The Future of English
Well, here’s an interesting premise. According to researcher and writer, Nicholas Ostler, The Last Lingua Franca: English Until the Return of Babel, English predominance as the “most successful language in the history of the world” and the preferred tongue of international scholarship and business will soon be coming to an end. And why, you ask? According to the book’s author, “…two new factors—modern nationalism and technology—will check the spread of English.” Specifically, technologies like translation software and services support this theory. The following is from The Economist:
English will fade as a lingua-franca, Mr Ostler argues, not because some other language will take its place…Rather, English will have no successor because none will be needed. Technology, Mr Ostler believes, will fill the need.
What do you think? In your global teamwork, business travels and international assignments, have you seen technology replace the need for English as a common, shared language of business?