Globalization of language

Globalization of language

The term globalization might never have the same meaning to people around the globe. To some, it is the mixture of business, politics and the cultures of people the world round. Globalization is a huge and controversial topic and it refers to the expanding interdependence or interconnectedness among people, institutions and organizations across the globe and the repercussions of that interdependence (Barbara birch (2009). She continues to say that globalization is amoral and is neither good nor bad. That what humans choose to do within it or how their actions affect others can be judged as positive or negative, moral or immoral. Linguists say that globalization has already has a profound effect on our idea of knowledge, broadening our ideas of what it is, who has it, where it’s produced, how and why.  Globalization and the English language have been concluded as interdependent (Viniti, 2010).

It is possible that the world languages are even more than the people who speak them (Nettle and Romaine, 2000:27). They further say that even some linguists are not aware of the many diverse languages. Scholars who have attempted to study languages say there is likelihood that languages that people speak range from between three thousand and  ten thousand (Crystal, (2000:3) . It may seem strange that linguists can’t define the exact number of languages there are in existence. There are attempts to justify the cause for this one such reason being that it is not quite clear as to what really is a dialect or a language.

Whatever is termed officially as language is decided by social studies and political leaders rather than those who understand linguistics. The best examples may be the languages spoken in china, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. The Chinese speak in dialects that are altogether dissimilar to each other. Some are agreeably unintelligible from each other. This is the same case for those spoken by people in the three Scandinavian countries. They sound the same except for a few differences. They are considered as dialects of the same language yet they are like individual languages altogether, Comrie 1990a:2-3). Linguists have also discovered that naming languages poses problems so that some languages don’t have official names which they can be referred by.

The diversities in world languages can be categorized into three to include Phylogenetic, language and structural diversities, (Nettle, 1998:354-5). The diversity that takes into account the number of languages in a region has been referred to as the language diversity. There is a way that languages in a region have similar characteristics and are like belonging to a family and this is what Phylogenetic is.  Language and Phylogenetic diversity are sometimes confused but Nettle says that it is rare to identify areas with many languages and that the languages have similar features. The structure of languages is what is referred to as structural diversity. The structure describes how the order of words in a language or dialect occurs. Languages in the same Phylogenetic category have been found to have different structures.

 

Effects of the globalization of language

The effects of the globalization of language are both positive and negative.  The positive outcomes of globalizing languages are many. People can now communicate easily making business transactions even easier. Business is one of the things that bring interaction and if people are not able to converse in one language when transacting, then business would not happen. In times of war, communication in one language has helped build coalitions. It might be possible that if there was no communication between countries some would have been taken over. The standards of living can also be said to have been raised by the globalization of language. The world organizations such as the World Food Program (WFP) and United Nations have people from different countries unified by one or two languages. One of the negative effects it brings about is the extinction of other languages. The English language for instance dominates over other languages and envelopes indigenous languages. It has long been considered an advantage language and children are forced by their parents to adopt the language or learn another language that is considered dominant, (Barbara,). In the long run, these children can no longer converse in their own native language. This is the first step towards the extinction of the native languages.

The other way by which languages become non- existent through the aid of globalization is through the movement of people to other countries. These people go in search of work and are forced to learn foreign languages in order to be able to work. Their language thence becomes minority and is absorbed by the majority language of work. Endangering languages reflects badly on the people who speak them and also on their cultures. In this effect, the people who lose their cultures show behaviors of withdrawal and dismay at the realization that they can no longer be identified as a group on their own. These people also lose self esteem and may not want to vie for seats in the political arena. This deems it necessary for a people to preserve their dialects and languages. This may be possible despite the issue of globalization.

A country may for instance establish schools where native languages can be taught. This would not only help promote the self esteem of the owners of these languages but it would help promote their national identity. There is need especially for a country like United States to realize and embrace that multilingualism is part of them, that people need to conserve their ethnic pride. Immigration of people into America creates multiculturalism but the need for these people to belong makes them abandon their own languages and cultures to adopt the American way. This is the only way they can get jobs and enroll in schools. The best way to do this is by establishing foreign schools that would help save endangered languages in the country. It would also help promote the diverse cultures in the country as does Brazil.

Conclusion

The importance of English allows it to surpass one use so that it has also become a way of life and a language that can be used around the globe. The keepers of the language have also earned a lot by making it a business. Teaching the language pays a fortune. The demand for English native speakers is amazing. The overly demand for the language is more than what can be delivered so that the Chinese and Arabs hire Indian teachers to coach the language. The use of English in the international level has made the world become a global village so that people can socialize and live in harmony.

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