English as a universal language

I think that Torikai Kumiko’s opinion is worth considering.

POINT OF VIEW/ Kumiko Torikai: Japan needs new paradigm of English education
BY MASAAKI TONEDACHI SENIOR STAFF WRITER
http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201101210361.html
http://bit.ly/gZSDIH

This article is disgusting and made me feel a little “dirty” of these people’s views. I’m 100% sure that the Chinese in their global domination will apply strict “policy” on the usage of Mandarin by foreigners. I cannot visual a world of people speaking their own mandarin version.

Is it actually true that someone could possibly read and write English (well) and not speak it? From my observation of witnessing Asians who claim that they can read and write and not speak is that they ONLY manage to read and write because they use a dictionary and you cannot do this when speaking.

My prediction of the future of English: In 100 years English of Asia or whatever random country is going to change into a Créole and end up being like PNG pigeon English. Then as countries develop to communicate to their neighbours who also are speaking a weird Créole of English, 2 different Pigeon Créole English speaking countries will mangle even more and end up speaking a further bastardised version of Créole and then speak a totally different language all together.

"Q: Are Americans and British to be the ultimate judges of what can be considered acceptable English and what cannot? "

I don’t like what the person said for this question “NO”. Of course a native English speaker should judge the acceptance criteria. Being able to simply “understand” doesn’t make it acceptable or comfortable to communicate. I’ve had headaches speaking English to Koreans and Japanese. It’s not that I couldn’t understand, it was more that my brain had to work much harder to comprehend.

This talk of universal language and simply being able to be made understood is just a load of bollocks. I hate reading ugly English in the same manner that a French person would hate to read my ugly French. It doesn’t look good, it confuses you and it causes one to feel uncomfortable.

"Japanese can speak English like typical Japanese, and Chinese can speak their version of English, and they can still communicate with each other so long as both parties stick to the basics or “core” of what is English as a universal language. This is how it should be.

Exactly makes my prediction even more plausible. Everyone is speaking “basic” English, they don’t sound professional, they don’t sound elegant, nor do they sound comfortable. If we all spoke our “basic” version of English, it will end up being a créole and simply be ugly. Basic in anything (sorry to offend anyone) doesn’t cut it in a professional work environment. How can you possibly communicate derivatives and put options in “simple” own-Version English.

** No offense to anyone here, I’m a strong believer of frameworks. It’s like we code a website in HTML using a framework and structured syntax. We don’t create websites in our own versions of scribble hoping you can make sense of what I’m yapping on about.

As Latin began to replace Greek as the lingua franca it, too, became bowdlerised. The form of Latin that was taught and spoken in the Middle Ages had little to do with the classical language.

As to “can anyone really not speak …?”. Yes, that’s quite possible. I used to be a case in point (although I could manage a few hesitant touristy-type words). There were plenty of academics in the early part of the last century who never had to speak English, all they were interested in is to understand the research in their field.

Here is an article, which could aid the discussion (I picked it up onTwitter):

The Guardian:The Language Wars The Language Wars by Henry Hitchings - review | Reference and languages books | The Guardian

I read the article SanneT mentioned. The following part was interesting.

“[C]oncerns about language are often, at a deeper level, symbolic expressions of anxiety about the larger social and moral order.”

“Ours not to reason why.”
This phrase is very interesting, but I don’t want to encounter a situation where we have to use the phrase. :wink:

"what is the ‘core’ English grammar and pronunciation that ought to be protected to keep the language’s integrity? Studies to determine the core are being done now, mainly in Europe. " http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201101210361.html

Is there anyone who knows of the studies mentioned in the above excerpt from the interview?

"There are about 400 million people whose native tongue is English. But English is also the official language of countries such as India and Singapore, and when you factor in the peoples of such countries, plus those who speak English as a foreign language, the total number of English speakers by far exceeds 1 billion around the world. " http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201101210361.html

If English is becoming a universal language for all the peoples of the world, it might be inevitable that the English language will fall into decline. If we want to keep the language’s integrity, “we” ought to protect “at least” the " ‘core’ English grammar and pronunciation."