Is the Global Spread of English Good or Bad?

English has in the 20th century become the global language. It is the language of trade, diplomacy and the internet. However the increase in international languages, in particular English but also Spanish and Mandarin marginalise smaller languages even within their own homelands. In Indonesia Bahasa Indonesia, the language that is supposed to unite the diverse country increasingly is becoming a second class language. As it becomes more attractive to learn global languages so smaller languages become not worth learning. Is this spread a good thing?


All the No points:

Is the Global Spread of English Good or Bad?
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(67%) (33%)


Is the Global Spread of English Good or Bad?
Yes because...

Communication for the globalised age

The world is becoming increasingly more and more globalised. Countries are more interdependent than ever and with the advances that we have seen in technology in the last few decades, communication is instantaneous. For us to be able to effectively communicate, especially within fields such as international trade and economics, as well as diplomacy, a common working language is key.

No because...

A language officially and natively used by specific nations does not qualify as a good international communication means. There is little fairness in the use of English between a U.S. diplomat who natively speaks it and an Ethiopian diplomat who does not natively speak it, for instance. The spread of English as an auxiliary language defeats the political ethics of the globalised age.

Is the Global Spread of English Good or Bad?
Yes because...

English does not require the learning of new symbols.

The English language is one that is very easy to learn. Unlike the most spoken language in the world, Chinese, it does not require most people around the world to learn new numerals. We find other languages also require the learning of new symbols. This is true in German with the eszett (double SS sound but looks like a B) and French with their accents. English as a language does not have these. This means that the language is easily accessible to the many. If we wish to communicate effectively we need all people to be able to communicate in it; even those who have difficulty in learning languages. Therefore having a global language which requires no learning of characters is important.

No because...

English has its own peculiar and highly irregular orthography. For instance, "o" in "box" is pronounced not straightforward [o] but [ɒ] in Britain and [ɑː] in the U.S.; "u" in "bud" is not plain [u] but [ʌ]. It's heavily inclined towards non-isomorphic diphthongs such as "light" [laɪt] and "lure" [lʊə], which defies most other language speakers' common familiarity with straightforward pure vowels. Literal phonemes are irregularly dropped, as in "wednesday" [wɛnzdeɪ] and "leicester" [lɛstə]. "th" varies between [θ] and [ð], and both sounds are less than common among other languages.

English also abounds with the kinds of consonant clusters that are completely alien to many languages. For speakers of those Austronesian languages that have no consonant cluster at all, the likes of "sixths" [sɪksθs] prove extremely difficult.

The statement that (the orthography and phonology of) English is "very easy to learn" or "easily accessible to the many" cannot be further from the truth when the learners means international.

There are many alternatives -- natural or artificial languages -- that do not involve uncommon (non-ASCII) letters/characters/symbols other than English.

Is the Global Spread of English Good or Bad?
Yes because...

Mistakes made in the English language do not change meaning

Unlike in French or German, mistakes that people make in English are easily understood by native speakers. The English language is a simple one with simple sounds. These sounds separate words nicely. It is for this reason that the English find it very easy to understand people from other countries even if their level of language is low. The English language is from Anglo-Saxon origin instead of Latin. Whilst Latin was a beautiful language, it is also a very complex one with elongated words and sentence structures. The Anglo-Saxon language however is one that can be used with very few and very short words. This makes the global spread of English as opposed to other languages a good thing.

No because...

Many languages don't distinguish the sounds English makes significant use of. Chinese makes little difference between the voiced and unvoiced consonants. Samoan has no consonant clusters, let alone a word-ending consonant. To native speakers of such languages, the likes of short closed-syllable English words like "kid" and "kit" are just difficult to differentiate.

Isolating languages that do not require the learning of a complex inflection system is probably a preferable kind of international auxiliary language to fusional languages that do require such learning. However, English is not optimally isolating; it still inflects, and in an irregular way even. For instance, while a truly functional isolating language would have a word to periphrasally express past-ness of an event for any predicate, English requires that the verb itself inflect just like in Latin. It doesn't make possible isolating and consistent forms like "go --> [past] go", "see --> [past] see", "love --> [past] love" but fusional and inconsistent forms like "go --> went", "see --> saw", "love --> loved". And this is further complicated by the irregular conjugations for present and past participles such as "going | gone", "seeing | seen", "loving | loved".

Is the Global Spread of English Good or Bad?
Yes because...

English has no genders and therefore less redundancy

English does not apply random genders to nouns. Greek has three genders (male, female and neutral), depending on what (pointless) gender is assigned, several words in the sentence have to be changed just to fit in with that nonsense.

What a waste of time and brainspace.

English also uses shorter words than many other languages, without any loss of clarity or eloquence.

It also uses a simple, common, alphabet.

No because...
Is the Global Spread of English Good or Bad?
No because...

It makes us lazy

In a country like the UK, we are lazy. Foreign languages are not an important part of education because there is the general consensus that everyone in the world speaks English.

