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Transcript of Contemporary English
How English Became the Lingua Franca
English is currently the world's most universal language and is used as the official language in areas of:
The universal language
Grammar and vocabulary is constantly changing in the English language due to the lack of a linguistic academy like "Svenska Akademin". The lack of an academy makes it difficult to control which words are classed as official, so the English language is somewhat more free with the vocabulary compared to other languages.
Vocabulary and Grammar
By: Anton Billing, Louisa Azizi, Lovisa Lindström, Mathan Kananathan and George Bassilious
English was a language that spread out all around the world during the time of the world wars however it was not popular and was not used by areas to communicate to others.
World war 2 was a turning point for the English language. There Were two major events called The declaration by United Nations and the first general assembly of the UN. They made sure that the English Language could become a
and maintain its role in today's society.
Any language that is widely used as a means of communication among speakers of other languages.
The signing of the universal declaration by united nations
The war was hard and the world needed to cooperate against the axis countries. the Unification was led by the United States, who wrote the declaration by United Nations in the year of 1942.
The declaration was written in English and therefore all countries that signed saw the importance and adapted the English language.
The world powers adapted English due to them being less superior than the superpower USA, meaning that English will be good to know for negotiations with the more powerful country
The small countries quickly adapted the English because they did not want to get
by the United States. The larger countries signed to get on the good side of the United State
:powerless position within a society or group
The declaration of the united nation written in English and signed by 26 nations.
A speech from the first general secretary Trygve Lie from Norway, at the first general assembly of the UN.
At the year of 1946, the first general
Secretary was appointed. a man called
Trygve Lie from Norway. Norway is a small
country however as you see in the video
Mr Lie speaks comprehensible English.
Norway was not the only country who
adapted English but all 51 members at
the time had to know English. This contributed
to the spread of the language because if you wanted to cooperate with the world and be a part of the United Nations you had to know English.
Therefore most countries in the world adapted English and proof of that is that Mr Lie spoke English, and many more countries spoke English. Their English may not have been perfect but as time went by the Language got stronger in each of the nations and therefore is a Lingua Franca today.
YouTube(speech of Trygve Lie)
Declaration by united nations
The first general assembly of the UN
Scientists today publish research and discoveries in the English language.
The standard English scientific terminology is also understood and used world-wide.
International media is ruled by the English language. It's the standard language of news sources and social media.
English is the leading global language of business and economics. Financial terms and vocabulary is mainly English-dominated. A major part of working in business involves being able to interact with other companies etc. which requires the ability to speak English since it's a very international branch.
In the entertainment industry, English has dominated the areas of films, television, music and literature for decades. This popular culture is mostly produced in countries where English is spoken as the first language (mainly The United States and The United Kingdom).
The distribution of movies and music to the world has also contributed to the spread and knowledge of the English language.
Professions requiring English
To be allowed to work internationally with Aeronautical (air force) and maritime (marine) professions it is compulsory to master the English language and be able to communicate properly. Since international transportation jobs requires lingual knowledge mainly for safety reasons, as communication between for example a pilot and air traffic controls at airports.
Content languages for websites as of 12 March 2014
A new lingua franca?
Leading international news sources online and newspapers such as CNN, BBC and The Guardian are written in English and delivers news from all over the world to an international audience.
More than 98% of all science articles today are published in English.
Though English has not always been classified as the official language of science, earlier it was the former lingua franca Latin that held that position. But in the 17th century Latin started to fade as scientist including Newton and Galileo started writing in their own native tongues to make their work easier to access and understand.
Digital communication is increasing in popularity along with machine translation, in the future mails and messages could be translated to other languages automatically when received.
The reason for English being used the most in social medias is because of the purpose of it, which is to interact with people all over the world by internet. So to be able to reach out to as many people as possible, users of social media uses English to make contact with people across the globe.
To have a common tongue of science facilitates the scientific progress and work, as published research and reports can be shared and understood by all scientists regardless of their ethnicity.
In world communications it is crucial for both parts to understand each other, and therefor its a natural choice to use English to communicate regarding international politics and concerns.
Shrinking as a mother tongue
Has seen a decline in power
The percent of people with English as native language is decreasing as speakers of other languages are having more children.
The countries with English as the primary language have gradually lost their political and economical power compared to for example India and China.
