English, the Dominant Language?

1033 WordsSep 23, 20095 Pages
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…show more content…
Also, it has been estimated that half of the world’s remaining languages will become extinct over the next hundred years (ibid.). Another point suggested by Crystal (1997) is that the presence of a global language may cause people to neglect the chance of learning other languages because they may think that other languages are unnecessary. Thus, languages are dying out and this will lead to a ‘communication fault-line’ between generations. As a result, many concepts and culture cannot be kept and passed to the younger generation since the younger generation becomes more proficient in the new language and finds their first language irrelevant to their new needs. Moreover, English may alter the creation of words of some languages. Linguistically, some words will be created by ‘borrowings’ (Crystal, 1971). It simply means using a word from one language to function as the same thing in another language. English words such as ‘taxi’, ‘bus’ and ‘file’ are borrowed for the creation of words in Cantonese. It is believed that this kind of ‘borrowing words’ will increase in a faster rate, leading to a certain word or phrase become disappeared or even replaced by English if the promotion of English become more intensive. Finally, many inconveniences may occur due to the fact that English are not unified and seems to be easily changed. First of all, there are British English and
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