The number of students studying languages at school has dropped significantly, and this is a real shame. The study of other languages not only offers up possibilities of work opportunities abroad, but it helps you understand more about another culture, another way of life. Studies have also shown wider benefits of bilingualism, such reducing ageing of the brain.[[http://www.sfn.org/index.cfm?pagename=brainbriefings_thebilingualbrain]] We are lazy. We don't feel the need to learn about others, their language, their culture. Even if native English speakers do try to learn a new language, people often wish to practice their English, so there are limited opportunities to develop your skills.

This spread also leads to elitism - some elitist schools put stress on teaching Latin/Spanish/French/Urdu/Persian/German/Mandarin apart from English. Knowing a second or third language has perks, giving the impression of being cultured,international,cosmopolitan, sophisticated and civilized.

Yes because...

Why would we want to sacrifice easy communication and globalization/globalisation on the off chance it may make children more interested in learning a foreign language?

And why would we purposely want to make it difficult for people to understand each other, surely understanding each other is more important than learning about their culture but not being able to converse whatsoever.

One-third of the people living in the city of London are from the subcontinent and are at least bilingual(This doesn't take into account the number Chinese,Polish,German,French,etc Londoners). As for the rest of the U.K : Norse languages prevail in rural areas and outside England.

There are a huge number of immigrants(second/third-generation included) in Scotland. Relatively fewer but still plenty of immigrants reside in the rest of the Isles.

The global spread of English also has the opposite effect on non-native speakers of English - it encourages them to learn a second language. Without English, a second language would only slightly increase the number of people you could communicate with. With English (or, if it ever takes off, Esperanto!) there is a stronger incentive to learn the single language that will dramatically improve your ability to communicate.

Far more people are not native English speakers than are, so you could argue that the point falls apart in a wider context than the UK.

Is the Global Spread of English Good or Bad?
No because...

Loss of local languages

As the language of instruction is, in many places, predominantly English; that usually is the language people become most fluent in.
Multi-linguals are likely to only have a more impressive command of one language. There is now pressure for that language to be English and once local languages are less well spoken than English, there will be little point in learning them any longer so they are likely to decline and disappear.

Yes because...

Yes, it can be argued that many former colonies (the British in the subcontinent as an example), have left a legacy where English continues to be used as the language for formal education and formal working life in many cases. However, this means that in many parts of the world, people are growing up bi, or even tri-lingual, which is an outstanding achievement.

Is the Global Spread of English Good or Bad?
No because...

It makes people culturally ignorant.

The fact is that even if English becomes fully globalised (which it has not yet) other languages will still be used. Though English may be used in business transactions, these people will still go home and speak their mother tongue. If people begin to only communicate in English, a valuable lesson could be lost in manners and respect. Even if there is one common language, it should always be borne in mind how respectful and polite it is to at least attempt to speak the other’s language. In business transactions, the person will have to know their clients language to a greater degree in order to complete this than on a social level. However, with the globalisation on English people will forget this sign of respect and will only speak English. This is a sad day for cultural recognition and mutual respect.

Yes because...


Is the Global Spread of English Good or Bad?

What do you think?
(67%) (33%)

Continue the Debate - Leave a Comment

103 Comments on "Is the Global Spread of English Good or Bad?"

Jennifer Ha

No… because the increased spreading and learning of English can encourage speakers to abandon their native languages. Therefore, this would create more dead languages and more languages linguists might not be able to record. Learning English is a plus when entering the economy, but it can sometimes lead to negative results.

Juna Park

No because spreading English can make all people to not speak their native languages and their native language will become not useful. Since every language have their own accents, if everybody just use english, this will lead to lose their attractiveness of their country. And people who have translating jobs will lose their jobs.

Yasmin Theodore

I feel the global spread of English is not necessarily a bad thing. There are flawed arguments on either side, but in the long run, I feel it would be more economically beneficial for a common language to unite the world. English is already considered the language of business all over the world, yet people who do not consider it their native language are still capable of holding on to their cultural identities. There is no evidence that the use of English in the professional realm will not negate the use of one’s native language or the spread of one’s culture. There is a difference between the globalization of English and the Westernization of the entire world.

Marc Davoust

Both sides will always try to beat the other, but both have good and bad arguments. English would be great worldwide in the place of business, politics, and even important researchers (medicine, etc.). But the spread of English in smaller cultures would take away from rituals, stories, and traditions of theses cultures as in the Kallawaya language in Bolivia being threatened to be lost as Spanish is being adopted.

Zane Brown

I think the global spread of English is a very good thing. When you understand someone else it is much easier to think of them as a person. The spread of ideas that will benefit humanity is much more important than anything else. It’s much more practical for everyone to learn one language (plausible) than having everyone learn every language (impossible). English as a global language doesn’t necessarily have to replace other languages, only coexist. People can use their own languages intraculturally and English interculturally.

138

With imperialism consolidating the powers to a certain few throughout the globe, the spread of a universal language such as English will only give an advantage to those who can operate the most efficiently with the language. Not only does the domination of one language over thousands of others help kill the beautiful diversity that is natural to humans, but it also offers a limited format of thought to those who subscribe to the adoption of English and the abandonment of other languages.

