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#841 - 08/13/00 01:18 PM Re: Shakespeare's language
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10522
Loc: this too shall pass
considering who he was playing to, it was probably street talk and slang.



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#842 - 08/30/00 02:57 PM Re: English as a Global Language
apples + oranges Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/30/00
Posts: 46
Loc: Canada
English is my second language, while Polish is my first. But since I've lived in Canada almost half my life now, I've gotten used to speaking English and am more comfortable with using it rather than Polish. It's also interesting to see the surprise on my people's faces whenever I tell them that I didn't speak English at first.

I don't think that English will become a global language. The only reason it is rising in popularity is because of the numerous countries that use English as their main language, and the popularity of those countries around the world.


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#843 - 09/22/00 11:37 PM Re: English as a Global Language
metameta Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/20/00
Posts: 29
Loc: Sonoma County, California
"I don't think that English will become a global language. The only reason it is rising in popularity is because of the numerous countries that use English as their main language, and the popularity of those countries around the world."

But, apples + oranges, you see your argument carries the seeds of it's own destruction!
English will become the global language, but not the English of the English, nor the Dutch, nor the Egyptians nor the French, but I believe it is well on its way to becoming the lingua franca of the world, and in doing so will undergo many transformations.


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#844 - 10/03/00 10:24 PM Re: English as a Global Language
belMarduk Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/28/00
Posts: 2891
Hmmmm. All this global language talk reminds me of a language that was being touted as the language of the future in the 70's - Esperanto. Anybody heard of it? I know there is still a restaurant in my city that still bears this name but I do not know if anyone still speaks it.

I do think English is increasingly being accepted as a global language. As an example, Health Canada (akin to the American FDA) has recently introduced some rules about the listing of ingredients on medicinal products (phase one which is already being implemented) and health and beauty products (phase two being implemented over next three years). The ingredient listings are a mixture of Latin (for most chemicals) and English. This has been designed in conjunction with the European community and is considered an <international> description. Far be it from me to disagree with these learned men but I think it is piffle. It does not take into account non English-speaking communities - and who speaks Latin in thier day-to-day lives.


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#845 - 10/19/00 11:40 PM Re: English as a Global Language
antonio Offline
stranger

Registered: 10/15/00
Posts: 4
Loc: Castlegar, BC, Canada
emanuela,

Ho confuso i vocaboli. "Thread" vuol dire filo. Come il filo di tessuto che e' composto di particelle attorcigliate e intrecciate per poi formare una tela, cosi' le parole formano il filo del discorso e del dialogo che e' diverso socondo il soggetto e chi lo trama.

L'inglese sta' attraversando le stesse fasi del Latino; diventa "volgare" a seconda della nazione che lo parla. Sono appena tornato da Trinida e ti assicuro che quell'inglese parlato non ha tanto in comune con l'inglese parlato in Canada.


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#846 - 10/19/00 11:55 PM Re: English as a Global Language
antonio Offline
stranger

Registered: 10/15/00
Posts: 4
Loc: Castlegar, BC, Canada
Let me join the debate in favor of each keeping the language currently in use. Each writer, even English writers, use different vocabulary to express the unique personal view of the universe. How can we then conceive that the universe can be described in one language only. The native Canadian people of the North have some forty different words for what we call "snow". Each language has the power to describe life in a particular environment and the globe is environmental varied. English alone will never do to describe it all. Perhaps in the sterile field of commerce and business English, like Latin in its days, may become the 'lingua franca' (just to make the point) but for the rest of human communications, to each his/her own language.


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#847 - 10/21/00 09:25 AM Re: English as a Global Language
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10522
Loc: this too shall pass
antonio, you make some good points; but you'd do better by losing the '40 words for snow' example. it's an urban legend. I've seen the list and half the words relate to ice, and the rest can be attributed to a language that forsakes adjectives.

http://www.arctic.ca/LUS/Snow&Ice.html


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#848 - 10/23/00 09:34 AM Re: English as a Global Language
shanks Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 1004
Loc: London, UK
Thou speakest sooth, oh tsuwm.

I have jeard tell that, if we include phrases (as compound words), then English and Inuit have a comparably long list of words for water in the frozen state.

cheer

the sunshine warrior

ps. We must also somehow quash the base canard that some native American languages had no verb tenses, and their people, therefore, had no notion of time. Like the Margaret Mead issue, it was a result of an unnecessary leap taken by a researcher whose research was, in the first place, sketchy, to say the least. Stephen Pinker (The Language Instinct) is very good at puncturing such inflated apocrypha...


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#849 - 10/29/00 09:20 PM Re: English as a Global Language
VerboTex Offline
stranger

Registered: 10/29/00
Posts: 1
Loc: Chicago area
I was fortunate to spend 1997 in Québec City. I spoke no French when I arrived. I reminded me that in Texas the influx of Spanish speakers and their language now nearly precludes any attempt at "English as an Official Language" in the United States just as it can't be done in Canada. My fear is that the discrimination I felt as an English speaker in Québec is probably similar to that felt by Hispanic immigrants here.

Another, and possibly more important aspect of the spread of Spanish in North American (I include Toronto, at the very least) is that the language is changing rapidly as we adopt Spanish words into English at least as readily as our British ancestors did with French. This will inevitably widen the gaps between our language and that of our English-speaking counterparts in Europe, South Africa, and Australia/New Zealand.

As for Esperanto, I read recently that the language has a new generation of devotees who are again trying to get it adopted worldwide. Has anyone else seen such indication?


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#850 - 10/29/00 10:39 PM Re: English as a Global Language
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Whoa! VerboTex, have you submitted your e-mail address to Anu's address-of-the-month contest? It'd get my vote, and welcome to you.

I agree--Spanish is becoming more and more evident here.


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