Saturday, 23 June 2012

No it won't

The BBC love to hate anything Western, especially English and long for the day when the West has been eclipsed by the East and Christianity by Islam. I found this comment on the BBC news website that I thought worth examining.

'There has certainly been language shift in Los Angeles, most notably a doubling of the number of Spanish speakers (those who speak the language at home) in the past 30 years from 1.5 million in 1980 to 3.6 million in 2010 (including Spanish Creole).
Internationally, Spanish is also significant and futuregazers have gone as far as predicting that one day Mandarin Chinese could become the default language of business worldwide.

Speaking to the New York Times in 2009, French linguist Claude Hagege, author of On the Death and Life of Languages, said that Hindi and Mandarin could replace English some day.'
The bloody obvious point being missed is that there are more speakers of Mandarin Chinese and Hindi than there are of English BUT (and it's a bloody big but) Hindi is not even spoken by all Indians, nor Mandarin by all Chinese. Indeed the common language of India is English, as it is the second language of so many people. But how many Chinese speak Hindi? How many Indians speak Mandarin? The reason English is the international language is not that it is the first language of the majority of people but that it is the first or second language of more people than any other language and the only chance of a common language.

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