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Linguaholic

Do you feel the world would benefit from having everyone know English?


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In my opinion, if everyone knew English.....well, this is a double edged sword. On one had it would facilitate communication and make traveling more convenient and international business more efficient.

However, many languages reflect the culture and heritage of a particular country or ethnic group. If they all spoke English, there is a tendency for smaller, less-advanced ethnic minorities to lose their language like the Native Americans, Hawaiians and Canadian First Nations. This process is already happening and will get worse if English were to become the paramount de facto world language.

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It would be useful, but I think it would be very sad to universalise language and risk losing the traditional languages and dialects of individual cultures. Access to foreign cultures is the number one for learning a language, in my opinion, and it would be very disappointing if this was lost.

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I agree that anyone knowing English would bring benefits, but also disatvantages, especially to certain groups.

Nowadays learning English is becoming a must,if you want to keep track of all the global news or even simply to communicate with others. I enjoy the opportunities it gives me and I made many great friends thanks to it.

But it is true there's risk of losing your mother's language - not only if it is a less known ans used dialect. I know families that went abroad and now their children can't speak a word on the language their parents, grandparents and so on were raised on. And this is just so sad.

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English has already come to be a dominant language in the world and, as others have pointed out in this thread, we are starting to see some of the effects.  Some are quite positive; having a universal language is very beneficial for communication across cultures. 

Yet some of these effects are negative.

People lose touch with their ancestral language and culture as there may be pressure for the sake of professional advancement and/or a personal desire to embrace the pop culture (mainly of America) and the language that goes with it. 

It even happens in the U.S. as pop culture and mass media have homogenized the language.  As a result, the regional dialects of English -- particularly in the South -- that go back generations are getting lost.

So yes, the loss of languages and cultures, which is already happening, is lamentable. 

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English and Mandarin are the two biggest languages in business. It appears money drives motions more than culture these days so it wouldn't be surprising if every country starts learning English / Mandarin.

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I guess you could ask that about any language. If everyone knew a certain language everyone would be able to communicate with everyone. That's quite simple.

This is what I was thinking.  Why English? Just because you think more people know it already than some other language?  Why not a 'universal' language like esperanto instead?

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It isn't about whether or not the world will benefit from learning English. English is arguably the most spoken language today because, like someone said, the economically leading country in the world happens to use English nationally, and money makes the world go, we all know. But if it was Spanish or even Urdu in its place, then the world would have equally benefited. It is always better to know the language that the world speaks in.

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The world would benefit if we all spoke the same language.  I'm shocked it has not happened yet.  The reasons why we'd benefit are self explanatory.  I don't even care if it is a new language, a hybrid language that combines aspects of every language in existence or if it is actually English.  We just need common ground to communicate and we need it soon.  It would help workers unite and end economic oppression.  Imagine a global union of laborers.  We have nothing to lose but our chains.

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I don't think it would.

As is right now, all the heads of state are able to talk to each other, whether through knowledge of a lingua franca (English, generally) or translators.  Yet, there is no peace.  We still have fighting.  We still have prejudice.

If EVERYONE-- even the members of the public who don't participate in policy, even members of tribes in Africa who live mostly off the grid-- could speak English, that doesn't mean they'd have a say.  That doesn't mean they'd be more likely to communicate with people from other countries.

I don't think it would be a bad thing, but I don't think it would be tremendously helpful in making the world "a better place".

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I don't think it would.

As is right now, all the heads of state are able to talk to each other, whether through knowledge of a lingua franca (English, generally) or translators.  Yet, there is no peace.  We still have fighting.  We still have prejudice.

If EVERYONE-- even the members of the public who don't participate in policy, even members of tribes in Africa who live mostly off the grid-- could speak English, that doesn't mean they'd have a say.  That doesn't mean they'd be more likely to communicate with people from other countries.

I don't think it would be a bad thing, but I don't think it would be tremendously helpful in making the world "a better place".

The world would certainly benefit from the lack of a language barrier.

Culturally speaking, if English isn't fully adopted by everyone and is just compulsory curriculum in schools, then there stands a good chance for benefit in that area as well.

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Lets not forget that the brain is powerful. I think it's good for everyone to learn English. And no, they will not lose anything from their mother tonque, when they keep everything going. Participate in both languages and cultures. 

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I actually think English is already an universal language. Any country in Asia you visit, you'd be able to find someone who speaks English especially Singapore,it's their second language. In Indo, it's language that we have to study at school because it's one that is recognized in the world. It would be hard for me to not be able to speak English and go to another country with Indonesia language alone. Many people I met ,had no clue Indonesia even exist let alone the language itself.

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Language barriers are definitely an issue when it comes to communication with foreigners or with locals as a foreigner. I'm sure the world would benefit if everyone knew how to speak English. As repeatedly stated in this thread, it is the universal language. Without a doubt, fluency in the universal language is a must for everyone.

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  • 3 months later...

English is already considered the de facto global language, so if even more people knew it, it would benefit the world greatly. In a globalized world, us humans need more than ever to be able to understand and communicate with each other, and the language is mother of all that, so I see it as necessary for something like the English language exist. Of course, that doesn't mean that any old linguistic traditions and spoken languages should be eliminated or replaced, but simply if everyone knew their mother tongue, and then English, everything is perfect.

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The world would be easier if everybody knew English, but it would also take away individuality and make people lazy. It also depends how this would be enforced, would it mean one language for the whole world, or still keeping national languages. Is it not unfair to assume everyone should be forced to speak English, is that not why people go abroad to engulf themselves in a different culture.

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I'm not saying it would be the only language, but one that everyone knows. Would that be good or bad in your opinion?

I say yes. Maybe because I come from a English speaking country and to learn another languageyou have to pay to learn. so yes english all the way. :laugh:

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Yes I believe so  but when I look again I believe that it wouldn't be the best of ideas. The diversity of language is linked to culture. Therefore, having everyone speak or know that will erode that to a great extent.

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I think it would be beneficial. The world could communicate a lot more efficiently that way, and it could lead to a wider range of teamwork, by which I mean people from all countries would be able to work together a lot easier and a lot more things could be invented. As for the drawbacks, I'm sure there are some, but I honestly can't come up with much other than further homogenization of everything.

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I think that if schools were more interested in teaching kids different languages. We would all benefit from it. I would love to travel to all corners of the world, but I have heard a lot of things about people don't know English and when you can't speak their language or can't say the words properly it leads to a lot of hassle.  English is a hard language to learn but so are the others too. We all should know a bit of some few languages so that we wouldn't be stuck to travel.

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Since you highlighted that it would not be the only language , i'd have to say it would be beneficial. If everyone knows English it would broaden our communication thus enhancing trade and travel :cool:.

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Pros for one universal language:

Better communication, job opportunities in different countries, ease-of-access for the scientific comunity, and easier international trading.

Cons for one universal language:

Decline in diversity of thinking, death of thousands of great expressions and mannerisms that relate to specific languages, and basically losing most of our touch with our cultures and older traditions/heritage.

Also, if I were to pick a universal language it would be a variant of English properly adjusted to make more sense and include more vocabulary and meanings.

Something like this could probably never be implemented properly, and the language chosen would be ruined and grafted to bits by all the joining countries trying to adjust to it.

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