Should English be the world language?

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Amber - posted on 05/25/2010

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The reason that everybody knows English is because Americans are too lazy to learn any other language.

Amy - posted on 05/27/2010

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No I don't think there should be a universal language. I beleive that if you are visiting a country or move to a country you should try and learn their language. I went to France when I was 18 and spent three years learning French before I went. I tried very hard to understand them and try to speak the language even though sometimes I did ask for things wrong.

In my kids schools they start at Kindergarten learning Spanish and it goes until 4th grade. My oldest one knows things in Spanish but cannot speak it fluently. In High School the only foreign language taught is Spanish.

*Lisa* - posted on 05/26/2010

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And Meghan, I think Cantonese is the hardest language to learn!!! hehe I've learnt Japanese and a bit of French and they were simple compared to this crazy language. I have taught English though and definitely pity anyone having to learn it. I as a native speaker often had NO CLUE why things are the way they are in English!

Amber - posted on 05/25/2010

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Just an FYI, I am American....so I'm not hating on anybody. I'm just stating the fact that most countries learn multiple languages and we are only taught our own.
I'm changing that in my own household, but it's not very widespread.

Katherine - posted on 05/25/2010

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Doesn't it seem though, that everyone WANTS to learn English? They teach it everywhere. I agree, Spanish and Chinese immersion in schools should be happening NOW. My daughter has it in her preschool. It appears most people know English no matter what ethnicity.

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Joanna - posted on 06/08/2010

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I think the world would be a better place if everyone had either an English, or no wait.... a Jersey... accent :P

Katherine - posted on 06/08/2010

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So, then we get into the debate of WHICH dialect of English should be spoken if it were to be the universal language.

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There are currently some Catholic Nigerian missionaries in Tasmania, to help out in a situation where there is a shortage of priests. They can speak English well, and thought they would be able to cope with the language,but nothing had prepared them for the Australian accent, particularly the Australian spoken in some remote parts of Tasmania!

Christina - posted on 06/07/2010

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It should be the US language, but as for global? That's asking way too much. I mean, how do u think different people lose their cultural heritage? It starts with language, which isn't a bad thing, then it goes into merging cultures, then a group of people pushing your culture out and forcing thiers onto you. American Indian tribes will only be recognized as long as their languages are around. I am all for people learning to speak multiple languages. I'd like to, I'd like my daughter to, and my hubby would like to learn a couple more as well.

Would it be easier if the world only spoke one language? Yes, but it's never going to happen. For starters, American English is different from other languages. We have so many words and phrases that can't be translated directly into another language. While I was in college, we had a lot of Japanese students who were enrolled. They had to take summer courses just so they could be prepared for fall classes, then they had to take an additional English class along with them. The main reason they had to was because there were so many phrases and definitions they had to learn just so they could communicate with other non-Japanese students and teachers.

Anyway, it would be nice if English were the international language, but it's not. and it never will be.

Joanna - posted on 06/07/2010

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There should be no "world" language. Why make everyone else change to suit our needs? The languages in the world are all beautiful and significant, no need to change anything about them.

Mari - posted on 06/07/2010

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I don't think English should be universal language since there are so many other interesting and beautiful languages in the world. There are many that I wouldn't mind to learn still. I speak 3 languages now and I do hope my child can do the same. I think it does oen the world of opportunities if you know different languages then just one. I think you also will loose cultural value if you loose the native language. Just my opinion :)

Jodi - posted on 05/27/2010

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Lisa, probably because Indonesia is our closest neighbour. And the great thing is, they also teach the cultural aspects of the country, so its not just about the language either, which is making it enjoyable for them. They learn dance, food, costume, religion, etc. Which is interesting (especially the religion thing) given they attend Catholic school.

My stepdaughter is currently studying Spanish in Year 12. So she has really enjoyed her languages at school. And she is doing really well with it, and it will probably give her a wide range of options when she finishes school later this year.

*Lisa* - posted on 05/27/2010

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Really Jodi? I think it's a great idea! I wonder why they chose Indonesian though?? I don't think it's a very spoken language apart from in Indonesia or am I wrong? It's nice that the school is starting them at a young age to show some interest in other languages :) At my high school it was compulsory until year 8 to study a language but after that you didn't have to. I think it's interesting though that in the 3 asian countries I have lived in, the language (other than the national language) taught in school is English. I think they must be able to choose another one if they wish, but English is compulsory.

Jodi - posted on 05/27/2010

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Actually Lisa, in my children's schools, languages are compulsory. In primary school, both of my children learn/ed Indonesian (its very cute at the moment because Taylah is in Kindy and can now count to 10 in Indonesian, LOL). My son is in High School and had the choice of French, Italian or Japanese. He chose Italian, but studied Japanese in Year 5 and 6. I believe now in public school in Canberra a language is compulsory until Year 10.



Which would have sucked for me when I was in high school, because I was terrible at languages. The best I ever got was French (which was the language of choice back in my day) and the only thing I remember is how to tell someone to F off in French.....(well, not quite, but I am still very limited because it was only compulsory for one year in high school, and primary schools didn't teach a second language back then).