One example of how the vocabulary has changed is the absence of words like "Thou" and "Thine" that were used during the Shakespearean time. There was a distinct difference between you and thou which relied on a matter of formality. Thou was used to address social inferiors.
Even though social classes still exist in English speaking countries, it is somewhat unspeakable so in society today almost everyone is addressed as the formal "You".
This shows that the vocabulary changes by slowly eliminating some words.
Not only does the vocabulary change but it also expands, which is due to the development in society. As society develops we will have to make new words for the new concepts or technology like the following.
"Merger" was a words that was invented in 1926 as a result of the developing world of capitalism and business.
"subway" which was was recognized in 1893, around that time several words like freeway and parking lot came to as transport was quickly developing in society.
This shows that the current vocabulary both changes over time as some words stop being used and expands as new words are added.
When looking at some literature of earlier versions of English you notice many grammatical differences. One good example is the comparison between The king James bible (1611) and the New King James Bible (1982).The language was quite drastically changed. Four significant changes are listed below.
The abandonment of pronouns such as "thou", "thee", "thy", "ye", "thine".
The modernization of verbs such as hateth and speaketh which was changed to hates and speaks.
The composition of sentences
The modernization of nouns
One example is the comparison between
King James Bible, Matthew verse 6:28 "And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow ; they toil not, neither do they spin"
In the new interpretation the last phrase is translated as"They neither toil nor spin"
It is no longer standard to place "not" after the verb. This shows how the composition of sentences in the English language has changed over time.
Chinese, Hindi and Arabic,
these are often seen as the future contestants of the title the next lingua franca, all three are spoken by many people in promising and growing political and economical powers. But they all share two common disadvantages compared to English, they're spoken very locally and instead of the Latin script utilized by approximately 70% of the world's population they all use different writing systems that are also very local and specific to their language family.
Is it really needed?
"And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow ; they toil not, neither do they spin"
Mathew 6:28 : “So why do you worry about clothing?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;
The farmer would be addressed as thou.
This nobleman would be addressed as you.
Spoken by many as a second language
The English language is spreading and gain more second language speakers which historically has simplified languages grammatically as conjugation of verbs, the use of different tenses and affixes are often the hardest to master when learning a new language. Lots of second language speakers increases the amount of loanwords as second language speakers tend to use words from their native language to compensate for their smaller vocabulary.
More than 50% of the top 10 million websites of the world are in English. With an efficient translation service these websites could be accessed by anyone translated to their language of choice but until then English is almost necessary if you want to use most of the internet.
For shorter conversations using a mobile application could make up for a lack of language skills.
More second language speakers can increase acceptance to the misuse of affixes and other grammatical errors.
These are the colonies of the british empire before World war 2 and as you can see the spread of English was huge. USA are also English speakers even though they are not colonize by Britain,
The world powers signing the charter of the UN in San Francisco 1945. The charter too was in English
All the countries highlighted with blue were the original members of 1946. English was the language used to communicate and it the map therefore shows how English was used as a Lingua Franca
English accents and dialects
English is the most spoken language around the world and that leads to different versions of it which we call accents and dialects.
An accent of the English language is how people pronounce the words and how it sounds different from other English speaking people like the difference between a Texas and New york accent, it sounds differently but is the same language. There are over 100s of accents around the world examples are a Russian accent and a British accent.
Accents are created when a language is spoken widely and people live apart from each other and dialects exit in most of the languages because languages evolve all the time and because people are apart from each other they can't catch up the developments the area has done.
The evolution of the English dialects began before English even became a language. English is originally from the proto-indo-european language which was a people rgoup called germanic people evolved to germanic and brought their language to today's England. Anglo-Frisian is a dialect of germanic which evolved to English in England and English evolved to a multi-billion spoken language all around the world with dialects of its own. So dialects are evolving to languages of its own.
A dialect is both pronunciation and grammatically different color and colour are an example of that color is from American English and colour is from British, different grammar even though they are the same language.
Is there a standard English?
My opinion though is that there is no standard form of English because every one has it's own way of the language, not using slang in a formal way more of using the formal and standard form of the place they in. Australians see their way of speaking English as their standard and so it is like wise in the US and in the UK
Is there a standard English that all dialects and accents are from? There is actually many standard forms because it is such a widely spread language, there are Scottish standard English and United Kingdom standard English and so on.