I had a discussion with my co-worker today about the prevalance of English in the world today. He believes that for a number of reasons, including:
1] English is an easy language to learn
2] English is already the language of acadamia, science, and diplomacy etc
3] It’s necessary to know English to be successful in almost every other country
4] The world is so interconnected that the spread of english will continue indefinately, even if America declines in power
and other reasons, that English will virtually be the World’s Language, since all other languages will become obsolete.
I, however, disagreed, for a number of reasons including:
1] The preponderance of English is contingent on the preponderance of America, and that once America becomes less important in the world, English will become less important.
2] English is spoken all over the world, but usually as a second language. For example, although a person in China may learn English as a second language. Learning english does not mean that he forgets mandarin. He merely picks it up as a tool to be more successful, he could just as easily drop it.
And other reasons.
So, to me, saying English will always be the international language is about as foolish as a 3rd century Roman saying that Latin will always be the international language. I simply can’t imagine the entire nation of Japan or India abandoning their native language and beginning to speak English, even over the course of a few hundred years.
So, where do you think the history books of 3,000 AD will place the English language? Or will they be written in English?