Should English be the World’s International Language?

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There are several disputes on whether English should be designated as the world's official language, with the majority stating that it already is. A tiny percentage sees threats, but the reasons they mention only help to illustrate the English language's global domination. English, riding the crest of technology and globalization, rules the globe as no other language has ever done, and it can never be dethroned as the king of languages. Today, it is generally acknowledged that English has emerged as the preferred language for many foreign academic journals. The trend is on the rise, and academia is left with almost no choice but to publish in English to obtain international recognition. Most people in the world speak English today for communication with over 50 large countries in the world embracing the same (Crystal 21). Take it or not, the global language of business is English. Multinational companies such as Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia, Airbus, Daimler-Chrysler, and Microsoft have mandated English as the corporate language. With the emerging trends of the rising use of English in the world today, and putting into consideration our various cultures that uphold our native languages as our identity, we need a language in common to understanding each other. That's why English should be the world's international language since it's universal and easy to comprehend of all other languages in the world.

According to Crystal (26), in our learning institutions today, English has been the language of communication from talking to writing. All our assignments are presented in English. In the present world, English has emerged as the language of academics not only in science but also in other disciplines such as aviation, computing, tourism and diplomacy. Most of the learning materials are published in English, and 80% of the information is stored in English. Currently, 56% of the internet is in English and thus making it the most commonly used language in academics. David Graddol, a linguist and a researcher, affirms that "English has consolidated its dominance as the language of the Internet, where 80% of the world's store electronically stored information is in English.” This makes English as the common language in almost every endeavour for academicians from science to computing.

The worldwide supremacy of the English language is not a new subject. Ben Wildavsky, an academic blogger states in the Chronicle of Higher Education that, “Let’s not fret about the dominance of English in global academe.” He addresses the commonly expressed fears of unhealthy homogeneity, or cultural imperialism, in the education sector widespread reliance on English. Worldwide, English is key to academic collaboration, through events, research activities, and communication between institutions. But Mary Jane Curry, co-author of ‘Academic writing in a global context', points out that the rising use of English in academia has put scholars from non-English speaking countries at a disadvantage in publishing and sharing research across borders. This signifies how English as a language is increasingly gaining popularity in academics. Jorge Balan, a senior research scholar, echoes Curry's words. Balan believes that the dominance of English in higher education is placing immense pressures on non-English academics, while those who excel in the conventional may “perish locally”. English’s position as the lingua franca of higher education is emphasized with more positive feedback than negative, and thus the need of making it the world’s international language (Crystal 43).

In the world today, many people, over 1.75 billion, speaks English at a useful level. It is registered as the formal or co-official language of over 40 countries and is spoken widely in other nations where it has no official status, for example in China and Japan. I find myself at ease using English to communicate to my fellow students and my world around. Crystal (57), confers a lively and factual significance of the rise of English as a global language and explores the status and future potential of English as the international language of communication. Crystal, in his book, ‘English as a Global Language', alludes that the world has transformed so fast that history is no longer a guide. He states that "This is the first time we have a language spoken genuinely globally by every country in the world." He affirms the need for making English as the world's international language.

According to Crystal (91), the world keeps advancing in various aspects, from technology to infrastructure among others. English as language keeps spreading and gaining new roots to different countries in the world with time. Nicholas Ostler, the author of ‘Empires of the Word', states that "If you stay in the mindset of 15th-century Europe, the future of Latin is extremely bright. If you stay in the mindset of the 20th-century world, the future of English is extremely bright." This emphasizes the fact that as time passes by, people in the world appreciate English as an international language. The English language is spreading like the wind in a desert. John McWhorter, a linguist and author of ‘The Power of Babel', says that "English is ascendant in a manner that no language has ever been before", and that, "It is vastly not clear to me what actual mechanism could uproot English given conditions at they are." This implies the fact that English has been acknowledged by many as their official language of communication, and that it's almost to impossible to stop them from using English since it has extensively spread.

Whether ready or not, English is now the global language of business (Crystal 62). More multinational companies such as Nokia, Samsung, SAP, and Technicolor, to mention a few, are mandating English as the common corporate language to facilitate communication and performance across their geographically diverse functions and business endeavors. Mark Warschauer, a scholar of education and informatics says that "English has become the second language of everybody.” He further writes that in some places, English has invaded the workplace along with the global economy. Warschauer confirms that some Swedish companies use English in the work stations, although they are in Sweden-based because much of their business is done via the Internet and other communications, with the outside world. All this, Warschauer highlights to showcase how businesses around the world have accepted English as their business language. It is evident that many companies are emphasizing using English in their activities daily transactions. A good example of this is the financial institutions, such as banks.

Adopting a common language in business isn’t just a good idea; it’s a must. However, it’s not easy to adopt a global language policy, and companies invariably stumble along the way, as they might meet staunch resistance from employees. For instance, many of the employees may feel out of place if their English is if their English isn’t as good as others’. As a result, team work and performance can suffer, and national pride can get in the way, all these affecting the overall performance of the company. But to survive and thrive in a global economy, companies must overcome language barriers, and the common ground will always be to embrace English as their corporate language (Crystal 68).

There is no doubt that unrestricted multilingualism is inefficient and can prevent meaningful engagements from happening and get in the way of achieving primary goals. The urge to tightly coordinate tasks and work with clients and partners all over the world has hastened the move toward English as the formal language of doing business no matter where companies are located. Crystal (71) sites that the three top reasons that are driving the move of enterprises toward English as their corporate language are competitive pressure, globalization of tasks and resources, and the need for merger and acquisition integration across national boundaries. Since many people in the world today speak English, it is essential for businesses to be able to communicate in English to its customers, suppliers and other business partners to counter competition. Similarly, negotiations regarding mergers and acquisitions are quickly satisfied if all the parties involve speaks a universal language, and that's English for now (Crystal 77).

According to Crystal (84), there is a need for companies to embrace English as their language of business. Some have enrolled their employees in programs such as English for Business Communications among others. These are short-term courses offered by learning institutions to learners who need to improve their ability to communicate when socializing, participating in meetings, making calls, presenting and in negotiations. Thus, it's apparently turning out that the business language of today's companies is English. This is a fact, whether you admit it or not as it is evident from the many multimillionaire companies such as Microsoft, Nokia, Alcatel and the likes (Crystal 89).

CONCLUSION

Crystal states that "The biggest setback for English would have been if Bill Gates had grown up speaking Chinese." For Crystal, English owes its statutes as a multinational language, alleging that a crucial requirement for a language to become multinational is political power and those who speak it. Because of Industrial Revolution, English language spread quickly across the world. English today is acknowledged as undoubtedly the most significant language to grasp for the progressively mobile worldwide community.

Many scholars allude to the fact that although Chinese and other languages are rapidly increasing their dominance of Internet Traffic, English is likely to remain the most common language used all over the world. Crystal confirms that English is spoken in some form by three times as many non-natives speakers as native speakers. By the most popular estimates, over 400 million people speak English as a native language, over 300 million as a fluent second language, and 750 million as a foreign language.

In the modern world today, English language no longer belongs to its native speakers such as the United States, but to the world, just as organized soccer, say, is an international sport that is no longer associated with its origin in Britain. As a few may argue, language describes our culture, and that many people's language is the basis of their culture, we need a common language for communication, trading, and learning. English is widely taught and spoken, and if made the world's international language, it would make it smooth for the world to unite and work together and advance different fields of learning.

Work Cited

Crystal, David. English as a global language. Cambridge university press, 2012.

October 25, 2022
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