Would a Global Language be Beneficial?
A global language – as the name implies, would be one noticed and used internationally in the world. But would it even be possible to establish such a language without obliterating the diversity of cultures in the world? A language such as this could not only bring with it comprehension among countries; it may even turn those countries’ origins and traditions into something of an even more distant past.
The advantages that arrive with the establishment of a global language are plentiful and wished for. They range from the simplicity of ordering food in a French restaurant to the extremely serviceable ability of conversing with several African patients in a hospital (who would have previously spoken different languages) and even the advancement and growth of Singapore’s wealth and reputation.
The downsides arriving with an international language may solely include the demotivation of learning other minor languages, but this may even lead to the extremity of negligence of national traditions in which these minor languages would be used in songs, poems and sacred texts.
Communication being the most important principle of human evolution, the appearance of a global language would render its worldwide state. An international language would improve the exchange of information when simply abroad as well as in regions where it is most needed such as in the continent of Africa. There are many countries present there which require medical support from outwith, and it is noted that the auxiliary language Esperanto – tried for as a global language – assisted the doctors and their patients to correspond upon the matters at hand. Furthermore, another example of such universal communication is the extensive vocabulary of medical terminology, which has been organised by using Latin and Greek internationally.
An additional aspect of communication that such a language would improve is preserving the original effect produced by books, poems and speeches. When translating texts, their authentic beauty, conveyed emotions, and literary techniques become faded and ineffective through the lack of accuracy while the translation occurs. To truly understand what a book is telling us, what a poet is passionately producing, and what a spokesperson in an international debate is trying to point out, the context must be understood in its original form. In its original language. If a global language is established, every written and spoken manner produced thenceforth would be understood by anyone, along with its intended beauty and genuine meaning.
As well as improving communication, a global language can increase the general wealth of a country. One language that can be seen doing this is English. Taking the steps of becoming global, English has been used frequently in international trade between different countries. One country seen to exceptionally take advantage of English in this way is Singapore.
English was established as the main language in Singapore to unify the variety of communities (such as the Chinese and Malays) in the country. This was seen as the best decision the prime minster had ever made, and it rewarded his reputation and the country greatly. Without the help of a language used nationally among the diversity of communities, Singapore would have never become as successful in commercial trade as it is now. Because of the teaching of such a global language in schools, and the resulting increase of its speakers, the country gained a tremendous economic advantage – as well as introducing more jobs – and this allowed it to advance in its infrastructural, medical and technological aspects.
Despite the numerous and desired advantages a global language would bring, there are also some risks and dangers which may arrive if such a language is established. If an existing language, for instance English, is made global, it would boast a superior linguistic class which would already possess the knowledge on its correct practise. This is known as linguistic power and would be remarkably unfair to anyone who should have to spend their time and effort to master its literacy. Another risk factor of having a global language would be for it to dismiss the motivation to learn any other languages, as it would render their states irrelevant because they would no longer be endowed with any useful functions.
An auxiliary language such as Esperanto could be used to eliminate these risks. However, it would still hold other disadvantages. Esperanto, being artificially produced, does not contain as precious a linguistic heritage as other common languages. Meaning that for one to replace the beauty and history of their own native tongue with a language such as Esperanto is somewhat disagreeable and even objectionable.
The biggest and most considerable disadvantage of a global language would be its effect upon the diversity of cultures in the world. Language being something that defines the origins and traditions of a country, the introduction of a global one could simply eliminate all other languages and therefore a large piece of every country’s heritage. A country’s language is used to write its stories, to sing its songs and to explain its history. The loss of such languages would result in the irreversible loss of originality and distinction.
Moreover, the limitation of a single language may not allow people to express themselves however they need to. A restriction of vocabulary in the global language may forbid an Eskimo to use any of the multiple variations of the word “snow” to truly describe the scene, or it may disallow a Swede to describe something with the native term “lagom”, a word importantly used in certain situations where something is just of the right amount. Therefore, a global language could not only destroy other cultures, it could also even complicate communication where certain terminology is required for one to explain themselves clearly, beautifully and originally.
In conclusion, the advantages and benefits of a global language are abundant and would undoubtedly improve international communication. In what way such a language is established however, should be carefully considered, as it could also bring complications that could result in the destruction of other cultures.
A global language should indeed be tried for in the future. Whether it be the auxiliary tongue of Esperanto, or an existing tongue such as English, the cultures and traditions of other countries should not be forgotten so as not to neglect the history and origins of what gives everyone an identity. A language.