I was watching this program on BBC today about Europe and Britain and the USa, well politics basically ;). And they asked this historian what he thinks Europe and the USA would look like in 50 years. And he said that if the European Union wants to succeed in becoming a major political, military, economical power it will have to reform it's present institutions drastically. And one of the necessary changes would be a common languages. He said that Europe will be called England in the future because this common language will most certainly be English. It means that on the highest political level the colloquial language will be the one of Shakespeare and this to make contacts with people from so many countries easier.
And then he said that the USA will most likely no longer be Anglosaxon but Hispanic. Spanish will have pushed English away as the main language in the USA. He bases tis on the fact that the Hispanic community in the USA is growing very fast.
So do you agree with this historian?
Mar 16th, 2002, 11:16 PM
lol. I totally disagree. I don't see Spanish ever taking over as the dominant language in the US.
We might become bilingual but I seriously doubt Spanish would ever be our official language.
Hopefully he's wrong about everything. Hopefully in 50 years it will be the "United States of Earth." The language it's in doesn't really matter to me.
Mar 16th, 2002, 11:18 PM
I certainly hope not.
I think Europe is a beautiful place and each country is completely individual and should stay that way.
We glorify England way too much and i really hope this stupid change dosent happen.
Spanish being the main language in USA... I doubt that will ever happen
...I think this historian has had a few too many drinks...
Mar 16th, 2002, 11:19 PM
I agree, I don't think Spanish will ever become the dominant language in the States. English will probably become the most widely spread language, even more than today.
Mar 16th, 2002, 11:21 PM
Well he didn't mean that all Europeans would have English as their first language. It's just on the political level, in parliament, during councils etc that only English would be used instead of every national language like it is today.
Mar 16th, 2002, 11:21 PM
Yep. English is already really dominant in the world in the fact that most people are learning to speak it. A lot of people relate this to the fact that the United States and England are arrogant and refuse to use other languages, but I disagree. There had to be a sweeping common language... it started out as French and now it's English. Just happened that way.
I think that one day most people in the world will speak English fluently... hopefully other languages won't die out but I think it would be rather nice if anyone in the world could be dropped halfway around the globe and still carry on a conversation with anyone.
Mar 16th, 2002, 11:24 PM
There are people who say that the influence of ENglish, just like French will eventually fade and another/other language(s) will take over, such as Arabic or Chinese.
Mar 16th, 2002, 11:26 PM
Hmm...I wonder if British Prime Ministers will still have to do all public speaking for a dim American president, and which language they´d use?
Mar 16th, 2002, 11:26 PM
China's power is still on the decline and Arabs don't seem as interested in world politics, so I don't really see that happening.
Anyway... as long as we all speak the same language someday... I don't care which one it is ;)
Mar 16th, 2002, 11:29 PM
Well it's about economical power and South East Asia is becoming a major power. Some say that it will pass America and Europe in the next few decades and thus Chinese will become more important as it is the main language of the region.
I hope not though cause Chinese is so tough :eek:
Mar 16th, 2002, 11:34 PM
lol I dont think that will happen. Spanish is too difficult for the mind of US people :p (j/k..)
Mar 17th, 2002, 08:03 AM
Yes, probably Spanish will not be the first language in USA, but cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, and all South Florida, has a very very big spanish comunity.
Spanish influence is growing up faster as much of you think:wavey:
Mar 17th, 2002, 08:09 AM
Europe being called England LOL
More like UK will become the 51st or rather 52nd (after Canada) of the US as British Prime Minister is always bending over backwards for the US as opposed to the rest of Europe who stand up against the Axis of Evil.... (do what i say or we will bomb you)
Mar 17th, 2002, 01:06 PM
I do think Europe will become more of a United States of Europe and English will be the domminant launguage.And Spanish is increasing rapidly in the USA it will never be the domminant launguage but it will be spoken more widely!