Caitlyn Milks

Both have good and bad arguments. English would be great worldwide in the place of business and politics. Though, the spread of English in smaller cultures would take away from cultural traditions that may not be revitalized ever again. Also it would give up the diversity of the people, everyone would be the same. Either way there are consequences.

Ashton

Global spread of English to places where people can benefit the greatest is good. But do not force it upon all.

Reca Washington

When we as a people stop trying to dominate each other then we will have learned to communicate across cultures. This communication would be through peace and respect. Communicating that no language is greater than the other. It is up to the individual and the community to determine if an language is relevant or not. Status and Institutional support should not be the forces that make an language “good” or “bad.” And may I add who are we to judge what language is “good” or “bad.” Colonization must STOP!

An Nguyen

The spread of English can be consider as neutral of good and bad because it both helps to adapt the development of the world- inter nation business language, but also eliminate the growth of other languages or maybe lead to the lost of some endangered languages.

Ankit Mathur

Global spread of English is a good thing. The more the language spread, the easier it will be to communicate with other countries. The con of spreading english would be losing diversity in other countries.

Benjamin de Gasperin

For a discussion “just for the sake of a discussion” the arguments provided might be useful to use, but in reality they are more than one-dimensional. The yes-arguments look like they were written by culturally relatively close-minded people. Also, the fact that English is spreading globally is not because it inherently is a superior language in any way, but pure coincidence. The events in the history of the English language that led to this day are, for the most part, a series of accidents and coincidences (for example, look at the history of England from 800 – 1300).

Kelly

Instead of many languages and many mistranslations, it is better to have one language that a group of people can speak. I understand that the native speaker in English may have an advantage, but at the same time it is better than having a translator that may one day be corrupt or may mistranslate something.

Carissa

English has no genders and therefore less redundancy…WRONG. All languages do the same things but by different means. Actually, if you think about it, we refer to some inanimate object as “him/her” or “he she”. Consider a boat. People name them sometimes, along with cars or even bikes. It’s not a question of redundancy. For example, some say spanish is redunant when they see that its required to make double reference to a pronoun. However, because you can tell the subject of the verb by looking at the verbal ending in Spanish, one could argue that English is redundant because you have to say the subject and the verb. It’s not possible to say the verb without the subject!

Wes

It is both good and bad. Its spread increases communication, but our world is a diverse one and part of its wonder is that every place you go is so different; the spread of English could change this drastically in the future.

Brillemeister

I would hold off on presenting English as a ready solution to communication problems, especially in regards to the extremely dubious claim that lack of grammatical gender clears English of “redundancy.”

Patty V

The subjectivity of this topic prevents anyone from having an absolute answer. Yes, English has it’s positive points, but I’m sure that many other non-English speakers would find just as many positives (and negatives) amongst their own languages. No language can be “easier” or “superior.” I cannot say whether the global spread of English is truly good or bad. There are just too many variables to make such a cut-and-dry statement.

Melinda

One language would not offer better communication. Especially considering that speakers of English have communication problems all the time. With new slang, and other phrases coming about, and dialects differing. Also, English is not necessarily easier for someone who is less than interested in learning it.

Celina

Whether the globalization of English is “good or bad” is subjective. It is not necessary for everyone to learn English, and not everyone needs to learn other languages. A person that will never do business transactions with English speakers will most likely not be required to know English. And even if they would do business, they have the choice of paying a translator/interpreter to help them. It comes down to one’s personal choice. It’s up to each person to decide which language(s) to learn. I don’t think it would be good to force everyone to learn to speak English because it should be a personal decision.

J Martin

The existance of one language that everyone understands does not prevent the existence of other languages. There are plenty of societies throughout history that used one language as a trading language but kept speaking their own language with each other. It acually encourages people to learn multiple languages for use in different contexts.

Mira Kasparova

Global spread of English is not good or bad. It can be beneficial as well as negative. It would help speed communication between countries and people in business. But it can also cause the neglect of endangered languages.

Mary Beth Reed

One language cannot fully snuff out larger languages. Language spread can be good for the purposes of trade and business affairs. It can also foster a rapid genocide of some endangered languages.

Cassie D.

Although a culture and other languages could still exist in the presence of one, global language, we would still be losing a significant portion of a culture. There are some languages that serve a specific purpose, be it relgious, medicinal, etc. Eventually, the need for other languages would disappear taking those languages and the valuable information they may possess with them. People argue that a global spread of English doesn’t eliminate other languages. But, are people really going to want to preserve their language if their daily lives are fully accessible in one language? Where’s the incentive to continue use of their non-English language? They don’t benefit from maintaining a smaller language. It’s more likely they will be criticized for it.

Mila

I believe the global spread of English can be bad if its not dealt with in the right way. Overall the idea of a common language in the world is great, it will open up many doors of communication and connect cultures. However if English continues to do as its doing now, and by that i mean wiping out other languages, then we risk losing cultures, perspectives, and history. If there is a way for English to become a universal language and bee seen as only that, a form of universal communication and not a “better” language”then the global spread of English should be a good thing. However for it to spread successfully as such, native languages have to be preserved and not be seen as “Second Rate”, the idea that English is a supplementary language should be adopted.

