Anglo speakers! cool down

ikusi_entzun_komunikatu 1456147815191 ikusi_entzun_komunikatu | 2008-06-06 10:20

After many decades of sovereign in every kind of world-wide communications, the use of English is turning in to a needless enforce. Countries like China, India or Brazil are working hard to take the place of the first economical potency on the world, USA. And it looks like they are going to make it.

For example, the economic dominance of OECD countries (which has helped circulate English in the new market economies of the world) is being eroded as Asian economies grow and become the source, rather than the recipient, of cultural and economic flows. Population statistics suggest that the populations of the rich countries are aging and that in the coming decades young adults with disposable income will be found in Asia and Latin America rather than in the US and Europe. Educational trends in many countries suggest that languages other than English are already providing significant competition in school curricula.

 Then, the next 20 years or so will be a critical time for the English language and for those who depend upon it. Within a decade, the number of people who speak English as a second language will exceed the number of native speakers. The implications of this are likely to be far reaching: the centre of authority regarding the language will shift from native speakers as they become minority stake-holders in the global resource. Their literature and television may no longer provide the focal point of a global English language culture.

The future for English will be a complex and plural one. The language will grow in usage and variety, yet simultaneously diminish in relative global importance. We may find the hegemony of English replaced by an oligarchy of languages, including Spanish and Chinese. To put it in economic terms, the size of the global market for the English language may increase in absolute terms, but its market share will probably fall.

 To conclude, in the future, most people will speak more than one language and will switch between languages for routine tasks. And probably monolingual English speakers may find it difficult to fully participate in a multilingual society, except they start changing their mind, and recognize that every language in the world is important as the English is.


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