Mar 19th, 2002, 01:17 PM
When he said that Europe will be called England you don't have to take his words literally. What he meant was that English would become the dominant language in Europe. At the moment all national langauages are represented during councils, meetings, parliamentary discussions etc.... When a ton of new members will join this will be hard to maintain and so many people believe that there should be one language used on the political level but also on the educational level. Europe is trying to make student exchanges easier so that a European student can study in whichever European country they want. It doesn't mean that English will replace all the national languages in every day's life, it will just become the administrative language used to govern the Union.
About the States : it's probably a bit exaggerated when he says that Spanish will become the dominant language. However I do think there's some truth in it. I agree that there's little or no Hispanic influence in some states but those you named are not really 'important' states (no offence to people from Montana or Dakota etc... ;). California, Texas, Florida, NY and others are all important states with a large Hispanic community. So it's not really unimaginable that Spanish may replace English in those southern states or at least receive the same status as English has at the moment.
Mar 19th, 2002, 02:15 PM
Assuming eveyone's not been blown up by 50 years time...
The current British government wants things both ways, to be strong in Europe, but still having a 'special relationship' with America.
Withdrawl from the EU by the Brits IS a real possbility if the Conservatives gain power again...Maggie Thatcher was championing that just yesterday, again saying we would be better of in NAFTA...
The coming decades will see us ultimately choose one way or another, to retreat from Europe and look across the atlantic, or to intergrate with the rest pf Europe.
This is the bottom line as I see it: Britian is part of Europe, absolutely intwined with the heart of its history, part of the absolute fabric of what it is to be European, 20 miles of the English channel shouldn't make the difference it seems to...especially now we are conncected by tunnel!
We have much to learn from our fellow Europeans, but we shoudln't be so negative about ourselves to think we can't contribute something. We are not that bad!
As the EU extends eastward, apparantly those countries say they would prefer to use English as a common language, so it will grow in importance.
This sums up my position: Britain withdrawn from the EU, with its drawbridge up, would be a poorer place in every sense, but I also think the EU needs a fully engaged Britian to be truly complete.
I am European, Im proud of that. But Im not ashamed or feel inferior becuase Im British, we've done much that is terrible in the world, but some good as well. Sometimes we are wrong, and sometimes we are right, like everyone else.
Mar 19th, 2002, 02:19 PM
I don't really know how I feel about English becoming the administrative language of the EU. If we want this Union to work, especially with the new members, there have to be drastic changes in the functioning of all the European institutions. Adopting a common (administrative) languages might be one of them cause frankly, I don't know how the Union can work effectively with so many different languages. I'm worried though that it would lead to a devaluation of national languages in favour of English. Languages that are spoken by relatively few people could be in danger of becoming a mixture (like Spanglish) or even disappear.
Up until now the EU has focused on economical and political issues but mainly economical. Only in the last few years there's been more interest in cultural issues and protect the cultural diversity of Europe. Still, at this point culture is not a priority for Europe, which is a shame really. So as long as Europe doesn't value culture the way it should be, I'm quite sceptical about imposing English on the administrative level.
Tut, tut, not so quick, young man. Those states you deemed "not really important", wink, are actually more important than you realize. The "heartland" as it is called is the gauge for many things i.e. societal standards, reactions to pop culture, marketing of new products. Those "unimportant" states are the targets of many elections.
My apologies to Montana and co. ;)
But don't you think that Spanish will become more important or more 'present' in the future due to a big increase of peopleof Hispanic origin?
Mar 19th, 2002, 02:30 PM
Chris, I read those comments of the Iron Lady in the newspaper today. She calls Europe 'The biggest folly in history' lol. To her, Europe is the main reason of many problems in the world and in Britain :confused:.
Can't wait for her book, 'Statecraft' to appear in the bookshops. :rolleyes:
But it seems that most economist and historians don't share her opinion. One of them said that IF it should ever come to a rift between Europe and the USA, Britain should choose the European side. I don't think it would ever come to this but I do think both Britain and Europe have much to gain from an increased British participation in th EU.
