Language in Diversity

A common question that often arises when talking about learning English language is why we learn English. One of the reasons why we need to able to speak English nowadays is because the world is becoming smaller. Thanks to the internet and our developing global economy more and more people are using English as a common way to communicate with each other. So now it has become unavoidable that companies and large businesses will need to employ people who can speak more than their own native language that is where English comes in and it is now officially considered as an international language. There are many reasons why English becomes an international. One of the reasons is because of historical background (Michael: 1991).[1]

            One of the main reasons why English is the international language in the world today is the fact that Britain was the global superpower in the nineteenth century and Britain was the world’s most active colonial nation in the 19th century. They took their language with them wherever they went and America is the global superpower in the twentieth and twenty-first for example; The importance of American international corporations has made sure that English has remained the international language of business; and Hollywood and the music industry have made sure that it has become the principal language for the media and showbiz (Philip; 1991).[2]

            By conquering and colonizing so much of the world Britain bring their customs, culture and way of life became common in those parts of the world. The British also had colonies in the Far East. In India, for example, they found tea, salt, silk and spices. Australia was turned into a penal colony for English prisoners. This is why so many ex-British colonies now have English as the national language, with many of their people speaking English as a first language or second language even.

            Englishmen in the colonies brought their language and their way of life with them (Thomas; 2005).[3] Sometimes the native people were forced to speak English, in other cases they wanted to for economic reasons. In India, English became a lingua franca; a language used for communication between people with different first languages.British imperialism lasted for more than three centuries, and in the 19th century, the British Empire stretched across the whole world and on all continents (Kelly; 2011).[4] Later, these colonies became independent nations, but many former colonies made English their official language. 

            In the future, English as an international language will stand side by side with local language(s). It entails the use of English which is suited to the local taste and the use of local languages for international communication in the region (Christpher; 2006).[5] For example, in addition to English, Indonesian language might be used in the Southeast Asian countries as the language used for international meetings or communication. This tendency arises from the awareness of people in the outer and expanding circles in that they should maintain their own language(s) while making use of English. Thus, to secure its role in the global context, English should compete, or possibly lives in harmony, with local languages maintained by their speakers.

            Whether English will keep its position as a world language and always an international language even in the future is impossible to say.


                [1] Michael W. Apple, The Socio-Historical Roots of Sate Control, State University of New York Press, vol. 3 (Albany; 1991), pp. 7-9.

                [2] Philip G. Altbach, et.al. Textbooks in American Society, (Washington: Library of Congress, 1991), pp. 23-29.  

                [3] Thomas H. Greer and Gavin Lewis, A Brief History of the Western World-nine edition, (Boston: Wadsworth, 2005), p. 204

                [5] Christpher ,F. Spaghetti Westerns: cowboys and Europeans from Karl May to Sergio Leone. IB Tauris Press. 2006. P. 211

 

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