Farrukh Yakubov

Student, Purdue University

This conversation is closed.

What is the language of the future?

Do you think that single language will dominate in the future? If yes, which language can you think of? If no, why? Any thoughts are appreciated.

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    Jul 8 2011: I think it is sad that we are losing so many languages at such a fast rate. According to UNESCO, each month a new language is lost on Earth never to be spoken again, leading to a huge cultural loss. Efforts should be made in order to keep them alive, and natives who speak them in contact with their cultural roots. An example of this is Bolivia, which has made official languages the 37 native languages spoken all along the country. Wether this will succeed to help them linger or not, we will see.
    However, I also think English is loosing ground as the dominant languages as people from different ethnic groups thrive on different areas.
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      Jul 9 2011: Very very true.I think we all need to take the Kiwi's as an example on how to conserve one's native language.By the 1980's the number of Maori speakers was not more than 20% of the community.

      "By the 1980s Māori leaders began to recognize the dangers of the loss of their language and initiated Māori-language recovery-programs such as the Kōhanga Reo movement, which from 1982 immersed infants in Māori from infancy to school age. There followed in the later 1980s the founding of the Kura Kaupapa Māori, a primary-school programme in Māori." - Wikipedia
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        Jul 9 2011: Of course, New Zealanders are an excellent example to follow too. You can easily learn from them that holding on to your roots provides the country with a very strong sense of identity.
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        Jul 20 2011: Dear Muhammad, I'm sorry it took me so long to answer your question, but I had not noticed your answer until now. I am from Argentina indeed. Yet we didn't have a single ruling tribe before the Spaniards arrive, so there was not just one single language, but rather lots of languages and dialects depending on the region. When the conquerors came, they impossed Spanish and slaughtered most of the small tribes. Only the languages from the biggest tribes have survived, mainly Quechua (the language of the Incas) in the North, Guarani (from Paraguayan tribes) in the Northeast, and very little Mapuche in Patagonia. We are seeing some efforts today to teach these languages and save them from extintion, and I sincerely hope they succeed.
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    Jul 8 2011: I don't think we will all speak the same language in the future.

    Some languages have advantages over others (on certain levels), and they interact strongly with culture.
    Some words don't exist in one language, while other languages have a myriad of words and expressions for it.

    As for dominant languages: for now, English and Mandarin are quite influential, but so is Spanish, German, Swahili and French.

    I would strongly suggest anybody to learn at least a second language, even if your native tongue is widely spoken.
    A second language can give you a sense of cultural relativism and insight in other ways of thinking.
    Plus, being able to talk to foreigners in their own language opens the conversation (except for those people who assume everybody needs to talk their language, most often these are the ones who never learned a second language themselves).

    Languages evolve, and mutate. As English is already different in different parts of the world, It can already be seen as a group of diverse dialects, some of which are very hard to understand.
    I suppose convergence and divergence of languages and dialects will continue to occur.
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      Jul 8 2011: Maybe language of the future does not exist yet? How about few centuries into future, how about new language evolving from all others that exist, while encompassing advantages of all? I think it would be very beneficial for human civilization to have such a 'universal language'.
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        Jul 8 2011: I think this has already been tried in the form of esperanto and has pretty much failed.
        Sure esperanto courses are being offered at many colleges around the world, but the language itself is far from spreading all over the world.
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    Jul 8 2011: Mandarin.China is a growing powerful nation.Everyone knows that.Sooner or later,we all need to at least know how to speak Mandarin.That's my opinion.Correct me if I'm wrong.
    • Jul 8 2011: I believe that most (if not all) Chinese children learn English but it is not the same the other way around (yet, though my school does Manadarin from 11+).
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        Jul 8 2011: So what's your opinion on this Alex?
        • Jul 8 2011: Sorry, got dragged away from my computer to deal with something.

          Currently English is being taught to most kids in the world, the internet is (largely) in English, scientific papers are (largely) in English, computer programming languages are often english based etc etc.

          At the moment I cannot see past English as a world language. Mandarin will be an important language that people should learn if they're planning to deal with China, but two people from random countries meeting will have the best chance to communicate using English (see this website for an example).
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        Jul 8 2011: I totally understand you but with all due respect,I see China controlling the world's economy in the future.Don't you?

        Of course you say that two people from random countries meeting will have the best chance to communicate in English.That's true because the world's most powerful nation now is USA, a country where English is widely spoken.But who would know the future right? China is undeniably growing at a fast rate.Again, who knows right? They may control the world one day.
        • Jul 8 2011: I do see China controlling the economy, but I also think that English is going to be quiteresilient to change, in particular when you consider that English is widely used in India, which is another superpower-to-be. Mandarin is also comparatively more difficult to learn, especially if there is an insistence on using the characters.

          I think English was in the right place at the right time (when globablisation occurs) and that it will be very hard to shift away from the top. It largely depends on whether India keeps using english as the overarching language or swap to hindi.
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        Jul 8 2011: True enough I suppose but there is still the possibility of India swapping to Hindi.I can't predict the future though.
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      Jul 8 2011: How about a complexity of the language?
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        Jul 8 2011: I'm not sure I get what you mean.Sorry for my English.Hope you don't mind. ;)
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          Jul 8 2011: As far as I know learning English is much easier that learning Chinese. Don't you think most people would choose easier way?
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        Jul 8 2011: Of course people would choose the easier solution.But, don't you feel that English was hard to the non-speakers a long time ago? It did took time for English to be the universal language.So will Mandarin I think.It will take time for us all to empower the language but overtime it will be easy for us all.IF the world calls for us to learn the language, we must empower it like it or not.
  • Jul 9 2011: It depends on who holds the power and how long remains influential on various aspects of the globe.

    Unfortunately, I have to agree that there would be some dominated languages, but no body guarantee that the future generation will not understand and realize the importance of culturally diverse world and stoping one board language speaker?
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    Jul 9 2011: I think it will continue to be English for some time to come but the language of the elites will be Chinese. It is difficult and tonal and holds its secrets well.
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    Jul 9 2011: Body language
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    Jul 8 2011: MUSIC.