New World Linguistic Order

Xie   Fri Oct 12, 2007 10:53 pm GMT
Is it possible that there would be "more" int'l languages, compared to the past? Now, there were Latin, French... (though still true among int'l org's) and there has been English. Do you think the popularity of English has already reached its peak? That may not represent English would "decline" (perhaps any time soon), but just that a couple of other languages mentioned here so far, like Spanish and Chinese, would be more used in contexts that make them "important".

Still, I understand that a lot of people (like the Chinese) in non-Anglophone countries wouldn't bother to learn non-English languages, and possibly, nor would a lot of them do speak English well. But as I see it, the other languages are more accessible now, i.e. easier to learn owing to various reasons and to their rising popularity.

... though I strongly believe that, at least in my place, learning a supposedly easy language as Spanish ("easy" for many of you here) is almost impossible without English, just because 1) many good books for it are in English only, 2) Spanish-speaking teachers don't normally know Chinese, but English only and 3) until I know Spanish very well, I must always resort to English when meeting any Spanish speakers.

So, I believe that, by the time language learning becomes at least technically easy (i.e. finding good books and plenty of internet resources, more than ever) and that not only English is used in int'l contexts. English is indeed a de facto official "written" language for all of PRC and Hong Kong, i.e. many can read English and wouldn't bother to learn others, but it's hard to count how many can speak English "well"
Businessman   Sun Oct 14, 2007 9:28 am GMT
You are right, but the situation is changing very fast. In Beijing there is a big Instituto Cervantes, and a lot of people there are studying Spanish. I think that you are from other city.

You need the raw materials of Latin America to become a big power, and you need to study this language. There are 3 big powerful countries at this moment: United States, European Union and China. In two of them, Spanish is spoken by some 100 million people (Hispanics in USA and Spaniards in European Union). You are the only one that do not speak this language.

Finally, Spanish is a business language not only in Latin America (Buenos Aires, Santiago, Caracas or Bogota) but too in Madrid, Mexico City, Miami, Los Angeles, or even in other European cities, where it is an useful language.

Chinese is another useful language. Almost all American, Japanese and European companies have branches in Asia. All of them, sell or buy products in this country. So, Chinese is becoming the new must learn language in this area.
Xie   Sun Oct 14, 2007 1:23 pm GMT
Please, no hard-selling of languages, including my native language. While business could (and actually is quite) be important, I don't see really see enough "valid" reasons here.
Guest   Sun Oct 14, 2007 2:43 pm GMT
Yeah that's you gotta do English first, Spanish second.
Guest   Sun Oct 14, 2007 2:45 pm GMT
Primero Ingles, despues Español, aunque me gustaria que fuese alreves.
Guest   Sun Oct 14, 2007 2:49 pm GMT
In 2050 there will remain two languages only : English and Spanish. The rest will fade out because of the globalization phenomenon.
Mallorquí.   Sun Oct 14, 2007 3:16 pm GMT
Guest(s), les derniers,

Ne faites jamais des prophéties, même des prévisions.

"In 2050 there will remain two languages only : English and Spanish. The rest will fade out because of the globalization phenomenon."

Je m'imagine que vous n'êtes pas européens et que, en plus, vous êtes très jeunes.

Despuis plus d'un siècle et demi on annonce la mort de telle ou telle langue. Maintenant vous prophétisez la mort de toutes moins deux. C'est tellement enfantin...

Eh bien, la tendance, dans pas mal de cas, est juste le contraire.

Sinon, en 2050 on en reparlera... puisque cette année-la nous serons tous vivants et très sains, sans Alzheimer ni aucune de ces saloperies, du moins une bonne partie des méditerranéens (by de way, j'ai une tante, très bien portante, qui a 101 ans, et elle n'est pas une exception. Il y a deux ans, à Minorque, la deuxième île des Baléares, est mort un monsieur qui en avait 113. Voyez le Guiness).

Prenez notre cas, pour ce qui est de la langue: il y a plus d'un siècle qu'on prophétise sa mort (c'est du moins ce qui nous souhaitent quelques'uns). Eh bien, jamais le catalan n'avait
été aussi vivace ni parlé par plus de gens.

Faîtes comme James Bond: ne dites jamais "plus jamais".
Mallorquí.   Sun Oct 14, 2007 4:02 pm GMT
Le gallois (cymraeg, welsh) est en train de regagner le terrain qu'il avait perdu devant l'anglais.

