English, the Dominant Language?

Topics: English language, Lingua franca, Dialect Pages: 3 (1033 words) Published: September 23, 2009
English, which is spoken by 1.9 billon of the world’s population as their first language (Redman, 2004), has been spreading rapidly in the world since the British Industrial Revolution and colonialism in many continents such as Asia, Africa and North America during the 18th century (Lavot, 2000). As the influence of English is increasing, some linguists think that it is a natural process of successful international communication. However, many other languages are also dying out at an accelerating rate because of the expansion of the English language. In discussing the issue of the growing influence of English; arguments, both for and against, should be considered, particularly, in the economic, the information exchange, the linguistic aspects and the aspect of alteration, unity and differentiation.

Firstly, the argument for the issue is that the growing influence of English benefits the international economy. Most countries today, for example, Australia, China, Japan, Korea, the UK and the USA, are eager to trade with other countries as it is more profitable to do so. Some of these countries have their own language and this will lead to an inconvenience due to the difference in languages. Thus, there is a need of a global language to ensure all business transactions are performed smoothly without misinterpretation among all buyers and sellers (Downes, 1984). The rise of English as an international language makes people around the world can trade in a more straightforward way since the language barrier is broken down by English and this in turn giving chance to the expansion of the global economy.

Secondly, the growing influence of English favours the exchange of information. Most information is exchanged through the medium of language as it creates a shared understanding and interpretation amongst people (O’ Shaughnessy and Stadler, 1999). Crystal (1997) suggested that using a single lingua franca, English, can avoid the expensive and impractical...
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