Mar 19th, 2002, 02:56 PM
The thing about Thatcher is that except for a few on the right who are still in love with her, she is very much a national joke these days...she always was to me...the cow... :)
Josh, what I regret is that too often we Brits either feel we are the best in Europe, or feel embarrased and think we are the worst. There is often little space for the sensible middle position.
The newspapers here are shameful when discuusing Europe, but many of them have Non-Europeans like evil Rupert Murdoch at the helm, who has an agenda of his own...
Mar 19th, 2002, 03:05 PM
Re: Margaret Thatcher on Europe.
For me that was sad on 2 fronts
i) That The Times would deem this newsworthy and splash it all over their paper today.
ii) I don't understand what she's saying, it has no relevance to 2002. It's very sad, speaking as someone who has a lot of admiration for MT.
Mar 19th, 2002, 05:33 PM
The iron lady is getting too old I think, GB can't go from EU why? Becaus ea lot of the national powers are already transfered
Anyway why the hell should be english the official language???
German or French are spoken by more people in Europe than english
Mar 19th, 2002, 08:01 PM
English may not be the most spoken mother tongue in Europe it definitely is the most spoken second language in the union.
Mar 19th, 2002, 08:10 PM
I think it's awful that english is becoming a dominant language because english is such a dry language french and spanish are much more vivid. I don't think spanish will become the dominant language in the U.S. if mexico can get it's act straight it's gotten very close before i think it can have a boom similar to irelands. I f this happens then immigration will stop. Really if spanish will become the main language in the us it depends if how things in latin america go. In europe I can't speak but I don't know i think it's bad that some people will loose thier culture and their language over a stupid thing like what is trying to be american.
It saddens me to see aa loss of culture. I have actually tried to come in contact with mine recently. Europeans please DON'T LOOSE YOUR LANGUAGE AND TRADITION AND MOVIES AND LITERATURE THEY ARE MUCH MORE SUPERIOR . just my thoughts
Mar 20th, 2002, 12:44 AM
I do think that English will continue to be the most broadly spoken language on the planet. I also believe that as more people begin to enjoy and appreciate the efficiency of having a single language, English will capture an even larger share of tongues.
I disagree that English is a dry language. It is one of the richest languages out there. While languages such as French and Spanish may sound nice, English contains at least twice as many words--which enables English speakers to sometimes make finer distinctions in speech, and heightens the need for us to understand the precise meaning of our words.
Also, English is one of the most accepting of the languages in that we don't mind integrating words from other languages into our own (compare French). We have all bases covered.
I would like for the planet to achieve a universal tongue. And hopefully it can be done without a loss of culture in the process.
Mar 20th, 2002, 02:11 AM
Bright red if we're going to have a universal tongue we will have a loss of culture because Language is culture. I can't believe you all find 1 tongue appealing . I find it appaling what is the point then a lot of great literature has been written in other languages and some things you say in one language can't really be said in another for example in spanish I can say te amo and te quiero but yet they mean two different things but yet they still mean I love you. English is a good language for yelling at people I will give you that but why would anyone want this Why why why what are you all crazy? I'm so serious why why why? I'm fixing to cry because the idea sounds so absurd and stupid.
Mar 20th, 2002, 02:24 AM
Because it would bring people closer together?
Te quiero is a lusty love. Te amo is romantic. They're different. The same distinctions can be made in english.
Just because one language becomes universally spoken doesn't mean we lose our culture. You seem very Republican.
Concerning the EU, NAFTA, and England. I would actually like for the United States and Canada to join the EU. It would bring us one step closer to world peace.
Mar 20th, 2002, 02:38 AM
What needs to be done to achieve World Peace is for everyone to put their selfish needs away that is what's need for world peace you saying canada and the US should join the EU is like saying I'm moving in with my best friend although we're like brothers it's a nice thought but you don't really accomplish anything. Anyway back to the language thing it will be very difficult to achieve this and Scotso te quiero is not a lusty love because people tell me this all the time and I assure you it's not lust. I do think that maybe a reduction of languages will happen maybe to 20 main languages in the world
Mandarin,Japanese,Russian,French, German,English,Spanish,Portugese, Arabic
Italian,Bengali,Hindi,Swahili , hebrew and a few others
There are too many people who are redicovering their culture and a lot of eastern europeans have just recently rediscovered their language after several years of oppression so I mean I don't know all I want is to be diversityand love .
