English as a Global Language

Topics: Globalization, English language, Linguistics Pages: 2 (604 words) Published: August 24, 2010
English as a Global Language
English is fast becoming the dominant means by which the world is able to communicate. It is being referred to as the global language as it is seen as a common means for interaction between different countries. This new phenomena can be seen in a positive light because the use of English as a common language brings efficiency and greater understanding. Growth and development are not tolerant of differences and English becomes a means for international expansion. Nonetheless this also brings with it a development which “gobbles up cultures and traditions”. In South East Asia, as a result of English becoming a kind of global currency, there is a large turn towards acquiring language skills not in any language but most specifically in English. As the world becomes more “globalised” or as corners of the planet open up for trade relations with other countries and tourism booms, the need for English increases. Hotels, shops and schools have a desperate desire to sell their services and make a living. People’s ability to survive is strongly linked to their ability to communicate in English. Consequently native languages become redundant and even endangered. People focus on learning English over learning other languages and also in many cases need to use their individual languages to a lesser degree. In fact more Asians speak English than anyone else. This movement has numerous negative repercussions. Language is deeply entrenched in individual culture and thus the growing popularity of English and decreasing need for local language directly impacts on traditions. In Laos, for example, Sou spoken in the Southern part of the country has only around a thousand speakers and is said to be in “peril”. Thus with the growth of English there is a loss of culture and tradition. Essentially language matters as it is more than merely a communication device. Language is not only linked to culture but through the use of literature is able to express a...
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