The following paper introduces us to the terms of global languages and globalization; it also shows us how global languages spread and why they are needed. Key words: lingua franca, globalization, language Language and Globalization Since this paper is going to focus on the problem of language globalization I feel we should be properly introduced first to the term of lingua franca or otherwise known as a global language.
The term lingua franca (plural lingua France or lingua franca) is used to refer to any form of language that serves as a means of communication among different language speakers, for example, Swahili in East and Central Africa or English worldwide. The terms ‘common language’ and ‘auxiliary language’ are also used to refer to such a language. Mistier, 2001 : 503) The term itself originates from the French language, it originally referred to a vernacular Romance tongue spoken along the Mediterranean coast between Marseilles and Genoa, the language was later used by Crusaders -? who spoke different languages -? and was mixed with Arabic, Greek, Spanish and other element. In time the Crusader language became extinct but the name lingua franca survived as a general term of any memorable language. Cord, 2000) Lingua franca was defined in the 1953 UNESCO Conference on Vernacular Languages as a language which is used habitually by people whose, mother tongues are different in order to facilitate communication between them (SCIENCES 1953). This definition applies also to pidgins and Creoles, perhaps more to Creoles because of the requirement of habitualness. Furthermore, to understand why lingua franca are spreading so fast and wide we need to understand the term of globalization.
First of all one might ask what is a global language? A language achieves a global status hen it develops a special role that is recognized in other countries. This might seem like stating what we already know, but in fact it is not, a special role has many facets. Such a role will shine mostly in countries where the majority of people speak the language as a mother tongue -? in the case of English, this means the LISA, Canada, Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, several Caribbean countries and some other territories.
However, none of the languages has ever been spoken by a mother tongue majority, with a few exceptions, so mother-tongue usage cannot give a engage a global status, not by itself. A language has to be taken up by other countries around the world in order to achieve such a Status. They have to decide to give the language a special place within their communities. (Crystal, 2003: 4) There are two main possibilities to achieve this. One way would be by making the language the official language of a country, to be used in the communication of the main domains such as government, the law, the media, and the educational system.
To get in these societies, it is crucial to master the official language as soon as possible. This type of language if often described as a ‘second language’, because it is seen as a complement to a person’s ‘first language’, or mother tongue. English is a perfect example of this; it has a kind of special status in over seventy countries, such as Ghana, Nigeria, India, Singapore and Vaunt. English reached further than any other language – though French, German, Spanish, Russian, and Arabic are not far behind, the have also developed a considerable official use. Crystal, 2003: 10) The other way would be if a language is made a priority in a country’s reign-language teaching, even though this language has no official status. English is now the language taught most widely in the world as a foreign language, in over 100 countries. English slowly overtakes many languages that were used to be taught, for example French. However there is a great variation in the reasons of choosing a particular language as a favored foreign language, like historical tradition, political, expediency, and the desire for cultural, commercial and technological contact.
Two other questions would be: Why do we need a global language? And, what is the future of English as a lobar language? To answer the first question, we have to know that translation has played a central role in human interaction for thousands of years. When different countries met, interprets were always present. But there are limits to what can be done this way. The problem of miscommunication that may occur is usually solved by finding a language that can act as a lingua franca, or ‘common language’.
Sometimes pidgins or simplified languages are used to communicate when communities begin to trade with each other. According to Crystal the idea that the whole world sight be in need of a lingua franca has emerged strongly in the twentieth century particularly since the 1 sass. Since then many international bodies were formed, like the World Bank, SCIENCES and EUNICE, the World Health Organization and the International Atomic Energy Agency. This was the first time that so many countries have been represented in a single meeting place.
Multinational regional or political groupings have to come into being, such as the Commonwealth and the European Union, at a more restricted level. These contexts put a pressure on adopting a single new lingua franca in order o facilitate communication. The need for a global language is especially appreciated by the international academic and business communities, this field benefits the most from having a single lingua franca since both in lecture-rooms and board-rooms as well as in individual contacts are being made every day all over the globe.
And now to answer the other question it is important to note that every language suffers modifications as new linguistic fashions are introduced. These can be introduced by non-mother tongued speakers also. And thanks to the fact that second/foreign;language speakers eve a growing number means that they are gaining a national and international prestige, usages which were criticized as ‘foreign’ – like the three person rule, variations in count ability or verb use (he be running) -? can become part of the standard educated speech of a locality, and eventually they might appear in writing also.
As a result of present day scenario – an international gathering (political, educational, economic, artistic) during which visitors deliberately or unselfconsciously use words or phrases of their own country which are not traditional in the traditional standards of British or American English. Some time ago the reaction would have been to condemn the usage as ignorance. But today it is hard to say this since the visitors can be social equals in every way. Thanks to these circumstances one has to learn to live with the new usage as an increasing feature of increasing diversity in English.
It may take a generation or two, but it is inevitable. As it happened within fifty years between Britain and America: in 1 842, Charles Dickens was making observations about American linguistic usage – expressing amazement, for example, how the Americans use the verb fix in tones of light, not dismay. But whatever your attitude towards new usages – and there will always be people who prefer diversity – there is no escape from the fact that, these days regional national varieties of English have increasing usage with prestige on the international scene.