Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Learn English or else be left behind

English is the universal language on the Internet, even without an official status it is already the world language. It is spoken and understood in every major city in the world and has claimed the title of global language from French with the rise of America as the super-power. Thanks to globalization, the Allied victories in World War II, and American leadership in science and technology, English has become very successful across the world.  The economic and political importance of English-speaking countries have helped catapult English to the world scene.     

It is highly unlikely that the position of English will be altered in the future unless the European Union or a coalition between Japan and China becomes a super power and they want to promote a language other than English. This looks highly unlikely viewed from the present context. On the other hand, the prominence of English will be on the rise and it will be the official world language. The technology of machine translation, if it becomes widespread and cheap may allow people to use their own language in international communication, English remaining the link language.
Things have already come to a stage where English is an absolute necessity for success in the world job or business markets. Non-proficiency in English will be construed a negative factor  for jobs and for business promotions
The local languages will eclipse and give way to the global language. According to researchers only about 10% of India’s or Indonesia’s dialects will survive by the end of the century. There will be an erosion of the prominence of the constitutional languages of India too. With globalization, the entire world has become a single job market and without proficiency in English one’s future growth will be limited or crippled. Advancements in Science and technology are accessible to the entire world population through English only. By 2020 it is estimated that at least 2 billion people will be using or learning English and it has already established itself firmly as a lingua franca.  300 million Chinese can read and write English. The other developing nations are following the example of China.  Whys should India be behind?  
Global dominance of English can be bad news for world literature. Very few translations except those from English or other languages will be commercially viable. Only those writing in English will have a chance to reach the world audience.  World literature will become English literature. See the writing in the horizon and become proficient in the language or else be prepared to be left behind. 

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