Mar 20th, 2002, 03:57 AM
I don't think having a universal tongue is absurd. There are huge benefits. But I agree with you that language is an important part of culture, and I honestly don't know whether a culture can withstand the loss of its language altogether.
Regardless of how anyone of us feels about it, chances are that English has gained sufficient momentum to eventually cover the globe. However, chances are also that those cultures that happen to pick up English (my native language) will also keep their own or at worst subordinate it to English.
Mar 20th, 2002, 09:25 AM
I agree with selesfan1 on this. Though I wouldn't mind English (or another language for that matter) becoming th esecond language of everyone, I shiver by the thought of English becoming the mother tongue of everyone on this planet. Language is one of the most important components of culture and the disappearance of a language would eventually lead to the disappearance of that particular culture.
I don't agree that it would bring people closer together. Bringing people together implies that you work together while respecting everyone's differences. Imposing one language to everyone would lead to conflicts because people will feel threatened.
Mar 20th, 2002, 12:47 PM
Josh, we're not suggesting that one language replace all the others... only that it would be nice if everyone on the planet could converse in a given language... not that they had to solely speak it.
Mar 20th, 2002, 12:55 PM
Well at this time I think that English allows you to converse with the majority of the people on this planet so that's not a bad thing if that could be increased even more.
However I did get the impression from Bright Red's post (sorry if I misunderstood) that he was talking about English eventually replacing other languages. Maybe he could elaborate a bit more on his thoughts? :)
Mar 20th, 2002, 04:56 PM
I didn't mean to suggest that it would be better if English were to replace other languages altogether. In fact, I really don't think that would ever happen given the volumes of song, literature and other works in those languages.
Therefore, Scotso correctly stated what I meant. That being that a single language exist through which everyone one on the planet could communicate. Hence, English would be picked up as an additional language, and at worst, would dominate the new culture with the original language being subordinate. However, I think that the adopting culture would invariably risk losing part of itself if English were adopted. An indication of this would be the gap between young Mexican-Americans, Asian-Americans, etc. and their parents. However, the adopting culture also gains part of the English-speaking culture.
I do agree with Scotso that language does bring people closer together. When I was in Germany, I quickly sought out anyone who happened to speak English. We introduced ourselves and learned about each other, and had a great time. I felt an immediate bond with them and I still correspond with some of them to this day. That experience teaches me that the key to successfully transitioning from one language to the next is that we don't lose the important things during the translation process of both language and culture, and it will require a great deal of respect and open-mindedness from both sides.
Mar 20th, 2002, 06:02 PM
Well I still disagree with you. I think it's unacceptable that a culture would disappear or become subordinate.
If you go to a foreign country and want to learn about eachother you should try to bond with the locals and even if you don't speak the same language there are still other ways to understand eachother. Diversity is what makes this word interesting. I don't wanna live in a world were there would be only one culture/language.
Mar 20th, 2002, 07:21 PM
I think it's great for people to know a different but we should say if i am going to france I should speak French or If I 'm in Germany i will speak German. although it's a difficult call in the US because there are sooo many spanish speakers.
Mar 20th, 2002, 08:03 PM
Josh, I don't want that either, not at all. I want cultures to stay the same.
You speak English, but you're still Belgian(?). You still are a part of that culture. The fact that you know English doesn't change that.
Mar 20th, 2002, 08:51 PM
I'm not saying that the culture would be subordinate, I'm saying that the language would be subordinate.
I don't want any loss of culture (see my original post in this thread). So we aren't disagreeing on that point. I disagree that wanting a universal language is absurd. I still hold to that, and I would like to achieve that.
Mar 20th, 2002, 10:29 PM
I'm with you, Mr. Red! :) hehe.