Anne - posted on 05/27/2010

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I watched a program once about the origins of the English language and it gave examples which indicated it to be the most versatile language. The reason being that Britain was invaded so many times by so many races that it had been honed, adapted and augmented to be inclusive of every language and culture of the immigrating peoples. Communication was also necessary with all the foreign traders so it had influences from that as well.

Meghan - posted on 05/26/2010

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@ Lisa...I would agree with you there any of the Asian languages sound hard. This is just what I have heard from people who actually know different languages! I have heard German is really hard aswell.

@ Kathy- my bad!!! lol, sorry!

Sherri - posted on 05/26/2010

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Actually our children in our town must take a foreign language starting in 5th grade they take a half year of Spanish and a half year of French. They do this until they graduate it is mandated.

Stephany - posted on 05/26/2010

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Even if we established a world language (which I'm opposed to), there would be so many vastly different dialects that they had may as well be called different languages. As posters above mentioned- there are already different forms of English.
Not to mention, it would be fought with fierce opposition in a lot of places in the world. It would be seen as Big Bad U.S. of A forcing itself upon independent, (mostly) peaceful countries that are not in need of a change of language. I've read many times before that a person's culture is entrenched in their native language. I'm just imagining (obviously), but I could see people saying we were trying to take over the world- that first we would be forcing them to speak our language, then what? A lot of people would see this move as the first step on a slippery slope (even if that wasn't the intention).

Katherine - posted on 05/26/2010

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@ Krista LOL Actually Chinese is probably going to start to be a language we are going to need to learn in the future. I agree with Kathy too. I don't like our monotonous sounding English, but rather Australian or British or another accented English. Which of course would be hard to impose.

Krista - posted on 05/26/2010

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Really, as far as business affairs go, English pretty much already IS the world language. Not because it's spoken by the greatest number of people (as has been mentioned, that honour goes to Mandarin), but because it seems to be the most wide-spread language, and because the world's largest economic power player is an English-speaking country.

I don't see the need to actually establish an official world language, though, unless we think that alien life might start visiting us and we want to print off some brochures for them.

Tah - posted on 05/26/2010

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i don;t think it is americans being lazy as much as the systems put in place here differ from other places...they are taught other languages at a young age and we start learning in middle/high school..the brain can pick it up much better if started in maybe pre-school...and we are also a little entitled in the fact that people usually come here and we feel that they should learn our language if they are coming in here...i didn't have a language until high school...9th grade was latin(i was in catholic school) and then your language depending on what educational track you were on...i was on a higher track so i had to learn french,,honors was the only one higher and they took German...the lower tracks took spanish because i guess they felt it was easier to learn..but we only learned enough to pass out test....i will be taking a spanish for healthcare workers because when i was nurse at the community health center there were so many spanish speaking patients it was unbelievable and we had one secretary that spoke spanish and we called her to every department so often to translate, she couldn't get her work done..when she was gone from work for vacation or a appointment, we were in deep....

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But Meghan, we're not moms, we're mums!

I love words, inall languages, though I only know 2 languages. But I love to find the origins of words.

*Lisa* - posted on 05/26/2010

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I think that even though it's not official, English kind of IS the world language. I've lived in 4 different countries (including my home country Australia) and everyone knows at least a little english. In Japan and Hong Kong it is taught in schools as a compulsory subject. Whereas, if you are in an English speaking country, there usually isn't any other language that is a compulsory subject. You have an option to learn another language if you want, but certainly isn't a main subject like it is in non-English speaking countries. I don't think English should be forced on everyone however.

Meghan - posted on 05/25/2010

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That;s a very good point Kathy!!! I think european/australlian/NZ English is WAAAAY different than north American English. I have met som amazing Aussie mom's on here and sometimes I have NO idea what they are talkin about!!! lol

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Which English? American English is very different from the English I speak - I'm in Australia.

I love the differences. Language is a part of people's culture. Uniformity is dull.

Meghan - posted on 05/25/2010

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lol...apparently English is the hardest lanuage to learn! We had a ton of kids from different cournties (Japan, France, Denmark, Italy) stay with us during highschool for exchange programs. My sister lived in Denmark for 3 years, Swtizerland for 1 year and Germany for 1 year. She said after all of that, coming back and speaking English again was very hard for her!

Jane - posted on 05/25/2010

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English should be the US language but not the world language. Chinese is spoken by more people in this world than English so in my opinion, if you're going to make a world language, the one you should start with is the one that most people in the world speak.

Meghan - posted on 05/25/2010

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English isn't the most common spoken language...it is second to Mandarin/chinese followed by english then spanish.
Growing up in Canada when I did they pretty much forced French on us...the funny thing is they taught French Candian which is totally different than European French. (And the only place that speaks French Canadian is Quebec...that I know of anyway)
I would like more Canadian schools to teach Spanish (I am farily fluent and I may be biased because I love the spanish/mexican culture) and Joshua actually catches on to spanish words pretty quickly...maybe thanks to Dora??? And if not they should focus on manderain/chinese.

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