Jump to content
Linguaholic

Have Countries Become More "English-Friendly"?


Recommended Posts

I've heard that in some countries like Japan, it's hard to communicate in English, since the people aren't required to learn it, but I question if it is still an accurate assumption nowadays.

I think that may be a little less true today, since information is a lot more available through internet and I think more Japanese people are getting exposed to the English language and culture a lot more, such as the wealth of American videos and comments on Youtube, for example. I suspect this is the situation as well for most other non-english speaking countries, what do you think?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Although it's mostly thanks to tourism, I have definitely noticed something of the sort in my country. Near popular tourist locations and bigger towns, it's not unusual to see signs, menus and the like have English and German subtitles under them, even if the people owning the place don't speak the language themselves. I think it's definitely a positive approach, and most countries are leaning towards it, even with more "xenophobic" countries like Japan or France.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If France has got to the point where they're English-friendly then in the near-future English will be the one language everyone will have learned. My opinion is that technology and the entertainment industry have played a major role in [changing the attitude of non-English speaking people] forcing them to learn English and as more and more coding languages are created by English speaking people, those coders who can't speak English must learn it in order to stay competitive in their chosen careers.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that english is definitely going to be the worlds mode of communication if it is not already. You can see this with the way things are going. A lot of countries with multiple languages choose english to be the neutral language. I think that it is probably best. I think that media and music are also ways that the language is penetrating the world

Link to post
Share on other sites
Scribendi: World-Class Editing and Proofreading

I think English is a good base language because it's used primarily in international business, its really common in high tourist areas for english signs and menus to be around.

It's also taught as a core class for many schools around the world.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I definitely think so. I've traveled a lot in foreign countries and have met a lot of natives that tried to speak to me in English. I even see it on the internet. If you look at blogs, many people in other countries are blogging in their language as well as in English and commenting on blogs written in English. I'm always surprised to see this. In forums, you'll find a lot of non-english native speakers commenting in English on American forums. I think technology more than tourism is behind this trend.

Link to post
Share on other sites

English is becoming more and more important so it's natural that countries try to push their students to learn it. It's also useful if you travel to different countries and English is your 2nd language.

I also think this is mostly because tech stuff usually comes in English.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It really depends on the country we are talking about, because there are countries in which the people who live in there really hate english!  Like for example France... I had a really horrible experience there! I was stuck at the paris airport, the airport employees were so rude... some of them pretended they spoke no english!  I'm not saying all of France is like this towards english, but the people in that frigging airport were!

My country isn't still very english friendly... which is funny because we live next to the US!  One would think most people would be able to speak english here, but no!  I blame it on our educative system! 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep. India is English friendly to the point of being annoying. You need to have a decent command over the language to get a good job and a major population of the country doesn't have that. It definitely works in my favor though but the setting aside of regional languages in its favor is somewhat wrong.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think overall more countries have become more English Friendly. I mean English is becoming the language of the world, as most people around the word all speak English. I think it will become essential to actually learn English one day.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

English has definitely started to be recognized as the "international" language. I travelled around Asia the last year and found that everywhere that I went there was someone that spoke decent English. English schools and teachers are in high demand in lots of Asian countries (such as South Korea and China). To a lot of people I think that speaking good English is seen as a great skill that can play a big part in landing you a great job. I always try to learn a bit of the local language when I travel, but it is awfully nice to have people speaking in English too!

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's actually beneficial if you're fluent in English (or any other languages) but I understand why some countries tend to be xenophobic about this. As long as one's native language is prioritize equally in the education system, there's no point of worrying about it. That being said, if a person thinks it's more 'cool' and sophisticated to speak in English/other languages than in his/her own mother tongue, being English-friendly is not a problem here.  :nerd:

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think so far these days, countries are more English-friendly. Although there are still some that can barely speak the language and it's not just Japan. But there are a lot in Europe too. I'm not exactly sure why though.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm from the country of the Philippines and English is actually very used here, contrary to Japan.

I do believe English is becoming a worldwide language that will spoken by every country in the near future. Globalization has already taken its toll, and since English is the universal language, it just takes time for it to fully kick in.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not all. I've been reading some interesting stuff about Zimbabwe. Colonized by Britain, they learned English but when relations between them over the seizure of land that belonged to white settlers got strained, the Zimbabwean government decided they didn't need English anymore and presently they're teaching Chinese in their schools.

If more African countries decide that East is the way to go. . .

Link to post
Share on other sites

Most definitely. Even if the people in non-english speaking countries can't speak fluently, I noticed that they can still understand you and still answer you in 'broken' english. I think it's the influence that the media has on people. Especially movies/tv shows and the music industries have made a big mark. But this is only some countries. When I went to Korea I found it extremely difficult to communicate with the people. But there were a lot of hand gestures between us and we could still understand it without getting too lost :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is no doubt that Japan is one country that does not believe in using English. However, I do find that English is more accessible to people nowadays with the advances in technology. With the internet around, it's pretty easy to get exposure to English.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Most definitely. Even if the people in non-english speaking countries can't speak fluently, I noticed that they can still understand you and still answer you in 'broken' english. I think it's the influence that the media has on people. Especially movies/tv shows and the music industries have made a big mark. But this is only some countries. When I went to Korea I found it extremely difficult to communicate with the people. But there were a lot of hand gestures between us and we could still understand it without getting too lost :)

Wow thanks for the insight on what it's like to visit Korea. I had imagined that even countries like that would have been a little more English-friendly by now, but from your account I guess there really still are countries that are mostly still using their own language solely. Knowing this, I'd guess that Japan would probably still be the same. You are right, though, and it's a good thing that even just a little bit of English and a lot of hand gestures is enough to carry a brief conversation or transaction.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that they've become more English friendly, even in the Asian countries where a lot of people only speak their mother tongue, a lot of the younger people and those who work in touristy places tend to be able to understand and speak English. Of course, the old folks won't understand a word of all the guai lou angmoh speak.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Without a doubt. People travel much more these days, and since english is a universal language, it gets spoken everywhere. Most large countries are very tolerant to the english language and accommodate anglophones quite well.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe so. It used to be that only US and British colonized countries were the only places where one could be understood when speaking English. I've noted that this isn't the case anymore. It might be the internet, globalization, tourism or it could be all of these factors. I think it's a good thing. After all the purpose of language is to be understood and if we all understand each other then that's great right?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think countries have become more English friendly. I remember when we went on holiday to Cyprus years ago, we tried to learn some phrases in their language to help us along and when we got there were surprised that the majority of people were fluent in English. I think it is due to the amount of English who go on holiday to non English countries but I also think we can be a little lazy in learning other languages for holidays. Whenever English people go away they just expect to be understood a lot of the time because we are so used to being spoken to in our own language. I think if we are in a non English speaking country they shouldn't have to speak to us in another language as it is there home but equally I think if you are in the UK you shouldn't speak to people in other languages in public either. This can feel rude and like they are talking about you as most people have no idea what they are saying (this is probably why they do it though!)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...