As countries communicating more and more today and without any doubt to be a larger extent in the future, people often predicate that if the world developed to be united enough and then all people will speak the same language for daily communication. Is it realistic? How long will it take to fulfill such a dream? English, as the acknowledged official language for international communication, has been accepted by more and more people over the world since it can bring benefit for almost all who can speak it. Many countries also make policies to train the young people to become good English speakers. Can English become the only one language in the future and other languages will be eradicated? This essay will give analysis from some perspectives. The essay will start with discussing about what will happen if the prediction of eradication of variation of existing languages came true. In this part, it will also introduce the history of Esperanto which is acknowledged as world language by most people. Following this, it will introduce what are languages related to mainly in five perspectives which are history, culture, social status, profession and worldview. Finally, the essay will focus on whether English has the possibility to become the only one language in the future.
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It would be Perfect if Variation of Existing Languages could be Eradicated
It is true that the world will be operated more harmoniously if all people speak the same language. Generally speaking, as the most important tools for communication among people, language is also considered as the first factor differing human from animals (Lonely Publications, 2007). It is developed as society occurred and developed. People who often speak the same dialect in the same nation can live together with less confliction. Due to the good communication, a nation can bind together as time goes. Finally, the nation become an integrate body, by which the human race developed more and more rapidly and leave the animals behind far away. Therefore, it can be concluded that language homogeneity promote the group developing more. However, language homogeneity does not exist among the whole word due to the long time of separation of people from different continents. As some nations have the ability to travel across seas and reach other continents, communication become source of there divisions. Wars then become the consequences of this misunderstanding of languages. To some extent, it is true that language is the divisive force for different groups and areas (Crystal, 2001).
In fact, some elites of the old years have given serious thought about whether it was possible for people from different countries and nations can solve the conflicts through promoting implementation of the same language across the world. Hundreds of years before, they started to dream that there was a kind of language which can be called “world language” could be produced to make the world get united in short time. Actually, in the human history, “world language” did have been created. Esperanto, a language invented by an eye doctor named Lazaro Ludoviko has been acknowledged as the world language by people. Although after creation of the language more than 50 thousands of works have been published in Esperanto, it finally did not avoid being eliminated by the time (Polinsky & Comrie & Matthews, 2003). As an ideal trial, the invention of Esperanto reflected the dream that people want to create a completely impartial language to benefit the world. It was failed due to lack of root in any nations’ economic and cultural life. The consequence also proved that language had to set root on the nation’s history and experience.
Impossibility of Eradication of Languages
Although it can be seen that language homogeneity can produce much benefit for the human race politically and economically, it is impossible for the entire world speak the same language in the foreseeable future. People once predicted that when the world’s economic system come to stable enough and people really believed that only one language is superior to language varieties for their life, the nation and languages differences will go to elimination and will be taken place by language homogeneity (O’Neill, 2008). However, how long will this consciousness come to be true in the future? It is obviously that at least in the next 100 years this will not be reached by the human race. Actually, formulation of languages is more complex than people thought. It is at least being affected by the following five factors:
Firstly, Language development is an outcome resulted by long history to become the current mature communicative system. From the ancient times, as people invented their native language, it has been continuously improved to be more effective for communication (Putz, Martin & Marjolyn, 2000). It can be seen that after being developed through thousands of years modern people can hardly recognize their native language’s ancient edition. If they check back their ancient language, they would find it was not so easy to express precisely what they want. For instance, Chinese people have to spend large amount of time to learn the old language since most of their characters have already change their original meanings. Actually, all languages have taken a long period of time to evolve to the current forms, which will be difficult for a new language to achieve in short time. If a world language has been created now, can people have the patience to use it with a lot of confusions? The answer is obvious. The world would be impossible have such far-sight to benefit their offspring to enjoy the language homogeneity. To some extent, language is spontaneous and can not be created on purpose. An existing language has been tested by its speakers through long period of time. It is naturally produced to meet needs for communication and developed also to meet need for better communication. English is now being learned by people from all over the world and have been impulsively promoted by authorities from many governments for nearly 100 years. Nevertheless it is still not mastered by most people from the countries learning it. A hundred-year time actually is very short for language development process. Therefore, the unification of language is hardly to achieve in one or two generations.
Secondly, language is produced due to the need of communication but has developed to a more complex product which is also reflecting the culture of a nation, which also enhances difficulty of people from one nation quitting their current language (Botha &. C. Knight, 2009). In other words, language is a kind of art and has been merged into many national feelings. For some people, their native language is not just for communication since they can also enjoy a lot more from appreciating it (Gordon, 005). Many people would have the experience of reading translated article from foreign great writers. Nevertheless it is always difficult to understand the original meaning of the author although the article is translated by the best linguists or translators. English learners usually find it is finally losing the beauty of the original works when reading it in their native language edition. And further, some works is classical not just due to its meaning but also attribute to its rhyme. This will make it impossible to reaching the feeling when it has been translated to other languages. And also, many people are pursuing in other jobs relating to languages such as Chinese calligraphy. A language has evolved to an art which is mainly emphasizing on its look and image. Therefore, the eradication of one language will not just force people dropping their familiar communicative tools but also will ask them to drop a long history of art which may be considered as their national treasure.
