Saturday, October 16, 2010

English as a global language

English has evolved naturally as a global language over time, despite the attempts of various people to create artificial languages such as Esperanto, as global languages.

One important argument in favor of English as a global language is its effectiveness. Chinese has more native speakers, however, it also has simplistic

grammar, and it lacks articles, prepositions, verb conjugation and tense, singularity and plurality of nouns making it less effective than English at expressing complex meanings. It is also tonal, which limits the speaker's use of tone for emotional and conceptual expression. Furthermore most Westerners find the Chinese writing system difficult to grasp, whereas the Chinese and other groups tend to learn the Roman alphabet easily. The Roman alphabet is already the most widely used alphabet in the world today, and is shared by many disparate and seemingly unrelated languages, such as English (which has Germanic and French roots) and Spanish (which derives from the Vulgar Latin.) Since the Roman alphabet is phonetic (representing sounds) rather than character based (representing concepts) it is a more effective method of describing the actual sounds of words and phrases. Again, the primarily difficulty with learning the Roman alphabetic system is getting over irregularities, for example the gh in through and laugh representing no sound and f respectively, whereas g alone can represent the hard g in get or the soft g in George, and h alone can represent the aspirated sound in hat or no sound at all as in honor. Unfortunately, the only solution to this problem is memorization and practice.


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