What Global Language? Questions
1. What evidence suggests that English has become the global language?
Pope speaks to international groups of Catholics in English. ASEAN uses English at its meetings. German researchers publish their research results in English. European Bank conducts business in English.
2. What evidence does she present to question the supremacy of English in the US?
Increase in % non-English speakers
1980-1990 = 50% increase in Spanish-speakers
1980-1990 = 98% increase in Chinese speakers
3. What two trends did Wallraff present as a paradox?
English-speakers’ experience of English becoming more simplified.
English as a whole becomes more complex.
4. What factors that will influence the future of diffusion of the English language?
Future political alliances
Rise of regional trading blocs
Non-English technological innovations
Backlash against USA
5. Compare the populations of native speakers of Chinese to native speakers of English.
3X as many native speakers of Chinese as native speakers of English. 2000: 1.3 billion native Chinese speakers
372 million native English speakers
6. What are projected to be the top five languages in 2050? How does that differ from the rankings at this web-site?
1. 1.120b Chinese 1.384b
2. 480m English 556m Hindi and Urdu
3. 332m Spanish 508m English
4. 235m Arabic 486m Spanish
5. 189m Bengali 482m Arabic
7. What demographic measures are expected to cause the ranking mentioned above? Differences in Rate of Natural Increase.
8. Who will account for most of the increase in the population future English-speakers? Most of the future increase in English will come from people learning English as a 2nd language
9. What will happen the portion of English-speakers who are native speakers of English? Decrease.
10. List 6 of the countries where English is spoken both as a native and as a 2nd language. Be sure that you know where they are on a world map. US, UK, Nigeria, India
11. What does Wallraff mean by “Several Languages Called English?”
Wallraff points out that the population of native-English speakers is less than people who speak English as their 2nd language. People who speak English as a 2nd language speak a diverse mix of native languages from around the world and often introduce new words into English. Because of this she predicts that new and varied versions of English are emerging.
12. What evidence does Wallraff present to suggest that the Internet will not lead large populations to abandon their native languages in favor of English? Fastest growing group of Internet users are non-English speakers.
13. Why might English become more simplified as it becomes more global? “The more we need to see English to communicate with machines—or with people whose fluency is limited or whose understanding of English does not coincide with ours—the more simplified the language will need to be.”
14. Summarize Wallraff’s conclusions
Globalization of English will provide only basic world-wide communication in the English language. For effective communication Americans should become bilingual. She also stresses early education for US citizens in foreign languages so that our citizens can operate effectively in an increasingly globalized world.