25 January 2009

Globish ~ French Defeated by Simple English;-)

The BBC's Hugh Schofield reports that New lingua franca upsets French...
"That the French resent the global supremacy of the English language is nothing new, but [...] a newly evolved business-speak version is taking over. [Already] French executives draft reports, send e-mails, converse with their international colleagues -- and increasingly even amongst themselves -- in English. It is of course a kind of bastardised, runty form of business-speak full of words like "drivers" and "deliverables" and "outcomes" to be "valorised", but is nonetheless quite definitely not French. [One day, French author-observer Jean-Paul Nerriere] noticed that he and the other non-native English speakers were communicating in a form of English that was completely comprehensible to them, but which left the Englishman nonplussed [...] a new form of English is developing around the world, used by people for whom it is their second language. It may not be the most beautiful of tongues, but in this day and age he says it is indispensible. He calls the language Globish and urges everyone -- above all the French -- to learn it tout de suite."
Even an entire country, Rwanda, has joined the movement, tossing the French language into the dustbin of history in exchange for the far more global and useful English. De Gaulle and Napoleon are no doubt flipping in their graves;-) See here the creator...

3 comments:

Brian Barker said...

I live in London and if anyone says to me “everyone speaks English” my answer is “Listen and look around you”. If people in London do not speak English then the whole question of a global language is completely open.

The promulgation of English as the world’s “lingua franca” is unethical and linguistically undemocratic. I say this as a native English speaker!

Unethical because communication should be for all and not only for an educational or political elite. That is how English is used internationally at the moment.

Undemocratic because minority languages are under attack worldwide due to the encroachment of majority ethnic languages. Even Mandarin Chinese is attempting to dominate as well. The long-term solution must be found and a non-national language, which places all ethnic languages on an equal footing is long overdue.

An interesting video can be seen at http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=_YHALnLV9XU Professor Piron was a former translator with the United Nations

A glimpse of Esperanto can be seen at http://www.lernu.net

Joost Bonsen said...

I'm tri-multaneously (1) amused by the humor of bursting the French ego-linguistic bubble, (2) appreciative of the beauty of polylingual societies (and individuals), and (3) wondering somewhat seriously: if all languages are equally good, why not settle on one emergent superlingo and move on?

david said...

You can read a couple of chapters of the real thing -- IN Globish -- in the new book Globish The World Over now at Globish.com or read reviews at Eyrolles