Despuis un siècle et demi, on annonce la fin du christianisme. Or, il se porte mieux que jamais et, contre una affirmation qu'on trouve sur Internet, est la religion à plus forte croissance et expansion dans tout le monde.

Faire des prophéties est une perte de temps et, presque toujours, on vous fait faire le ridicule.

Ne faîtes pas des prophéties, les mecs.
JoseMari   Sun Oct 14, 2007 7:39 pm GMT
Yes, i agree chinese is becoming an important language. But they are promoting the learning of languages too.
They have extended the tv spanish channel to 24 hours a day.
La introducción del canal CCTV-E
Bienvenidos al canal español de la television central de China:
They have done the same with the frenc tv channel. They have also scheduled to open new channels in other languages (german,etc) for 2010, but i think for them english(of course,there's a english tv channel from many years) ,spanish and french are the most important languages by the time being.
Guest   Sun Oct 14, 2007 7:54 pm GMT
The Chinese were always very receptive to Spanish language and culture. By the time Cervantes wrote his masterpiece, the Chinese Emperor was delighted by his work and invited him to China. The Hispanics and the Chinese are two important peoples and surely they will study each other's culture and maintain a friendly relationship for the years to come.
Guest   Sun Oct 14, 2007 9:04 pm GMT
je n'ai jamais choisi aucune langue pour la puissance économique d'un certain pays:
j'aime l'italien pour la beauté de la langue et la richesse artistique et culturelle italienne
J'aime le français pour la douceur de cette langue et la grande littérature française
j'aime l'allemand parce que c'est une langue loqique et l'allemagne a beaucoup donné au domaine de la philosophie et de la musique
J'aime le russe pour ses grands écrivains, pour la beauté de l'alphabet cyrillique et la richesse de cette grande langue slave
J'aime le portugais pour sa grammaire archaisante, pour ses voyelles nasales et la grandeur de certains de ses écrivains: Camoes, Saramago, Pessoa
J'aime l'espagnol pour la force et la virilité de cette langue, pour le son de certaines consonnes et la beauté de l'Espagne et de l'Amerique latine.
J'aime le hongrois, idiome tout à fait particulier, aux sons doux et esotiques et à la grammaire agglutinante et originelle
J'aime l'anglais parce qu'il faut parler avec tout le monde :-)
mac   Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:23 am GMT
Mallorquí, I don't speak French but I assume you are reacting to Guest's comment about other languages fading out. Don't bother taking such post seriously. Just ignore them.

JoseMari, good point about China. Although Chinese is becoming more important (not sure to what extent), their government is encouraging the learning of foreign languages. But then again, many countries are doing the same, especially with English. Regardless, I think that there will always be more English speaking Chinese people than Chinese speaking foreigners. I didn't know about the Spanish and French channels in China. That's pretty cool.
Guest   Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:19 am GMT
"In 2050 there will remain two languages only : English and Spanish. The rest will fade out because of the globalization phenomenon."

In 2050 English and French will reamin as the only true global languages and lingua franca. The strength of French does not lie only in countries where it is natively spoken but also in Africa where the number of native speakers is growing plus the more than 100 million people who speak it in the outer circle as a foreign language outside the inner and middle circle.

For those who insist that Spanish will displaced French all I can say is they're hallucinating. How comne Spanish be global when it's not even accepted by the Asians and Eastern European. Do they expect the Russians and other Eastern Europeans speak Spanish? No. Russian has a higer prestige than Spanish because of its strong presence in literatire, science and technology while Spanish presence in thoise fields are weak. Russians, Eastern Europeans, and Asians prefer English, then French, and German/Italian. Let Spanish be confined to Hispanic Amerrica and Spain.
Guest   Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:21 am GMT
Learn English and French first then Russian, Russian, and Italian because they posses knowledge that can be used to further the progress of your respective countries.
huesped   Mon Oct 15, 2007 8:06 am GMT
<< The strength of French does not lie only in countries where it is natively spoken but also in Africa where the number of native speakers is growing >>

Yeah, in some of the poorest, most underdeveloped countries on Earth. That doesn't say much. While still not the greatest, most Latin American countries are more developed. Although some are still behind and there is a problem with the class divide. But for the most part, they are better off than many African countries and will continue to progress.

Seriously, Africa doesn't do much to help the status of French. What does give French status is France (country and culture), it's presence in Europe and its popularity as a foreign language.

I really don't think that Spanish and French are going to displace each other ever. They will continue on as the 2 most popular romance languages. They both have there respective strongholds and are popular foreign lanuguages for students.