Lingua franca, English language, Malay language Pages: 3 (991 words) Published: February 15, 2013
History tells us that Bahasa Melayu was once a lingua franca during the reign of Malacca Sultanate. Bahasa Melayu or Malay language was used widely among traders who sailed all the way to the stopover port in Malacca. Hence, the government has decided to acknowledge Bahasa Melayu as the national language of Malaysia. Nevertheless, the significant role as an international language is currently seemed to be taken over by English. Why? Language| Approximate number

of speakers |
 1. Chinese (Mandarin) | 1,213,000,000 |
 2. Spanish | 329,000,000 |
 3. English | 328,000,000 |
 4. Arabic | 221,000,000 |
 5. Hindi1 | 182,000,000 |
English is the third most common native language in the world, after Mandarin Chinese and Spanish with some 380 million speakers. It is the most widely learned second language in countries such as Malaysia and the Republic of Singapore. Many students worldwide are required to learn this foreign language. Being the official language of the European Union, many Commonwealth countries and United Nations, as well as in numerous world organisations, English has gained the lingua franca status! How is this possible? Source: Ethnologue, 16th Edition.

“…Malaysians have an extremely important role of mastering English to acquire knowledge at a faster pace to ensure there is no ‘re-colonisation’ of the country.” We know now that English has become a global language. The language has occupied a primary place in business communities and international academic. English is going beyond the limitation in suiting everyone for communication purposes. Malaysia’s former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad once said that Malaysians have an extremely important role of mastering English to acquire knowledge at a faster pace to ensure there is no 're-colonisation' of the country. During the 17th four-day Islamic World Academic of Sciences (IAS) conference, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad further said that English is the language of the...
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