Stefan Trimm

A language can define an area and a people. While we willcontinue retain our diversity in appearance (especially as different entities come into contact and produce offspring), the appeal of different locales will diminish and it may discourage us from learning about other cultures in general outside of language. To me, we will become even more boxed up figuratively and literally in our comfort zones of communication. The spread of English has good arguments for both good and negative and while I side with both, I have to give most of my leanings towards no. We should never forget where we come from and the mistakes and successes are ancestors made. While these stories can become re-translated into English, it loses some of its cultural importance when the story is told not of its original language. Personally I think we should accept the reality of English’s continued influence but only to a point. We should also hoever, help encourage the original regional language to be continued to be used while in at least the privacy of the household outside of work and entertainment.

Kryston

I agree with the points made by the argument that the spread of English globally would be a bad thing. The point that really stuck out to me was the last point made about cultural ignorance. Culture is extremely important, almost as important as language and communication is. If English were to spread globally, it could possibly result in the loss of culture

Matthew Olejemeh

i don’t believe that the world coming together and having one mutual
language could be a negative thing. true some will discard their origin
languages for one more widely used, but that doesn’t mean there original
language lacked any value. they can still choose to retain there
culture, and history if they choose to. of course they could discard
their past and focus on the English language and focus on living in a
global world, its up to the person to decide.

Rachel

Language is closely tied to people’s sense of identity. English has been called the ‘killer language’ because as it is spread, many languages and cultures are dying out. In order to have a productive world, we need communication between a diverse group of people to create better ideas, and globalizing English will not help that.

Kevin

There are conceivable benefits to having a universal language as a medium for different people to communicate, but to use a preexisting language whether English or any other, seems to me to send the message of language superiority. It would be better to create a new language that has the ability to incorporate the positive components of all the known languages.

M. Bright

I cannot choose a side in this debate because both arguments sound misguided.

Marissa

I see legitimate points on both sides of the argument, and therefore cannot choose between one or the other. English can bring many benefits such as more opportunities that come with the massive institutional support, however, it can also be bad in that it would overshadow other lesser known languages.

Jennifer

It is difficult for me to answer this question because it is hard to disagree that merging of cultures can result in loss of culture. English spreading is the result of a globalizing time. But, I find the idea that English speakers are culturally ignorant to be overly simplistic, and definitely not true. It is almost as though the English language and its native speakers are to be blamed for cultural loss. We should not forget that many of these societies are willing participants in wanting to become part of the global market. This is not 100% of the time, obviously, but it raises this question: If the global spread of English is so bad, would there not be more of a push from non-English speaking societies to resist this as a global norm? Many of these societies are large, and have their own controls in the global market. Enough so that they could protest this merging of language. So, in my opinion, it really is not up to me to say it is good or bad. It is up to the individual to maintain their knowledge of their native language (unless there is a life-threatening situation). It is up to me to perpetuate my own culture with understanding of others, just as it is up to non-English speakers to do the same of their own culture and language.

Amanda

I believe the global spread of English is simply an excuse for furthering the influence of Western culture on to others. In our current state of globalization, English as a universal is not necessary to communicate with non-English speaking people. By creating a uniform language for Earth, we are disregarding individual culture, language, and heritage. We should all be aware that capitalism is not the only form of economy practiced throughout the world, therefore creating English as a universal will not end conflict and create a smoothly run, global market with no flaws or issues. Imposing a language on a population will, if anything, create greater conflict and animosity between cultures. If anything, we should be striving towards a world that is fueled by cultural tolerance and acceptance, where we step out of our comfort zone and try to revive endangered languages.

rara

I believe that for one to say that English or its spread through structures business and global trade set up false dynamics on both sides. However, having one langauge does not erase or distroy a culture, it simply adds to it in the same way that the constnat flow of people to America’s shore for generations has added to the diversity and richness of what it is to be “American”. Although there is something to the argument that the wide spread use of English in the global economy tends to lead younger generations to abandoning their native tounges, but the fact still remains that children still group up speaking these other languages and local everyday transactions would and are in the local language and i believe it is a gross over statement to say that English is going to wipe out other smaller languages. After all no one is saying that Italian or French are going to be wiped out why is this? Just something to think about.

Katie

If English became a global language, language extinction would probably occur at a faster rate, and eventually, more and more of the different cultures would be “lost”.

Ryan

If English becomes the global language. Trade and politics can easily be understood between nations better and can lead to less miss understandings.

Morgan

It would be great of there were a global because international relations would happen with less misunderstandings, but the rate of language extinction would increase. It all depends on what is considered the greater good.

Brittany

Even though English becoming a global language may lead to fewer misunderstandings, there is always the threat of language extinction.

michelle

I’m pro English. communicating accross the globe gives incite on other cultures. If there was not a mutual language between countries it would be hard to solve any conflicts.

I am against English being to only global language. I love diversity and think everyone should speak as many languages as possible. Multilingualism will slow language extinction and enhance cultural understanding.

Candi

Although the idea that there is a language that could unite everyone, I would lean towards the anti-gloabl English. Major and globalized languages typically creates endangered languages, cultural inferiority, and cultural ignorance.

