David crystal is a British linguist,academic,and author.He was awarded the OBE and became a fellow of the British Academy in 2000.He is also a Founding Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales.Crystal has authored,co authored and edited over 120 books on a wide variety of subjects.David Crysta’ls classic “English as a Global Language” considers the history,present status and future of the English language, focusing on its role as the leading international language.
Crystal states that a language achieves a genuinely global status when it develops a special role that is recognized in every country. Such a role will be most evident in countries where large numbers of the people speak the language as a mother tongue – in the case of English, this would mean the USA, Canada, Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, several Caribbean countries and a sprinkling of other territories. To achieve such a status, a language has to be taken up by other countries around the world. There are two main ways in which this can be done. Firstly, a language can be made the official language of a country, to be used as a medium of communication in such domains as government, the law courts, the media, and the educational system. Secondly, a language can be made a priority in a country’s foreign-language teaching, even though this language has no official status. , there is great variation in the reasons for choosing a particular language as a favoured foreign language: they include historical tradition, political expediency, and the desire for commercial, cultural or technological conta.
Why a language becomes a global language has little to do with the number of people who speak it. It is much more to do with who those speakers are. There must be something inherently beautiful or logical about the structure of English, in order to explain why it is now so widely used. ‘English doesn’t have a lot of endings on its words, nor do we have to remember the difference between masculine, feminine, and neuter gender, so it must be easier to learn. A language may have certain properties which make it internationally appealing. A language does not become a global language because of its intrinsic structural properties, or because of the size of its vocabulary, or because it has been a vehicle of a great literature in the past, or because it was once associated with a great culture or religion. A language has traditionally become an international language for one chief reason: the power of its people – especially their political and military power.
Crystal explains why do we need a global language. Translation has played a central role in human interaction for thousands of years. The more a community is linguistically mixed, the less it can rely on individuals to ensure communication between different groups. In communities where only two or three languages are in contact, bilingualism (or trilingualism) but in communities where there are many languages in contact, as in much of Africa and South-east Asia, such a natural solution does not readily apply. The problem has traditionally been solved by finding a language to act as a lingua franca, or ‘common language’. Sometimes, when communities begin to trade with each other, they communicate by adopting a simplified language, known as a pidgin, which combines elements of their different languages for example, West African Pidgin English is used extensively between several ethnic groups along the West African coast.
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