What are the advantages and disadvantages of the spread of English as a global lingua franca?
Do you think the spread of English has been a force for good in the world?
I see only advantages on having English as a global lingua franca. Technically speaking, I think everybody should speak only one language, and this language should be English. I speak Portuguese natively and, by comparison, English is much easier to speak than Portuguese. Some examples. Portuguese words have gender. A casa, o carro. Portuguese verbs depends on the persons. Eu aprendo, tu aprendes, ele aprende, nós aprendemos, vós aprendeis, eles aprendem. With not speaking about future: Eu aprenderei, tu aprenderás..., past: eu aprendi, tu aprendeste...and so on. Adjectives have plural and gender. Alto, altos, alta, altas. Portuguese letters have accent markers. Á é õ.
How could the good (I mean, the khowledge) be spead without the use of a common language? The answer is yes.
When a language is cosmopolitanly spoken, it will gets the world together in a sense. Also, for itself will enjoy a wider range of variables and richer context. Native speakers of that language may benefit from just being a native speaker. Then I want to talk about why it's reasonal for English to become that language.
I'd like to introduce you to the term of high-context culture and low-context culture.
In case you're not familiar with it:In a high context culture people are more emotionally restrained and use a lot of euphemism to harmonize personal goals with collective goals. They perform more according to invisible social rules. This is for the case of most of the Asian countries like Japan and China. In a low context culture, people will state their opinions and wishes clearly. They act according to the rules which are not vague. They tend to have more short-term relationships than long-lasting ones.German and most English culture belong to the low-context group. As you can imagine, whether it is from low to high or high to low shift in culture can't avoid some problems.
In the globalization background, we need a widely spoken language to communicate over commerce, international laws and other cross-border activities. Luckily, English culture seems to be in the middle stand among all the cultures. It's a low-context culture but not as low-context as German, which gives it a good reason to be the most easily used language.
The spread of English goes along with teaching, learning and exchanging of the English language and culture, which as well brought new thoughts into our own language and culture. In a way it provokes a more generous thinking about the world.
The only bad thing I can think of is that we put less emphasis on our traditional thinking. The essence of language hidden in those traditional thoughts is halfdead now.