Inevitably, global language is associated to the globalisation, which is one of the factors and symbol for the themes that English language has become the dominate language in the world today. Through media you can see and hear a President, Politician, Celebrity, Musician from over the world represent English as the primary language. Wherever you go, there are many English signs and advertisement. In every hotel or restaurant in foreign city, they could understand English and there will be a menu in English.
There is kind of statement that seem obvious the spread of English. English is a global language, so they say.
But is it English is the language that everyone in the world speaks? This is surely not true. Is it every country recognizes English as their official language? This is not true as well. So what does it mean to say that a language is a global language? English seems cited to this connection. Once language becomes a global language, will it be last forever?
Those are the fascinating question that can be explored. As I have explained in my previous article that English is not the only language that has become a global language through the course of history.
In fact, the idea of a ‘global language’ is older than English.
The spread of English around the world could raise bumpy feelings. For example, if you are native speaker, you may feel pride, while also shaded with concern, when you realize that people in other countries may not use the language in the same way as you do.
On the other hand, if your English is your second language, you may have mixed feelings of about it, such as losing your own mother-tongue, even deeper in losing your identity. Consequently, the extinction of your own language and the loss of uniqueness cultural identities are inevitable.
- Is English a global language?
Today, the closest illustration in this case is English, which has special status in over seventy countries in the world. This fact is beyond the status achieved by any other languages, such as French, German, Spanish, Russian and Arabic that are among those that also have develop a considerable use.
Many would reasonably claim that, in the field of business, academics, science, computing, education, transportation, politics, and entertainment. English is already established as de facto ‘lingua franca’.
Historically, political supremacy and the desire for commercial, cultural and technological contact are the reasons for choosing particular language as a favored of foreign language.
In several centuries back, English had become the world’s leading industrial and trading. Their economy was the most productive and a fastest growing in the world. The British political imperialism had sent English around the world.
Furthermore, during the course of twentieth century the world presence was maintained and promoted almost single hand through economic and cultural supremacy in arts, film and television; business and finance, computing, information, technology and internet of the new American superpower. Therefore, economic replaced political as the chief driving force, and the language behind the US dollar is English and that continues to maintain until today.
Moreover, many great books, science, research, information, knowledge, tapes, computers, telecommunication system are all preserved in English.
The question is that, is everyone having access to English language and being able to learn it through the media, libraries, schools and education institution? Of course not all countries could have access to it.
Then, how about people who do not have access to learn English?
- Critical Age
It is still ambiguous that English emerge as a global language; however the spreading of English is truly remarkable. However, there still some way to go for English language becomes a universal reality. It has still a very limited presence in certain parts of the world. Many countries tend to preserved their cultural identity, and devoted the role of their language (e.g French, Arabic, Spanish etc). Notwithstanding, the general world trend, there are many linguistic confrontations still needs to be resolved.
- What about the future?
Although English currently appears to be in an unquestionable position today, the question is still remains. Will it be last?
In the middle ages, Latin seemed forever sets as the language of education and culture, as did French in eighteenth century. But circumstances change and there are several factors which might precipitate such change once again.
The USA, with its dominance in economic, technical and cultural terms, is the driving force behind English in the world today. However, if USA were losing its position of economic and technical domination; the language may well shift to the dominant power.
Currently, perhaps China is one of the possible candidates in terms of its economic domination, but it is not difficult to imagine circumstances in which it could happen.
instead, Arabic may be once again flourish in terms of its religion domination, and cultural tradition and the fact as the liturgical language of Al-Quran.
Or perhaps any other languages, that depends on who holds the power, influence and dominate the world.
Whether or not a global language is necessary in order to pursue order, peace and unity, and to make world a better place; language is one of the mediums on human connection, and so we must realize from the fact that human connection are deeper than words. Language is not the only thing that holds people together and connecting people from any other parts of the world. But language is one of the ways in achieving those connections and to make sense the world we live in. Therefore, the first revelation is to read.