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Linguaholic

If Everyone Used Only One Language


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What if English or some other language were the required language for everybody, how do you think the world will be different? Do you think you would prefer it? As much as I like having a personal language that I could speak that only my countrymen would be able to understand, and the fact that it binds us all, I do wonder sometimes if the world would be much better or worse if we all just spoke one language. What are your thoughts on this, would you be in favor of it?

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I think if everyone spoke one language the world itself would be better communication wise. I also think if everyone spoke one language there would be less diversity in the world. The world needs diversity, and originality to strive.

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I think if everyone spoke one language the world itself would be better communication wise. I also think if everyone spoke one language there would be less diversity in the world. The world needs diversity, and originality to strive.

I agree with you on both counts. But you can't exactly squash other people's cultures out though, and their native tongues, so perhaps if there was one main language taught as a secondary tongue to everyone things would maybe work out better? Then people could still speak freely in their own language as well as the common one...

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I think that it would be better, but I love the culture that goes along with other languages. What about the words that other languages have, that English doesn't have? Schadenfreude comes to mind. Schadenfreude is pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others. I definitely have feelings that correlate with this word often!  :devil:

What I don't understand is... Why are there different types of sign language? That just blows my mind. There definitely should only be one universal sign language...

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I agree with you on both counts. But you can't exactly squash other people's cultures out though, and their native tongues, so perhaps if there was one main language taught as a secondary tongue to everyone things would maybe work out better? Then people could still speak freely in their own language as well as the common one...

Likewise, I agree.  A secondary language would be the only solution that would preserve diversity.  Language and culture are so deeply intertwined that a great deal would be lost without the diversity of many languages which, in turn, reflect these many cultures and societies.

At the same time, in this day and age, the world is much more interconnected and we do face challenges still in communicating because of language barriers.  These are so much more apparent nowadays.  While English and a few other languages are dominant, especially on the Internet, they still exclude those who don't know those languages.  Such tools as Google Translate are helpful, but can't replace what is lost in the inability to have unfettered communication. 

Perhaps it will always be a trade-off between diversity of distinct cultures versus a universal language,  that is until there is some sort of technological advancement that makes instantaneous translation possible.  If and when it happens, it could be very exciting! :)

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With an unified language that already exists the world might be different but not for good.

People in most countries will hold hard feelings and resentments about the chosen language and the associated cultural changes that such language might bring.

On the other hand, crafting a new universal language is also proven to be just an illusion because Esperanto was supposed to be the alternative that today the whole world knows by name, but you will hardly find someone who can mention at least one Esperanto world he or she has learned in all these years.

I don't know any despite first time I heard from it was in my childhood days.

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Language barrier can really divide many countries. There are countries who are not open to changes. Learning a new language is not even an option for them.  I think if we all have the same language, unity is much easier. We can understand other people easily. Imagine how great it can be if we are talking in one language.

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I see languages much like music or art.  Cultures have their own language and it adds to the diversity of the world.  A world where everyone looked the same, spoke the same..etc...would be boring in my opinion.

I do understand that languages do divide, and for things like business, it would probably streamline things.  Again though, I find languages as fascinating as I do varying cultures.

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  • 6 months later...

If we all spake one language it could be good as well as bad. One good thing is that it would help counties to be  more developed because there would be no communication barrier in trade and other welfare aspects. I believe that just the way the story of the Tower of Babel tells of what the people did because they spoke one language, even more serious things would take place and that would be bad. We would also not have any need to learn new languages and communicate about and that would be a little boring. :sad:

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I'm not sure. In a way, I think it would be very convenient. It would be a great way for everyone to be able to communicate. However, I don't think it would be easy to convince everyone to learn one language, plus it would make a change in a lot of cultures. Although it might be convenient, I think it would be a bit boring.

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I we are to speak but one language, then I guess there would be harmony and unity once and for all. Less misunderstandings, less conflicts for people around the world would be more cooperative with one another. But speaking in just one language may mean we will not have opportunities to learn other languages, no need to study another one for our medium of communication is purely just one language.

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A universal language would make communication significantly easier, but I actually think only having "one language" would be impossible - people feel a need to create more private means of communication, and I believe that new, more privately community-based languages would soon begin to form. It would likely start out with area-specific slang terms, and evolve from there. There have already been cases of this happening with the English language, for example, to a point where the casual passerby wouldn't be able to comprehend almost any of it.

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This is an interesting prospect, but it's not too far off, to be honest. I mean, we're reaching the point where English is a near universal language. Of course, not everyone speaks it, but it's widely understood and probably the most widely used language for business.

That said, there's always the cultural and historic ties to a language that we have to consider. It's not just a way of communicating. For some, its a way of identifying themselves to their culture and cultural identity is something very important to many.

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Oh I love the idea. It's actually why I got curious about Esperanto in the first place. Esperanto is an ambitious project that claims to have a lot of followers already.Some claim that it could become the international language.  I don't think it's a possibility anytime soon, but it's a nice idea.  :wink:

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I won't complain at all if it's English. But right now I think somehow this is the case. It is the universal language in my opinion. I mean this is used in business most of the time and it doesn't matter which country you are in.

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It would be wonderful, I'm sure there would be far less misunderstandings.  I'm sure of that. I'm not saying this would cause world peace to happen, but it would surely help to prevent so many misunderstandings. 

Plus, if we spoke only one language all around the world, then we'd not need to learn more languages.  That would solve so many issues for me, since I need to learn Dutch pretty quick. One thing is for sure... international affairs would be easier! Too bad for the people who works in the translation field tho...

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It used to happen before the Tower of Babel incident when God diversified languages. I think this globalization thing is a cause for humanity to be judged finally. If we all understand each other, there would be a lot more conflict and dissension at least that's what I think. We are coming to a point where there is a universal language and it could be English.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Only having one language across the entire world would never work. We would develop different accents, that would eventually lead to new languages.

Having every person on the globe know english alongside from their native lagnuage however, is something that definately should happen. English is a huge language, and "most educated people know it", but I'm certain that there are still places out there in the world where english is not taught as a compulsory subject in school.

If EVERYONE did know English, or some other language that everyone knew, the world would probably be a slightly better place. Or atleast have the potential to be a better place. I mean, even if we could all communicate perfectly with each other, we could mess things up anyway.

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It would definitely be much easier to communicate with the rest of the world and I'd like it to be like that. Maybe the only reason why I dislike it is that there wouldn't be so many diversities among us, other language brings also another culture and it's all related.

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I think it would be extremely convenient, but also extremely dangerous; different languages can aid in privacy and security, and without those, we would have to resort to other codes and modes of discreet communication.

But all that aside, I think it would be pretty fun to finally be able to communicate with folks all the way around the world.

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On the plus side of this, everyone would be able to understand each other and there would be no language barriers, I'm assuming body language and verbal language will be all the same. But, I don't think that I would prefer this. For one the world would be pretty boring I think, we wouldn't be able to learn new languages and the culture would be similar.

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