Global English

English has emerged as a world language for extrinsic reasons, not for intrinsic reasons. Popular ideas that English is easy to learn – few inflections, absence of lexical tones, grammatical gender and honorifics – disregard the fact that English is other respects is quite difficult. Besides, languages which do not have these characterstics such as Latin and French have been international languages in their day. It is the extrinsic factors which count: political power, technological power, economic power, cultural power. The British Empire and the two world wars, the Industrial Revolution and the Communications Revolution, the newspapers and the news agencies, broadcasting, television, the cinema, the advertising industry, popular music, international travel and education are at stake, not word order or morphology. (Crystal, David: “A global language”, in: Seargeant, Philip & Swann, Joan (ed.): English in the World. History, Diversity, Change. Abingdon: Routledge, 2012: 156-64)

This entry was posted in Gesellschaft, Irrtümer, Sprache, Sprachwahl and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.