Does English risk being replaced?

Uvillo   Tue Nov 14, 2006 8:30 am GMT
Does English risk being replaced, in the foreseeable future if not in the near one? I mean its status as a tool for international communication across the globe.
If so, which language do u think is likely to challenge the dominant position of English in the world? Spanish, Chinese, French or any other language?
Cro Magnon   Tue Nov 14, 2006 2:05 pm GMT
I doubt it, at least not for a long time. The USA is still overwhelmingly dominant in international affairs, and even if that changes, it would take a long time for any other language to overtake English.
Hiis   Wed Nov 15, 2006 5:09 am GMT
Suppose US collapses for whatever reason, I suspect English will soon sink down as a common languaege, no different from French
&#32   Wed Nov 15, 2006 6:06 am GMT
I suspect Chinese will be the most important language by the midle or late part of the century.

Of course, long term forecasting of this type is iffy, at best.
User   Wed Nov 15, 2006 3:39 pm GMT
I suspect Chinese will be the most important language by the midle or late part of the century. <<

Yeah, but still only in China... So that won't make it overtake English at all. I can't imagine millions of Americans suddenly trying to learn Chinese, and even if they did, accent wise they would sound horrible--just image all the tones going away, etc. It seems like for a language to become dominant it needs to be important outside its native country as well, like English. I think that French and German are much more important internationally than Chinese is.
Guest   Thu Nov 16, 2006 1:24 am GMT
Viewed from a historical perspective, a language qualifying itself as an international lengua franca boils down to the emergence and existence of a superpower that has a dominating impact upon global affairs for a long enough period of time. If this stands, it can be safely said that the current status of English as a global lanugae is simply a transient thing in the historically-evolved international linguistic landscape of human beings. Who knows which language is going to be the next lengua franca of the 22th century, 23rd century...31st century?
Chinese and Spanish and Arabic are certainly among the few top hopefuls
Another Guest   Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:41 am GMT
The point is not how many people speak a certain language, the point is which foreign language most people choose to communicate. and here English is number one because its simple grammar. I once read that it had begun when Viking had invaded half of Britain. Old English was something like German - it also had genders, endings and cases. But when Vikings came, they and Anglo-Saxons had to communicate. Both spoke similar but different languges and by and by they simplified the old English to what we have now. So the modern English was originally designed for international communication. and it has not changed much since then. At least, for example, many foreigners understand unadopted Shakespeare while, say even many Spanyards have problems understanding Cervantes, the same with the Frenchmen and Rabelais.

Chinese is rather simple too but try learn their characters... Then using five letters to express two sounds will seem a kindergarten trick.
Guest   Thu Nov 16, 2006 1:34 pm GMT
Yet again we have someone, who has a long way to go before they have mastered English, telling everyone how simple it is
Cro Magnon   Thu Nov 16, 2006 2:32 pm GMT
Simple grammar has nothing to do with language dominance. Latin was once the #1 language, and its grammar was notoriously complex. The reason English is #1 is because it was spread through the world by the British when they were the strongest nation. It got another big boost when the computer revolution and worldwide aviation took off, when the USA was overwhemingly dominant. At this point, replacing English would be difficult, but it could happen if another nation became the major global power. Especially if there was a major communications breakthrough as there was with the internet, and that nation controlled it.
Damian in Edinburgh   Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:38 pm GMT
***......replacing English would be difficult, but it could happen if another nation became the major global power...***

Difficult but not fact, highly probable.......the "other nation" will undoubtedly be China......the Highly Likely Global Supremo by 2020/30/40......already there is a perceived...small but growing... upsurge in a desire to learn Mandarin in the United Kingdom......people with foresight. By 2050 maybe Chinese will replace Polish as the official Language of the UK. :-)
Saleh bin Tariq   Thu Nov 16, 2006 10:15 pm GMT
In 50 years all of you infidels will be speaking Arabic!

Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar min kulli shay!
slide sura   Fri Nov 17, 2006 12:23 am GMT
Let us and our grandchildren wait and see!
Another Guest   Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:32 am GMT
To Guest:

*** .....who has a long way to go before they have mastered English...***

Is it really English? I thought I had been writing in Swahili.

I do not mean that English is simple. I mean the other languages are more difficult for foreigners to learn.
Another Guest   Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:36 am GMT
To saleh bin tariq:

May be in 50 years we shall, may be we shan't. But now you go fuck yourself because your females are too ugly
Saleh bin Tariq   Sat Nov 18, 2006 4:09 am GMT
Females are the work of Allah and Allah does not make any thing in the universe ugly. But your Western females do the work of Shaitan by dressing in shamefull clothes that lead men from Allah. Shame on your females!