R

The globalization of English is a result of capitalism and colonization. All over the world we are watching cultures lose their autonomy, important aspects of their culture, and their languages as a result of globalization. There are dire consequences to losing these diverse and rich ways of living and speaking.

Cristiano Roooonaldo

Economically, socially, and politically, the spread of English may not be a bad thing because
the result of numerous people knowing English as a language will lead to less misunderstandings and more education about different issues. Moreover, if you put thing into context, having English as a global language does not mean we would have to abandon other languages. It just mean that nation will have to
learn to coincide with multiple languages in order to improve their outlook on the world economy. However, I do understand that it would be unfair to force English down the throat of other nation, so maybe we can draw from a straw to see what will become the global language of the world.

A.W.

Although there are certainly benefits in globalized communication to being able to speak the same language, I believe it would be a mistake to homogenize language across the globe. Not only is it culturally restrictive, but there are certain words and phrases that simply cannot be directly translated into English. We would be losing so much diversity of expression in other cultures where English became the norm, rather than their native language. Personally, I also think it’s just plain ignorant and rude to think that everyone in the world should speak your language. English is only one of thousands, and isn’t even the most spoken language in the world (that would be Chinese), and yet English-speakers feel entitled enough to expect this? If you travel to another country with this mentality the local people likely won’t think of you very highly. It’s a matter of respect of other people’s languages and customs, not just what would be “best” for a globalized world.

Kiera

I am against English being a global language just because there are so many other languages in the world just waiting to be discovered and learned. I wouldn’t want the lesser know languages to become extinct due the globalization of the English language.

SG

While I do think that the spread of English is good, I believe there is a fine line. I love ELL’s (English language learners) and I love working with them. As an aspiring ESL teacher, I can’t say I disagree with non-native speakers learning English. For them to find certain jobs, they may feel learning English is necessary, and that makes it a good thing. I do not agree that the global spread of English should go so far as to forcing it on other nations or requiring it as the only form of education. I believe in cultivating multilingualism which would involve a non-native English speaking country to not teach only in English. Preserving national languages is wonderful, and English should never force national languages out of their home.

g

It is sad to know that English language comes with a bitter history. The reason that English is becoming a global language and that many countries speak it and abandoned their own languages is due to invasion, colonization and slavery if it wasn’t for that who would have known which language could have been the dominant one. After reading so many comments that my friends have made I am for and against English being a global language.

Rachel Kingsley

I think it depends on what side of the language wall you’re on. If you’re already an English speaker, it makes it a lot easier to communicate with the rest of the world and it makes it easier to travel. For non-English speakers it puts their culture and language at risk. It makes it harder for them to keep their identity and culture.

Rachel H

While the global spread of English may be useful in one area, it would be damaging to another culture. If a non-english speaker begins to speak English and embrace that culture more, the danger of that culture and language’s survival decreases. In that and culture’s death, there may be ways of life or information that would be useful in today’s society.

Mayana S.

I think that the idea of a universal language limits the evolution of humanity. Through linguistic diversity we have the ability to expand on various concepts from many different points of view.

JT

While I think it could be helpful to have a global language, I think it is also important to make sure it’s not necessary for people to learn it to survive. By encouraging the growth of English (and other languages of power), there has been a significant drop in indigenous languages – meaning everything they could teach is gone or quickly disappearing.

Rashad Blue

I don’t want to admit the negative aspects of English spreading as a global language, but the occurrence is undeniable. The allure of learning English and thus gaining a new and once unconsidered status is a major influence to these critical languages. The possibility of economic prosperity and greater well-being is a human desire and is a staple of modern society. The effect of language shift too is undeniable and its affect is staggering when it comes to endangering a language.

katie coleman

English has spread enough and has quite a hold on the world these days, and we (native English speakers) ought to pay the world back by learning more languages ourselves. We act like it will hurt us to know more, and it’s time to stop bellyaching and do what we have been forcing the world to do for hundreds of years.

jenny

I agree that the spread of English can have a positive impact of the world, economically and socially. At the same time, we don’t want it to completely take control of our lives as that can have a strong negative impact. Languages are slowly dying out due to force of learning a global language or people losing in touch with their heritage.

Kierra

I believe that the spread of English can be both beneficial and detrimental. As a native English speaker, I can not say that I am unhappy that so many works from other cultures are translated into my language. I feel like I have access to a wealth of knowledge from other disciplines just because of the language I happen to speak. However, I think that we must respect other cultures and not require them to abandon their languages for our own. So how can we become globalized while also maintaining diversity in both culture and language? That is a question that I do not have the answer to.

Chanelle

Like everything else, the globalization of English has its good and bad. I believe the spread of English has it perks like making it easier for us to communicate being a language spoken by most people, it does make getting your idea across a lot easier; however, english is replacing languages that might not seem that important, with these smaller languages a wealth of knowledge on traditions and culture is being lost. Imagine if we were never able to decipher hieroglyphs, we would have never know the history it held because it was overshadowed by a more general language such as English.