Mar 20th, 2002, 11:13 PM
But there's a big difference between knowing a foreign language (English in casu) and letting your own language become subordinate. To me, language and culture are tied and cannot be disconnected. If the language becomes subordinate, so will the culture.
I'm not against the fact that people everywhere are taught the same second language cause that will certainly make international exchanges easier but if it would lead to the disappearance or the subordinance of other languages/cultures, then I think it's not worth it.
Mar 20th, 2002, 11:18 PM
Josh, you make great points.
One of your points that rings true is that it's possible to understand people even if you don't speak their language. It's a fine notion indeed, but the reality is that it's unlikely such an effort would be made.
Personally, I don't know a single person who doesn't speak English (that's because I only know English). I realize that you speak multiple languages, but how many people do you know at a personal level, and with whom you can't converse because you don't share a language?
Mar 20th, 2002, 11:36 PM
All the people I know speak either Dutch, French, English or German or more than one of those. So yeah, I haven't met anyone yet with whom it was impossible for me to converse.
But maybe Englishspeakers could also do more efforts to speak other languages. I know it's difficult because I've often heard stories about Brits or Americans who came to Europe and complain about the fact that everyone immediately starts talking in English to them even if they try to speak some of the local language lol.
I've read an interview a while ago with a Lebanese philosopher who now lives in France and he said : Everyone should at least master three different languages, his mother tongue, the second language taught at school and a third language of his choice. I think that's a great idea.
Mar 20th, 2002, 11:39 PM
I agree;) .
Mar 20th, 2002, 11:44 PM
I agree also.
It's not my generation's fault really. No one bothered to try to teach us languages at a young age like in Europe. The leaders of our country are conservative and pro-US anti-aliens most of the time. If kids were taught a language from the age of 5 up we would be as multilingual as any peoples. We're not really stupid or anything, it's just we're not emersed in it. I didn't have the option of taking a foreign language until high school, and then my teacher was an idiot and a prick. So, I can speak/understand limited Spanish. If I had been brought up in a school system that forced me to take Spanish from day one, I'm sure I'd speak it pretty fluently.
Mar 21st, 2002, 02:45 AM
The way the society is in the US people will continue to get away without learning a second/third language. For example in my French three class there are people who are only there because to graduate you must have two years of foreign language but they don't want to be there and no tto sound mean or anything it is the people who aren't doing well in that class. I think there will always be people who don't speak a second language. I winder if the United Nations were not in The US and lets say Belgium because it seems that' where everything else is would people try to learn dutch or french? I really don't think that our society is fair to other countries because we have forced them to soak all our stuff up. I was rerading a book and I heard that there was a " secret war" between the Brasilian and Russian cultures to take over dominating world trends and that U.S. influence would not go away but take a second seat to one of these two wouldn't it be great if we all learned portugese? :) . Eventually all trends will come to an end so I mean it was French for a while and then Spanish and the english because England ruled most of the world for a looooooooooong time . So Let's think which culture country do you think will Come in style next? I want to say Southeast Asia and/or Latin America . I recently saw a report and French investors were in Vietnam making deals with Local designers to import ao dai's to France and if you notice there is a trend of asian things in clothes half the stuff I own has dragons or asian writing on it. Then again you see a resurgence in Spanish speaking films I have noticed over the last few years more Spanish speaking films being nominated for Oscars. Also It was reported that mexican Singer Paulina Rubio was the person with Most Magazine covers in France and Spain surpassin La oreja de Van Gogh and Jennifer Lopez. so what do you all think
Mar 21st, 2002, 03:57 AM
Originally posted by selesfan1
... [e]ventually all trends will come to an end so I mean it was French for a while and then Spanish and the english because England ruled most of the world for a looooooooooong time . So Let's think which culture country do you think will Come in style next?...
I enjoy reading your posts. And I totally see where you're coming from as you describe the Americans in your French class.
