lingua franca

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  • lingua franca
  • Premier Icon slowoldman
    Subscriber

    Just thinking, if we do leave the EU, will Europe continue to use English as the standard business language in Europe or will something else be adopted? French, German, Cantonese?

    hols2
    Member

    The European Commission has announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the EU, and has therefore accepted a five-year phasing in of “Euro-English”.

    In the first year, “s” will replace the soft “c”. Sertainly, this will make sivil servants jump for joy. The hard “c” will be dropped in favour of the “k”, Which should klear up some konfusion and allow one key less on keyboards.

    There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome “ph” will be replaced with “f”, making words like “fotograf” 20% shorter.

    In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of the silent “e” is disgrasful.

    By the fourth yer, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing “th” with “z” and “w” with “v”.

    During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary “o” kan be dropd from vords kontaining “ou” and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters. After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubls or difikultis and everivun vil find it ezi to understand ech ozer. ZE DREM VIL FINALI COM TRU!

    inkster
    Member

    Brilliant hols2

    hols2
    Member

    It’s an old joke that’s been doing the rounds on the internet for decades, well done whoever originally wrote it though.

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    I think the answer is yes for the same reason that a lot of stuff is based in Brussels.  It is less controversial than using the language of one of the other big powers

    doris5000
    Member

    A lingua franca is essentially a language of convenience, and for as long as all the big selling films, music and books are made in English, young Europeans will want to learn English and they’ll take it with them into the business world as they grow up.

    A lot of linguists seem to think the next lingua franca will be Chinese, and i’d be inclined to agree.

    hols2
    Member

    A lot of linguists seem to think the next lingua franca will be Chinese, and i’d be inclined to agree.

    English has a simple alphabet and reasonably regular spelling and pronunciation. The Chinese writing system is massively difficult to learn, plus the pronunciation is also very difficult. I don’t see Chinese becoming a lingua franca.

    doris5000
    Member

    Chinese writing system is massively difficult to learn, plus the pronunciation is also very difficult.

    not if you’re from the far East 😉

    I doubt anything much will change in the next 25 years or so, but there are already more Chinese speakers in the world than English, and there’s plenty of stuff in the news about Chinese engineering and investment in Africa and South America. I was reading an article the other day about a hydroelectric damn in S America, and on the photos you could see all the signs were in Spanish and Chinese. It’ll be interesting to see how things look in a generation or so.

    hols2
    Member

    there are already more Chinese speakers in the world than English

    As a first language, yes, but not as a second language. A lingua franca has to be attractive as a second language. English has a huge head start on that front.

    CountZero
    Member

    As a first language, yes, but not as a second language. A lingua franca has to be attractive as a second language. English has a huge head start on that front.

    That’s the thing with English, it’s so very adaptable, especially in engineering, technology, science, etc.

    Premier Icon pyranha
    Subscriber

    And bear in mind that there’s still an EU member with English as the first-language, and a few where it’s commonly spoken.
    I’m sure I read somewhere that over half of high schools in the Netherlands teach in English and some Dutch universities teach in English except for Dutch law and Dutch literature – and didn’t Padua switch to English only for engineering a few years ago.
    I was in Rome in October and most (not all) of the ‘tourism’ signage was in English and Italian and no other languages – at a couple of places, English was before Italian. At the opera in Palermo, the subtitles were Italian and English.
    With English as a very common 2nd language it remains a logical common language. And with the UK out, it may be seen as more a ‘neutral’ choice.

    Moses
    Member

    English will last a few more decades, then Mandarin.
    The UK’s influence is fading quickly, but the ex-colonies will keep it going for a while – English is used as a shared language in much of India (and the biggest-selling English newspapers are there).
    The US’ influence is also ebbing away, esp as Spanish is growing in usage there. China wants minerals & markets, & will buy its way into government support for its use internationally.

    Premier Icon alanw2007
    Subscriber

    Chinese writing system is massively difficult to learn, plus the pronunciation is also very difficult.

    not if you’re from the far East 😉

    It is very difficult to learn; Japanese high-schoolers are still learning Kanji (Chinese characters) right up till when they leave and there are some symbols that almost nobody can read.

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