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I see many people on this site working really hard to improve their English, that I wonder how people feel about having to learn it. In some ways it is an amazing thing, that there is one common language for everyone to communicate with, but in other ways it makes me feel sad. There are so many people with their own rich cultural and literary traditions and English has been forced on them. There is even a top Italian university that has switched entirely to English. Do you ever feel that the widespread use of English affects your ability in your native language? Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings.
I like English and I like my native language( Arabic) and I do not worry about Arabic language. Now Arabic is the five language in the world and I feel surprised because I see many many people here try to learn Arabic. Also, I like French and I dream to master it some day. Finally, I speak Arabic and English and I try to learn French.
Until we have a universal translator like Star Trek, a globally dominant language (or at least a lingua franca, which I imagine to be Chinglish) is an awfully nice thing to have for international education, vacation, and business.
Never! Well, I almost use English at my work. One can't deny the fact that it is the language of business, science, news..etc. Here, if you want to get a good job, you need to speak and write good English. However, I speak pure Arabic with my friends and family and I still can express myself better in my mother tongue. I still believe that poetry and different arts are more beautiful and astonishing in my native language because I can understand them deeply and I can figure out the beauty and power beyond their words. That's why I never appreciated the translation of any artistic work. Reading the work in its original language is sweeter and tastefully stronger. For me, English is a way to communicate with the wider world and I think it is amazingly beautiful but Arabic is another story.
It is true that when someone is trying to learn a new language, he/she must be careful not to let his native language get in the way. If one is not making an effort in keeping his native language at bay, his English might grow into Chinglish. So I normally silence/turn off the Mandarin part of my brain whenever I use English. But the question is, if I keep exercising this English part of my brain, would it inhibit the growth of my native language?
It is hard to say whether my Mandarin would be more advanced if I weren’t spending so much time learning English. Many people I know who don’t learn a second language haven’t been using their spare time to enrich their Mandarin either (by that I mean reading books with substance and with no pictures in them).
What would be a more efficient way for people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds to communicate with one another? To do that, they need a common tool. I am a proponent of teaching Math, Sciences, and Engineering in English at least in higher education because one day they can contribute their work to the global scientific community and get the benefit from it. (Just imagine when a national resource pool expands to a global one).
People used to say commercial jet planes made the world smaller. I would say internet and English have brought us humans closer together spiritually if not physically. With linguistic boundaries out of the picture, I realize that people are not as strange and abnormal as I used to imagine. English also offers a viewpoint for me to re-examine and self-reflect on my own language its cultural heritage. This would be hard if I only knew Mandarin.
With China continuing to grow into a, if not the, economic powerhouse I will probably have to learn Chinese some day. Hopefully No agenda will help me then :)
Your remarks as published, contain no evidences indicating that English is "forced" upon people.
There are no evidences showing that persons "have to" learn English.
You do have some general assertions that are unsubstantiated, and will watch to see if you can substantiate what you write with facts.
It is inevitable that some culture will vanish in the process of globalization . Before the smart instant translator developed well , hard to see the current trend of shifting toward English learning. I believe the smart translator will be invented and cultivated before long in the future years .It is a pity that some of culture would face extinction . You may see several main languages in the world are swallowing other weak languages and cultures .
Cheaper labor and resources are what made China an economic powerhouse. China has been getting richer so fast that they have other side effects to deal with such as inflation, corruption, real estate bubbles, and unequal distribution of wealth amongst its people. Some have noticed that the economic growth has been slowing down and some say there is a major economic crash on the horizon. If Chinese wants to continue being prosperous, they need to reform. There should be more transparency and accountability in the government. Chinese should no longer define themselves as cheap labors or subordinates who can only faithfully carry out instructions without questions. They need to encourage kids to ask why, they educate children to be open-minded and capable of critical thinking so that they can become creative thinkers who will one day solve the problems that challenge the nation. Can China pull this off? I’ll be happy to help you with Chinese when that happens.
No at all. I still maintain and have a very firm grasp of my native tongue. English is widespread and widely spoken in many countries, but not in Indonesia. We do not speak English at all; I mean in daily conversation. In work environment, eventhough some bona fide companies in Indonesia require the applicants to be able to understand English; but the fact that it is not much practised, mostly they only use written English for the correspondence activities, except for the particular positions or for those who work in international business or travel industry (the vocational English is required to hold down their job).
English is not essential to daily life in Indonesian, thus it is not practiced on a regular basis. To get in touch with the locals and culture, the foreigners had better to understand some basic indonesian phrases.
I'm not convinced that English is "dominant". It is fairly widespread, but certainly not universal. Anyone who has ever travelled will tell you that not everyone understands or speaks English.