Did you know that it costs the European Union over one billion Euros annually as the translation budget for their conferences, meetings and workshops? And that most policy proposals, legal decisions and implementations can take more than one year since the validity of such information only apply after effective translation of the information to all the official languages in Europe? What is the possible solution to this problem? 83 percent of multinational companies feel their marketing strategy would work better if there was a common language of communication. 48% cannot stretch their budget further to meet the cost of translation. Is it not time the world settled for standardization of human communication by settling on English which is widely used to be the world's international language? Unlike other international languages like Spanish and German whose use are confined to their natives and former colonies, English is freely spoken in every corner of the world as a preferred language for trade, policy making and diplomatic negotiations. The Chinese Mandarin though spoken by over one billion people is not known beyond the borders of China and as such is not very acceptable to the world. This essay seeks to discussk the reasons as to why English language should be ratified to become the world's official international language.
In order to get the difference in viewpoints, two articles of both the proponents and opposing views for the possible official installation of English language as the world's official language of communication are analyzed. Terry Dip shares her opinions about the consequences of the cultural dominance that English and its native speakers have over cultures and people. On the other hand, Simon gives the ten reasons why adoption of English as an official language stands to benefit by having English accepted as the world's international language. The ten reasons given by Simon are solid while the arguments fronted by Terry Dip though sound; do not provide a solution for the need for a single language that will ensure uniformity that is lacking in achieving the quest of making the world a global image.
The first thing to understand is that it is vital that the world finds a solution to globalization through a uniform language. Of all the languages that there are in the world, English has been used for a very long time for international business. The world commerce headquarters are predominantly in the United Kingdom and the United States ("Global Business Speaks English,"). The rest of the world cultures have been accustomed to the use of English while transacting international businesses. Dip, in her article, neither addresses the importance of having an international language as a means of communication nor does she offer solutions to the language barriers as a problem that affects international communication and trade (Neeley 13). All the nations must trade, and the citizens must move to other regions of the world continually seek business markets and employment opportunities to boost their chances of getting better deals. The evidence proves that it is only through interactions that we can make productive activities to be easier to undertake.
The second main point to examine is Terry Dip's argument that the dominance of a language like English suppresses other cultures and languages. She claims that the native speakers of English assume a position of cultural superiority over other races thereby creating a global cultural imbalance. While it is true that Anglo-phone nations are culturally assimilated to some extent and that the world tends to imitate the American culture due to the media influence, the change should not be blamed on the widespread use of the language but on the failure of the other cultures to package and market their cultures properly (Selchow 35). Anglophone countries that were initially totally assimilated have learnt how to preserve their cultural practices amidst the influence that English has had among them. Local productions and events in Anglophone nations are conducted in English without the essence of the whole activity getting lost. The disinterest of the native English speakers about other cultural practices cannot be reinforced by the rest of the world assuming the significance of English in the global arena (Honna & Takeshita 17). The use of English does not spell doom for other languages as long as every nation commit to their duty to preserve their culture. Simon states that the English language is easy to learn and use while Ms Dip opines that the English language is incredibly fragmented and lacks a definite pattern of word formation making it very difficult to learn. Hence, learning English becomes very simple and faster under the right instructors.
Another line of thinking from Ms Dip is that making English the world official language would only disadvantage the Americans since the world would know much about America than Americans know about the rest of the world. The dominance of English in the global political and socio-economic dynamics works to the disadvantage of the Americans who are inclined not to struggle to understand the topology of the world politics (Neeley 19). The biggest question that Dip should ask herself is, what is the literacy level of the Americans and what percentage of the Spanish-speaking Americans are knowledgeable about geopolitical affairs, world trade economy and the literature of other cultures? Therefore, the ignorance of adult Americans on global affairs has its causes beyond the fact that they use English as a native language.