But to answer the question you posed above. I quite frankly believe that English is now so large that it's unstoppable. It's not so much that there are more people who speak it as a first language (both Chinese and Spanish have more speakers as a first language). It's that there are more second and third, etc. language speakers and also that it already dominates business, law, knowledge management, international politics, etc...you name it. It's not likely to lose its position any time soon. Also, about 1 billion (1,000,000,000) people are learning it.
There are only two things that I see as mentionable forces against this trend. The first would be the Internet--which I think accomodates all languages and can connect people regardless of which language they speak. I would bet that other languages are thriving on it. The second force would be the pressure of local communities and regions to customize the English to their own tastes and thereby create a dialect of English that's understandable only to themselves. That's probably the biggest threat because if English gets too big, who's to say which version's correct?
Mar 21st, 2002, 06:55 AM
I LIVED FOR ALMOST 6 MONTHS IN L.A-. AND MOST THE TIME I ONLY HEARD SPANISH, I BEEN TOO IN CHICAGO, TEXAS , ARIZONA, LAS VEGAS, AND IS PRETTY SIMILAR. THE SPANISH IS GROWING AND GROWING. I DONT KNOW WHEN EXACTLY COULD BE HAPPEN THAT BUT CERTAINLY ARE TWO BIG REASON FOR THE RISE OF A LANGUAGE:
1 IS THE ECONOMICAL POWER AND 2 THE SPREAD OF THE LANGUAGE AND THE NUMBER OF HIS SPEAKERS.
IN THE FIRST POINT THE ENGLISH IS SAFETY FOR A WHILE, IN THE SECOND IS LOSSING FASTLY THE FIGHT. IS NOT TOO WEIRD THAT THESIS, THE ENGLISH WILL BE REPLACED SOON OR LATER FOR ANOTHER LANGUAGE AS THE MOST IMPÓRTANT (AS LATIN OR FRENCH WERE REPLACED) THE QUESTION IS WHICH LANGUAGE WILL BE THE NEXT MAIN LANGUAGE....I BET SPANISH . CREO QUE SI, MAS NO SE CUANDO, PERO SUCEDERA
THE SPANISH IS NOT LIKE THE CHINESE, "A DOMESTIC LANGUAGE" IS THE FIRST LANGUAGE IN MORE THAN 20 COUNTRIES, AND IS THE SECOND LANGUAGE IN IMPORTANCE IN THE USA AND IN THE WORLD. RIGHT NOW IN THE SCHOOLS OF THE USA MORE AND MORE STUDENTS ARE LEARNING SPANISH AS HIS SECOND LANGUAGE AND I SEE EVERYDAY IN MY PLACE, THOUSANDS OF ENGLISH SPEAKERS WHO CAME TO MEXICO FOR TO LEARN SPANISH, THOUSANDS! AND IS NOT A JOKE IF YOU DONT KNOW SPANISH, IS A GOOD IDEA TO LEARN IT . LOOK AT MANY CULTURAL EXPRESSIONS: THE MUSIC, THE SPORTS (BASEBALLFOOTBALL, BOX, ETC.) THE ARTS, THE SPANISH NAMES ARE INCREASING A LOT, AND IS ONLY THE BEGGINING. OTHERWISE IS BETTER TO KNOW MORE THAN ONE LANGUAGE, THREE IS BETTER AND MORE THAN THREE EXCELENT
ABOUT THIS THERE IS A JOKE WHO WAS TOLD ME BY A FRIEND FROM THE USA "HOW DO YOU CALL THE PEOPLE WHO CAN SPEAK MORE THAN THREE LANGUAGES"- I SAID MULTILINGUAL- "CORRECT" "HOW DO YOU CALL THE PEOLPE WHO SPEAKS THREE LANGUAGES?" I SAID TRILINGUAL- "CORRECT" "TWO?" -I SAID BILINGUAL. "CORRECT" " AND ONLY ONE?" - MONOLINGUAL? "INCORRECT" THE CORRECT ANSWER IS 'GRINGO' (YANKEE)" WELL IS ONLY A JOKE PLEASE DONT GET OFENDED, BUT HAVE A LOT OF TRUE THIS JOKE