TED Conversations

Hugo Wagner

Graduate Student - Mechanical Engineering, UC Berkeley


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Is our destiny to be one world with one language?

Are we heading towards a world with one common language?
If you think so, do you believe that it will happen naturally (because globalization requires it) or because of one country's leading "soft power"?
Would it enhance international cooperation and promote better understanding between countries?

On the other hand, what would it mean for human cultures and civilizations?


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    Aug 10 2011: Hi Debra, it feels that way, by a human life span but languages, like Redwoods, grow slower.
    English is over 1500 years old and it was a dying language for 300 years before Chaucer. Even the Anglo-Saxon chronicles were abandoned because English was sooo yesterday.
    A few decades waxing or waning are nothing much to a language. Hebrew was also in more severe doldrums than Esperanto has ever been, yet it is strong today.
    Esperanto will prevail in the end because it is utilitarian, it benefits people at a competitive rate.
    It will serve more people sooner as English-speakers realize that bilingualism is good for their children's brains and that this is the quickest and most flexible form of bilingualism available.

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