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Linguaholic

Changing the main language


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It would be clearly a big move. I already see some people here being against it, but let's talk about that idea: what about trying to make everyone speak a main language for the whole world, instead of trying to speak the main language of rather your country, limiting yourself to talking only to the people of that country?

I mean, in some countries really aware of their population, they are honest with themselves: they are not enough, so they proactively make children learning English additionally of their main country language. They already know that outside of the border their language won't help and if they don't want to be a closed market, they have to do that.

But it seems other countries with more population are rather against that thought. Also, I am more advocating for forgetting or putting on the background the learning of the main country language, in favor of a main language for the whole world.

What do you think of that?

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I think a lot of misunderstandings would be cleared up.  To be honest, even though my native language is English, I would be in favor of making the world language whatever is easiest for the majority of learners.  I bet that would stop a lot of Americans from saying, "they shouldn't live here if they can't learn the language". 

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I see both sides of this issue. One one hand, having one language for everyone would be an equalizer for people all over the world. It would allow you to communicate with everyone, everywhere if you wanted to. On the other hand, language is a large part of most cultures and I would hate to see some of the culture lost over time due to this. Maybe if we could have one language for all to use, but also teach children the native language of their country then it would work. 

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Languages can't be replaced by just a single language that easily.
As Carly already said, languages are often connected to a specific culture.
A very notable example would be Arabic, which is very closely connected to the Islam.
If all Arabs would stop using Arabic, it may also affect their Islamic culture.

Other examples would be Russian and Japanese.
Japanese is designed to have different politeness levels based on the situation, since Japanese people differ their politeness from person to person.
Russian at the other hand has no political correctness, yes means yes, no means no. Simple as that!
That's because Russians (and Slavic people in general) will tell you exactly what they think. Always.

So in a nutshell: it will definitely be hard to have 1 universal language.

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Languages can't be replaced by just a single language that easily.
As Carly already said, languages are often connected to a specific culture.
A very notable example would be Arabic, which is very closely connected to the Islam.
If all Arabs would stop using Arabic, it may also affect their Islamic culture.

Other examples would be Russian and Japanese.
Japanese is designed to have different politeness levels based on the situation, since Japanese people differ their politeness from person to person.
Russian at the other hand has no political correctness, yes means yes, no means no. Simple as that!
That's because Russians (and Slavic people in general) will tell you exactly what they think. Always.

So in a nutshell: it will definitely be hard to have 1 universal language.

I think English or French people succeeds to have different level of politeness without resorting to another alphabet. Familiar language isn't a new thing. That's not an argument in my opinion. I don't think Japanese have more diverse emotions than other human beings just because of their language. The way they have to express it is different, however.

I see both sides of this issue. One one hand, having one language for everyone would be an equalizer for people all over the world. It would allow you to communicate with everyone, everywhere if you wanted to. On the other hand, language is a large part of most cultures and I would hate to see some of the culture lost over time due to this. Maybe if we could have one language for all to use, but also teach children the native language of their country then it would work. 

The problem with the culture is what culture would you lost? What part of the culture would you suddenly loose because of that? As long as there's people who can understand the meaning of the historical texts, they would be able to translate it into the new language (that would be part of the archiving work, much like in modern world we have often to convert files to new formats) and so it wouldn't be loosed. 

I think a lot of misunderstandings would be cleared up.  To be honest, even though my native language is English, I would be in favor of making the world language whatever is easiest for the majority of learners.  I bet that would stop a lot of Americans from saying, "they shouldn't live here if they can't learn the language". 

Thanks for your point, +1 :)

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To be honest, I would hate to see just one universal language. English is already established as a 'Lingua Franca' and this of course has some benefits. However, as you might know, we got around 7000 languages (left) on this planet, and a lot of them are actually endangered. A universal language would definitely be a great danger for all the other languages and as Blapelover already pointed out, languages are deeply connected with culture and I would just hate to see those languages (cultures) fade away because of one specific universal language. 

The fading away of languages is already dramatic enough and some languages are nearly extinct and just have a few native speakers left. Instead of focusing creating/establishing a universal language, we should focusing on preserving all those wonderful languages and invest in language technology  to make shure that we can actually save those languages for later generations by recording native speakers, establishing grammars and spread the word about endangered languages online and offline. 

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Doing this would take away the language barrier and solve many problems BUT, and I cannot stress it enough that infrequency of using our native tongue endangers the life of the language. There are already so many endangered (and extinct sadly) languages in the world and we simply cannot afford more to go down the drain. Language is part of our culture which defines and identifies our identity. Losing it is scary and wasting away thousands of years of history.

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Given how much conflicts starts from an incomprehension, and given the probability of a conflict to happen is raising with the number of barriers increasing, I wouldn't say it is as beneficial for the culture than said.

Since (commercial) exchanges happens more in the world, with the transportation and the globalized markets, there's still conflicts, yes, but less conflicts. It's obvious. You can't have an open market and fight with all the countries at the same time. Now, people will feel less different from people from other countries if they speak the same language. They would be able to understand the culture of all countries, instead of being centered on ours, and the more you communicate, the more you empathize and less you want to fight.

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I absolutely hate the idea of one language. Each one is a part of history and culture, and taking that away would leave us poorer, less willing to exercise our brains by learning a new language and having less incentive to discover another country.

I come from ex-USSR and that makes me quite skeptical about "one nation", "one language", "let's make all people equal" and other similar schools of thought. The intentions may be good but it never works in the real world.

And I don't agree that most conflicts are about language incomprehension. Power? Religion? Money? Yes to all of those. But language being a big part of the world conflicts?

If I were a politician, I'd go in a totally different direction. Make sure countries, big or small, are promoting their language and teaching children several languages at school. As it was already mentioned in some other thread here, learning foreign languages has nothing but benefits to those who do it.

 

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