TED Conversations

Tomasz Poznanski

This conversation is closed.

Will we eventually have one global language?

Lately, I found myself wondering whether we are slowly sailing towards one global language. If you take a closer look at the current linguistic processes around the world, you will quickly notice that there is a limited number of languages that substantially influence all other languages. Such media like the Internet only intensify this process.

If we assume that English shall continue to spread and make such a tremendous impact worldwide, is it prudent to say that our languages are gradually melting into one? Will they transform overtime to the extent that despite using different languages we will be able to understand each other?

Or are we evolving to bilingualism/multilingualism? Our mother tongue will be retained, but the "overlord" language will be required to fully participate in the global affairs.

Would it make our everyday existence easier, or - on the other hand - would losing other languages trigger a decline in culture-dependent thought diversity?
(see linguistic relativity or Sapir-Whorf hypothesis for details)

Please share your thoughts.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Nov 21 2013: "it does not necessarily have to be english" (no zapewne polski) - we have a global language, which is english, (encompassing whole universe because even aliens can speak english!) ... only pity it wouldn't rule in multiverses because contrary to HARD evidence that they exist, it is probably the greatest illusion of modern science.
    "It is not only about ... , but also about bringing an entirely new and different world view, values, thinking, approach etc" - very nicely and wisely, but the only thing we can do is enter in that world of english and stay... but the richness of our language doesn't have to disappear, we can enrich, improve and develop english as did the great Poles... J. Conrad or J. Bronowski
    my greatest tragedy is that i'm very limited in my ability in using English... inability to learn English at a decent level is my biggest constraint for my mind, my biggest disability... probably i forever remain stupid Pole!

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.