Haerim

I believe that globalization in English will be negative impact in the world. Even after few hundred years people do speak English as one language, it does not make sense that every single person will speak standard English. Depends on the region, they will form another dialect or somehow different type of English system, this is why I believe that it does not make sense to globalize English anyways and I don’t think it will work. Not just culture of each country will lose, a lot of people or countries will deny the fact because it can cause a lot of problems politically.

john

Although, the spread of English has its advantages it also comes with its disadvantages. With the loss of languages comes the loss of culture, and intellectual diversity. We must do everything in our power to prevent the estimated 90% of languages from becoming extinct in the next century.

Jennifer

Everything has its negatives and positives. Having English as a global language does have some perks, but the negatives outweigh it. Language of part of the many cultures of this world that makes it so interesting. There are words that cannot be translated into other languages because it is specific to the culture and tradition. Having everyone speak English in the world will undoubtedly cause for loss of cultural diversity and create a pretty bland world. Trying to force people to lose their identity and conform to what someone believe to be right has never been the right answer.

Ende

I think that English is important for practical reasons because of its recognition globally; but it is also equally as important for other languages, especially minority languages to be maintained, respected, and learned. The diversity of languages serves as a cornucopia of invaluable cultural, historical, and environmental knowledge and resources. It is important to note that English is not better than another language just because it is used more, and the complexity of learning a language is relative.

fope

I feel like there’s no right answer to this question. You can’t pigeon-hole this issue because there are too many variables such as dialects and language influence, which have not been properly addressed in this article.

Josh

The spread of languages can have both a positive and negative impact. The thing to take from it is that by learning a single language, we put ourselves on the same field so that we can communicate with each other globally much more easily so that we can share ideas and move forward towards the future.

bree

English may be useful in one area, it would be damaging to another culture. If a non-english speaker begins to speak English and embrace that culture more, the danger of that culture and language’s survival becomes a serious problem. They risk a chance of loosing their culture for future generations

Luc

I believe that the spread of English isn’t inherently bad, but the reality is that English is a language of power, and many cultures become absorbed into the imperialistic entropic mass that is the English-speaking community. In the United States, many languages and their associated cultures have disappeared as a result of the comparatively astronomical capitalistic benefit that English provides its speakers as opposed to Lakota language, for example.

Sarah P

I don’t understand why anyone is arguing for English as a universal language. Why not Mandarin since it is more all-inclusive, with more nuances and symbols which can encompass a wider variety of expressions based on a wider world which we know to exist culturally, geographically, and communication-wise. But how can any language single-handedly encompass all of the global diversity? I don’t think that’s possible. The whole line of argumentation for English as a global language seems to be one of convenience and ignorance.

Katie

I believe English should be used universally, but not ALL THE TIME by EVERYONE. We have become so advanced that we are now capable of interacting with any part of the world that we please. If we could all speak and understand the same language, we could learn more about other parts of the world in many different ways.

Maddie

The spread of English as a global language has many benefits. Communication is always a good thing. However, I think strides should be made towards preserving other languages. Ideally, everyone could be multilingual, and speak their native language at home and English in the business world. Since that is not feasible, it is important to make efforts to encourage the use of smaller languages as well as English.

Mary

The spread of English has many benefits! Having the ability to communicate with everyone comes with many advantages. We could learn so much about the world with the ability to communicate with anyone. However, I agree that it is important to keep one’s native language. Languages and cultures are dying off and it’s crucial that we encourage smaller languages as well!

Taylor

I do think that the spread and use of English globally benefits in areas dealing with business and growing technology, etc, but it is also acting as a killer language to smaller countries and cultures. So I think yes, it is beneficial for people to know English, but they don’t have to! Being forced to learn a language does not make people want to be multilingual or learn about other cultures, in actuality it eats up their native cultures.

Steven

In fact, I think the spread of English worldwide is not bad. At least for English learners, like me, it is a stimulation for us to learn English harder. However, I do not think some of the support part of the “Yes” side are solid and convincing. As for point one, it is the communication of globalized age. In fact, the way of communication is exactly part of the features of globalized age. We cannot say because of the globalized age, we should revise our communication ways to suit for it. It is just like using the argument itself to verify the the argument, which is not convincing in logic. Additional, the “Yes” side has said much about how easy English is. It is a subjective thing because not for everyone English is easy. For me, I will find Japanese, which is regarded as the most difficult language in the world according to a recent research, not very hard to learn, at least easier than English. Therefore, it is not convincing to illustrate the priority of a certain language through talking about its simpleness.

Onasis

Many people enjoy English media or want to business with English speakers, so they want to learn English, and I feel that that should be embraced. English is also the most popular language on the internet, so they might want to be part of interactions on those websites. I’m for a global language, and it seems like people are gravitating towards English, and that’s fine with me.

Virginia

I admit that a lot of people are already speaking English and that it’s a beautiful language that a lot of people love, including myself who is not a native English speaker, but the spreading of English as one global language can only bring harm to the world. People are already losing their roots and heritage with all these languages dying so this will only fasten the process. People need to grow culturally and explore the world and its different languages and people instead of wanting to make everything easy.

