Sachin, who is a customer of mine and a prolific contributor to my YouTube channel, inspired me to write this article, here’s part of the comment he left on my YouTube video where I’m arguing against the prevalent view on Americans as being lazy language learners:
One should accept that English language has contributed to the world more than any other language. English has brought the world together. English is not just British or American’s language anymore – it’s the world’s language. Knowledge of the world got available to everyone only after converted in English!
Well, we can all argue ad nauseam whether the English language is taking over the world, is it having a detrimental effect on smaller languages or not, and also accuse Americans for being lazy and ignorant when it comes to learning foreign languages.
All that is actually IRRELEVANT when we consider the simple fact that the English language has indeed brought the entire world together in a lot of different ways and we, foreigners, are undoubtedly much better off learning it and speaking it as opposed to constantly moaning and complaining about the Evil Empire of English which is soon going to obliterate the smaller nations and countries!
But in case my words are making your blood boil – consider this:
We need to separate POLITICS from the LANGUAGE when discussing such matters!
Just think about the German language and the activities that Germany was involved during WW2, for example. No sane person would condone what was done during those years – atrocities brought upon the world by the fascist regime were outrageous, to say the least.
Do we hate the German language for the criminal past of the country that it represents, however?
Of course we don’t!
Same goes with the English language. A lot of people just follow the mainstream opinion of the US being the evil empire and tarnish the English language with the same brush
Yes, there’s no denying that here’s a lot of controversy about the warfare the country is getting itself involved in – mostly when it suits its foreign policies (pursuit for energy sources, expansion of American companies and interests in the war-torn countries etc).
The English language, however, BELONGS TO THE WORLD – just like Sachin pointed out. It belongs to anyone who speaks it!
I love English, and when I go about my daily spoken English practice, I don’t considering myself as a traitor of humanity just because I happen to like a language that’s being spoken by people who are involved in activities that we mightn’t approve of. As a matter of fact, it’s also spoken by millions upon millions GOOD and BRILLIANT people all over the world!
It’s actually ridiculous, when you think about it, that so many people associate the English language with something NEGATIVE or something that they believe to be a bad thing.
If speakers of all world languages abandoned speaking them by virtue of tyrants and murderers having spoken them, there’d be not a single language left in the world!
Or if you believe that the English language spreads like a virus amongst indigenous languages and brings all the bad things with it – fast food, crime and drug abuse then you must be seriously deluded… It’s not the language that does it. It’s the Western way of life, if you like, but it’s not the language that is to be blamed for it.
Hadn’t it been the English language that is spoken by the world’s superpowers linked to all the “bad” things (obesity and fast food culture, consumerism and using the third world for easy and quick profits), it could have just as easily been French, Dutch, Spanish or German!
Anyway, as I said – we could be arguing about these matters till cows come home because it’s very difficult to change people’s opinion on a certain subject.
Better let’s talk about how EXACTLY the English language has brought the world together
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