In addition to the significance of English in trade, little is known about the entertainment industry of the other cultures in the world compared to American pop culture that sets the pace of world civilisation. It is thoughtful to make the English language universally acknowledged to ensure other regions of the world are not left out of the biggest entertainment industry. Exposing the whole world to Hollywood is not to condition the whole humanity to imitate but to emulate the creativity in theatre production to be able to churn out quality instead. Simon observes that the English language is very flexible. Most of the world destinations where English is not spoken as the native language have their versions of English vocabulary and usage. The language is very is not discriminative and can be modelled in ways that each community can easily identify with. The native speakers of English found in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia predominantly speak native English as the rest of the world usually stick to Standard English (Neeley 22). There have never been restrictions to other parts of the world like Nigeria and Jamaica that have developed their custom pidgin that has differences from both standard and native English but still, people can communicate (Selchow 36). As a result, English is very accommodative, and the regional variations in words are taken care of something that does not happen with other languages used on the global scale.
In contrast to the arguments which Simon advances in support of English being made official as an international language, there is a point that Dip does not come clear about, does she believe that there is a need for a single language that can guide the discourse of globalization and that language should not be English, or does she think that international communication is okay as it is without further improvements? Settling on English as the ideal language of instruction has little consequence concerning disruptions. Considering all the languages that are extensively spoken in the world, English is more established as a language of instruction in academics, trades and cultural activities. The elasticity of the other people to respond to the use of English in global issues is much faster than the response that other nations would exhibit to adjust (Khamkhien 46). There is prudence in choosing a language that converges the interest of the whole world ("Global Business Speaks English"). We should learn to view the possible rise of English as a positive consequence of cultural integration than as a forceful way of enforcing cultural integration. The number of people with even a remote idea of the Mandarin language is negligible out of the borders of China. The unique alphabets of the other international languages are an impediment for their ascension to the apex of the global domination of languages.
The use of a common language to communicate makes it easy for us to standardise the consumption of technology and its products. Simon argues that the translation of the internet materials written in English is still so underdeveloped, meaning the majority of the people around the globe cannot benefit from the vast wealth of information that is locked on the internet ("Global Business Speaks English"). Dip whines about the dominance that the English content gets in the international scene without interrogating the efforts that the producers of this information make to assert their enviable position. Currently, we have different nations producing different technology machines and software that must be translated into other languages. Currently, more than 50% information found on the Internet websites is written in English. Therefore, this proves that English is an ideal language for learning and articulating international issues.
Building from the idea that English is easy to learn, the language also helps one understand other languages better. Simon advances this argument by citing that the language is an amalgam of a variety of other vastly-used international languages. Dip, on the other hand, believes that learning English makes it more difficult for people to understand concepts with as much authenticity as it should be because it becomes increasingly difficult to translate concepts from one language to the other, either directly or indirectly. Simon's position is valid because of the majority of the people who learn English as their second language report that their understanding of concepts has been enhanced since they can read more information from the internet and other sources that they initially could not access before. The inconsistency in word formation and irregularity in sentence structure, syntaxes and pronunciation that is part of English makes it easier for people who learn other languages after knowing English to acquire faster learning skills (Hill & Parry 6). Consequently, the overarching interest that motivates the learning of other languages is to understand the concepts that are not easy to translate into other languages.
The evidence presented in this discussion has demonstrated that the use of English as an international language should not be misconstrued as an attempt to impose cultural superiority over other people in the world. Ratification of the use of English as an official language is an idea aiming to integrate cultures and to enhance global trade (Pennycook 24). Standardization of human communication begins with the adoption of a common language that must act as a means of interaction. We should appreciate that we cannot rely on translation all the time especially in the coordination of international affairs and events. The spontaneity of interpretation and giving a response that comes with understanding English is necessary for our communication. Even though pessimists seem to harbor genuine reservations, their concerns are issues that can be fixed if we all expressed a desire to achieve the bigger goal of facilitating globalization through enhanced human communication and interaction. To sum up, English of all the languages is at the best point to assume the prime role of an international language owing to its vast development as a tool for intern...
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