Vivien

Even though a global language sounds enticing, offering a way to communicate across the world, I think at the same time this would be detrimental in the cultural spectrum. And even if English were to become a global language(which it already is becoming) it is inevitable that it would change with the culture that it is used in, as seen with pidgins and creoles.

Assiatou

I think that the global spread of English is not something good because today, Many people are more focused in English than their own language. Most people believe that English is one of the most power language in the world, and learning it will give them more opportunities. Though, it can create more problems because it makes people neglect their own languages, which will contribute to the endangerment of their languages.

Chantal

Making English a global language inevitably affects the culture. Other countries will need to adapt to the American in the business sector. It is very difficult for me to predict the effects this will have on other cultures, because I am an English speaker and will adapt with no sudden changes to my way of living. For people who have a completely different culture, it all depends on how they respond to change. If I had to change my culture for a profession, I would still keep my own culture at home, and speak the foreign language whenever I had to. It would be a part of the job.

Shade

I disagree. There are too many things that can not be expressed as accurately in english as they are in other languages. In addition being bilingual helps cognitive developement. So go learn a new language!

Rosa

I think that maybe whats happening now is the best choice, where English isn’t exactly enforced across the globe as a universal language, but that people are encouraged to have a basic background in English or a secondary language. That way there is easier communication, yet the different cultural roots aren’t lost. However, there is still the danger of one language gaining prestige over another and further generations slowly losing touch with their native tongue and thus to the rich history behind it.

Sunflower

I believe that it is good to teach people English, but it should not be forced upon them. It will be good in order to help give more job opportunities and may also have a good impact on society. I do believe however that it is important for people to remain fluent in their native tongue because too many languages are dying.

Laura D

This is a very interesting debate because I can see all the ways we could benefit from being able to express ourselves more clearly using one shared language. However, there is a lot of privilege warping the opinion that English should absolutely be the universal language because it is easy to overlook just how English got that elevated position. It all has to do with colonialism. Even the United States, which many would argue is the world’s most powerful country, speaks English as its official language because it was once a British colony. The spread of English has imperialistic implications that we need to be wary of. Also, any blanket statements that English is better or easier are extremely relative and therefore weak arguments. Preserving other cultures should be a priority if there is a universal language. English being that language at this point is understandable because it is already used so commonly in politics, economics, and the internet, but we need to be very aware of why that is before we declare that it’s gotten that status simply because it’s the best language in the world.

Erica

Thank you for providing great information! I really enjoyed this article. I think we should continue to study language as a way to show a basic respect for the culture of our fellow human. I enjoy other languages and cultures so I wouldn’t like to see the world having one common language.

Justin

The spread of English is neither good or bad. There are a plethora of issues that arise from either position. Whichever language becomes the ‘Global Language’ will be villainized. English has spread to the furthest corners of the planet through business and political realms; changing this now would result in the collapse of international communication that will ultimately connect parts of the world that have been isolated because of language barriers. Universal language will continue to break barriers and unify our planet as a community with all the beauty of native languages being spoken independently.

Chrissi U

Both yes and no have good arguments going for it, but if I had to decide I would say it’s a bad thing. While it is important to take into account globalization and its effects on economies around the world, in the end to me “profit” alone doesn’t count as much as preserving your native language and every aspect related to it (culture, values, etc). So many languages are dying out or already have, therefore erasing part of our history as humans on this planet. Your native language shapes who you are and by replacing it with English you lose part of your identity.

Eirin Murphy

The increased spread of English is not a bad thing when it comes to the economic realm. Since English is already considered the language of business, it is almost “too late” in a sense to go back and substitute another unifying language to be used across the globe. As long as heritage languages are still used at home and taught to children alongside English, we will still maintain a degree of cultural preservation. If everyone has at least a basic knowledge of one globally accepted language, and by basic knowledge I mean skills to travel and make transactions effectively, we would be on the right track.

Trachell H

No I believe that it may cause language death to increase rapidly also causing to the loss of culture , heritage , identity and i feel that those are important and very human niceties in order to function and truly understand oneself , I also feel that countries should have the right to develop and innovate using their own native languages for proper economic stability of their countries but learning the language maybe benefit on a wide scale perhaps english native speakers should learn other languages

Will

The argument that English makes people culturally ignorant hinges upon a singular contention: that is, that culture and language are inextricably intertwined, like the proverbial horse and carriage. Globalized spread of English may indeed contribute to less cultural sensitivity, but there are many aspects of etiquette and cultural bridges that do not relate in any way to language, and can be communicated in other ways. Using a common language does not in any way preclude cultural relativism and respect. Also, the argument contending that globalization of English makes us lazy seems rather reductionist, and doesn’t really provide a solid ground for negative effects of the spread of English. Even if, in some distant future, English is universalized to be the “standard” language, we cannot say that everyone will simply be too lazy to learn other languages, especially when they share in the cultural patrimony and heritage of those languages.

Yanzit M.