Thirdly, social status of speakers of one language affects significantly whether it can develop into prosperity or go to extinction. There are thousands of sorts of languages ever being created and spoken by people all over the word in the history. But 90% of the languages can not avoid going to extinction and being forgotten forever by their native speakers, which was caused by the lower social class of the speakers (Skutnabb-Kangas, 2000). It is true that languages also have their social status as their speakers and they have been undergoing fierce competition from the time when created. From some examples this phenomenon can be explained in details. Why English gets some much attention all over the world today? Why many countries choose English as their second language. Its speakers’ social status may matter a lot to give the reason. After entering the 20th century, English speaking countries has developed to be the most powerful and wealthy areas, which means their dominance in economical and political fields in the international interaction. If the word is perceived as a society, Americans and west Europeans are in the upper class without any doubt. Then English established its advantage in the competition process and now develop to be a language spoken by more than 2 billion speakers. From the example it can be seen that the power of a language is in deep relation to its speakers. Therefore, for a new created world language, its fate of development to some extent decided by whether the upper class have the interest to speak it. If it just can be promoted in a small group of people in lower social class, soon or later it will suffer from the result of those extinctive languages. In the foreseeable future, English is still the first consideration for most countries to communicate in international issues. If word language can come along, it is only can be English for its social status.
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Fourthly, language difference exists also connecting with the speaker’s profession. People can always guess what the person’s job just through the way of his talk. Politician will always give speech agitatively while scientists speak in a way hard to understand but precise. University students will always talk their slang from which their status can be easy to tell. In addition to their talking style, profession vocabulary is also a decisive factor for language difference. For a non-native speaker, it is almost impossible for him or her to recognize the professional but important words. Therefore, as a mature developed language, it not just contains the daily communication and large amount of professional vocabulary should also be included to fulfill the professional need. Does it possible for a new language to get the complexity in short time? A world language as a good will to the world development may have difficultly to fulfill this requirement unless experiencing long history of evolution. The existence of this problem would lead to it is only possible to choose one widely used language to be the world language in the future. English may be the first consideration while there are also other possibilities such as French and Chinese and other languages that have developed to be a well round system.
Fifthly, as a complex system, language is also a reflection of the speakers’ worldview. There are some explanations about what worldview is. The most direct one is that worldview is the overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world (Geoffrey, 2002). It has been proved that different nations have different worldview and people are taking a totally different perspective on those basic ontological issues from that in other nations. For some nations, their religious belief which differs from others can be reflected in their own language. But in another language, it may be difficult to find out vocabulary or expression to interpret their religious thought or behavior. However, religious beliefs for all nations are always the very important consideration for them to merge. For some people, religious belief is their motivation to be alive and if they can not find their religious belief in language change things will get seriously. Religious conflicts have led to a lot of wars to world and this may happen when the languages of the word are forced to be get unified. Therefore, worldview of speakers of different language may be also a disturbing parameter to hinder they merge into each other.
Possibility of English Developing into the only one Language of World
When the world rolled into the 20th century, English speaking countries established their advantages in political and economical and cultural fields. In the 20th century, countries of the world went to together rapidly due to some transnational events such as the two world wars and communication in scientific and cultural and academic arrears. America became the dominant country of the word and has input much into other areas including technology and culture. Added to English basis left in the colonial countries across the world, English then has been chosen to be the most popular language for many countries (Mithen, 2005). In the 21st century, as globalization continues to evolve into deeper extent, the need of one international language would be more necessary for all the countries and it can be seen that English will continually take this important role. However, can the English become the first language for all the countries in the foreseeable future if it is developing as fast as countries go to together? The answer is no. To some extent, English is the world language for transnational issues when people from different countries have to communicate for benefit. But no matter how English will be popular, it is still the first choice for non English speaking countries to communicate internationally, not the native language for their daily communication at family or at parties with local friends. As what has been said above, language is related to history, culture, social status, profession and worldview of the speakers. To accept English as the daily language and eradicate their current one, it is still far away from the communication just in official occasions. From the history it can be seen that only colonialism can input language into another countries and force them to forget their original language with high speed. But it will always bring tragic loss for the human race in many other areas. Therefore, English may still be the most popular language of the world in the next centuries but will have no way to become the only one among the countries in the world.
In conclusion, the formulation of a language is more complex than people think. It is at least related to five aspects as the essay has discussed, which make it impossible for a new created language to reach the conditions. To become a language accepted and implemented broadly by people across world, the language should experienced long history of evolution to have the cultural basis. And also, it should be accepted by people from the main stream and from various religious groups. In addition, the new language would be possible contain vocabulary in many professional fields. Most of these features of language have to develop through thousands of years of implementation by people who take it. If possible, English may become the only one langue spoken by people all over the word in the future nevertheless it would be unable to realize in the next centuries. Therefore, it is impossible in the foreseeable future that variation within existing languages can be eradicated.
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