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Thread: English as the World Language

  1. #51
    Hentai Koutaishi Achievements:
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    Quote Originally Posted by maciamo
    Incidentally, I find modern French's spelling much more difficult and irregular than English' (especially double consonants, silent letters, grammatical changes, etc.)
    The French orthography makes my hair stand on end as well, but it is at least somewhat more regular and predictable than the English spelling.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brooker
    Anyone teaching English or learning another language should be able to relate to this. Some of them you have to read aloud to understand....

    1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

    2) The farm was used to produce produce.

    3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

    4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

    5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

    6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
    <snip>

    There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple
    nor pine in pineapple.
    <snip>
    Those are some very good examples indeed
    True nightmare for anyone that learns English.

    About Chinese becoming a possible world language:
    There are only that much Mandarin (official Chinese) speakers because it's imposed by the government. There are several other languages spoken in China, like Cantonese, Wu/Shanghainese, Jin etc. which are at least as different from each other as e.g. Spanish and Norwegian, rather more, but their speakers are strongly disencouraged to use them, and schools may only have Mandarin as teaching language.
    However, their influence stops at the border, and it's extremely unlikely that Mandarin will spread further because it's extremely inaccessible to others: first, it consists exclusively of the highly complex hanzhi, which alone already take countless years to learn, and second, it posseses tones, which nearly all other languages completely lack, and thus are very difficult to learn as well.
    Before not at least the hanzhi are abandoned (not bloody likely with the current government) and the tonal system is at least greatly simplified, it won't see any further spread outside China.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duo
    It may be likely however, that Spanish or even Chinese could start to grow in influence and may get the upperhand on english, one never knows
    Spanish has a good chance of becoming a second language in the world due to the fact that it has the same habit as english; that is to borrow from other languages. It also has a place in America where a lot of people in the southern states use it as a second language or even their first. What could end up happening is the two languages to merge over time to produce a hybrid language. After all english and spanish are hybrid languages themselves. New language-Spanglish (Isn't there a film called this). After all spanish phrases and words are making there way into english. Also read somewhere that spanish is slowly losing the formal you, like english did several hundred years ago. does anybody use thou anymore?
    Could end up speaking like Gaff in Blade Runner

  3. #53
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    Cool How much of a language should you know .... ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycernius
    I agree with you Duo-san . As an Englishman abroad I feel that you should at least be able to say Thank you and hello in that language. I do find it embrassing wheen your in a foriegn country and you hear some brainless peasent going 'DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?' at the top of their voices and then calling them names because they don't. I saw one american tourist in Poland trying to word that phrase in different ways, and finally, when no response statisfied him went out of the shop swearing all sorts of things. I managed to get served very well despite only knowing yes, no and good day.
    Have just been "lurking" - and noticed this post from Mycernius, from a few days ago ....

    How absolutely true this can be !

    I do so strongly feel, that to gain respect in a foreign environment, all that is demanded of you is.... not fluency .... but effort ! And rightly so !

    Personally, I've found that one can achieve amazing results in any country with the ability to say or ask (in their language, of course...) :

    "Please"

    "Thank you"

    "Hello"

    "Good-bye"

    "Excuse me"

    "How much ?"

    and of course, "Thank you !"

    Plus, the ability to count* up to ten, and then in hundreds ...

    Plus that immortal and desperate question "... do you speak English .... ?"

    Armed thus - it takes only an evening to learn.... you can travel safely anywhere in the world - and never be rude !

    P.S. *Counting ? Kore wa ...One exception to the rule! ... in Japanese; I'm slightly befuddled here- and would like to start a new thread some time .... !
    If you haven't been a Communist by the time you're 40 - then you don't have a heart.

    If you're still a Communist after the age of forty - you don't have a head ....

    (Denis Healey)

    If you're still a communist after the age of sixty ... you're coming to your senses again ....

    (Sensuikan San)

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