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to whether the spread of English as a global language is good or bad. It’s never black or white; it’s a mixture of both. There are many pros to having the majority of people around the world speaking the same language (there will less misunderstandings politically, professionally in business, and personally [tourists, expats, etc]). But it is also important to keep the local languages and cultures alive. If the spread of English is inevitable, children should be explicitly taught the importance of their local tongue and raised bilingual/multilingual.

Olivia H

Although there are pros and cons to both sides, I feel that in the end, the globalization of English is a negative thing. I’m afraid that the cultural and linguistic traditions of people worldwide would eventually be lost forever if English becomes THE language. Perhaps we would see the positive effects of globalized English in the business and economic world, however, the fading away of other languages would be inevitable and irreversible. Globalized English would increase the rate at which other languages become dead languages.

Myi

I do not think the globalization of English is necessarily a bad thing but I do not think that we should all just jump straight to it. It would make the native English speakers lazy as well as deprive the world of all the culture and history from the other languages the world is offering.

Keegan

Globalizing a language isn’t inherently bad. It allows for more efficient communication which will inevitably lead to more progress. It doesn’t imply that native languages and cultures must be abandoned in the name of progress, it just paving the way for better global function down the line.

Patrick B.

I don’t think the argument should be so black and white. I think we should just let things evolve naturally and see how it plays out. At the end of the day, it’s not like the Anglosphere is sacking foreign cities and demanding tribute (although that did happen about a century ago).

Celena

The global spread of English is good because there is alot of progress being made in English-speaking countries whether that be for technology or other reasons so in order for others to communicate with us and use our resources they decide to learn English.

Diane Ho

No because it would give a raise to people who have a mindset of “English is the superior language”. It would divide us even more that we are now. Along with language and culture loss due to people thinking/claiming that English is above/better than another language.

Alize Smith

No. I believe that a language shouldn’t be forced upon a group of people but rather a choice. I believe that there are too many negative consequences compared to the positive. Negative being losing a person’s history and background which could lead to the generation thing where languages soon die out because no one is speaking the language.

Shannon Johnson

No. While the spread of English has its good points, the negatives far outweigh the positives. If English becomes the predominant language throughout the world -even though some cultures would still speak their native language- then some languages would die out, and with them the culture. The native language is an essential part of its people; some ideas and feelings cannot be easily translated into a different language with the exact same meaning.

Hallie

I feel that the globalization of English is not necessarily a bad thing because there would be a common language for everyone to communicate with each other, but at the same time the globalization of English may contribute to the death of some languages or even the loss of the current speakers knowledge in how to speak it since they will be learning a new language and that will take away from their dominant one.

Sydney Fleming

No, The spread of English isn’t necessarily forcing people to stop speaking their heritage language. English is the lingua franca. It has facilitated many business ventures and relationships, and it has connected the world in such a major way. Some individuals might choose to not pass down their ancestral language to their children, but that is a decision made by the individual, and I don’t think that English, or the spread of English is to blame.

Erica Alexander

For the most part, I think that it is good. Although, I believe that we should not emphasize English so much that it becomes too overbearing, having more and more people learn English is great for globalization and becoming more interconnected like the “Communication for the globalized age” point made reference to. At the same time, there is a legitimate threat to the loss of local languages, as one debater put it above. In order to have a happy medium, we need to understand how to implement English without threatening other native and local languages.

Kathrine K.

I can see why people debate about this topic. It’s good to have a mutual intelligible language, so that everyone can communicate and understand each other, but also it is bad because it feels like one language will start to dominant others risking one’s native language, culture, and people.

E Jones

No because globalizing English doesn’t mean that all other languages will cease to exist. Some people will not be able to learn English and therefore will be at a political, social, and economic disadvantage. Globalizing English will also encourage language elitism which will cause even more cultural disparity and inferiority in the world.

Alice

I agree and I also disagree I think English as a global language side is good when people around the world have shared language to communicate more effective, bur i think that when people use only English, they lose their identity.

Hannah Anderson

No because the spread of English will gradually make learning new languages harder and less valued and will less diversify our world. I think it is ok to use English as a trade and business language but it should not be allowed to take over the world.

Alex Bland

Yes, because with the incorporation of English into the society as the reigning language, people will be able to communicate and come together as one. Yes, other languages throughout the world will end up dying, but it is for the greater good of everyone being able to communicate with each other fluently and effortlessly. The difficulty for learning the English language is milestones easier than the learning of other languages such as Hebrew or Japanese, and with everyone being able to speak a common language, society can coexist with each other.

Chris (jihoon) polk

I believe spreading English would not harm a countries native speaking population as currently English is taught as a second language across the world. First this can give a massive opportunity to countries whose people do not have it well, by learning English and having a chance they may be able to move to an English speaking country that could possibly be doing much better economically, allowing them access to jobs and more. Currently America is the leading superpower of the world, leading people to open more communications and business’s and prosper if they learned that countries language. This allows a base line language that anyone can learn and communicate between countries, and for someone who is unfamiliar with a language like this it can be considered a good gate-way language for most European languages. There are risks like creating possible dead languages and groups to leave their language behind for the popular one, however majority of the time languages are linked to culture and heritage so most would not simply abandon their native language, however they would teach the second more readily.

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