Originally Posted By: BranShea
In that post five boxes up I should have said "lingua franca" in stead of "global language". I agree with you that it is very important to keep native languages alive. If only for the richness and fun of it. But English definitely was the easiest language to learn as a second language. (don't know how it is for Tamil speaking people)

Isn't it ironic that you had to use a French -- or is it Latin? -- term to describe what English has become? But, IMO, it was an excellent comment or observation because it reminds us that the "global language" does not necessarily remain such forever.

In the occident, Greek was the "lingua franca" during the time of the Roman Empire, followed by Latin, then French. Now, it is English. If the world-wide economic crisis instigates the rise of a new predominant world-leader, how long will English remain such? Should we be studying Chinese?

IMO, BTW, the change from Latin to French in the occident indicated a lessening of the influence of the church on the world and the rise of the state. French became the language of the courts and of diplomacy and thus became the "global language" of its day. The British Empire, World War I and World War II brought about the predominance of English.