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Thankful for Global English

I wrote this as a response to a journalist’s query for things travelers are thankful for. It wasn’t used in the article, so I thought I’d share it here. I really meant it! I am thankful for English. It bums me out how many people there are in the world who I’m separated from by a language barrier, and luckily, that number is dropping. OK, here’s what I wrote.

When it comes to travel, this year I give thanks for English. I’m bilingual (Spanish) and all for learning languages, but there’s no way to learn all of them. The emergence of English as a global language is invaluable to global travelers.

My company sent a team to make videos and do guerrilla marketing at the Olympics in Beijing. We were amazed how easy it was to find English-speaking Chinese people to be in our videos. Here’s a montage of all the people we interviewed.

Earlier in the year, I went to Istanbul to attend the wedding of a Turkish man and Ukrainian woman who met on our website, englishbaby.com. I actually made great friends with the groom. He and his wife’s story is really inspirational, and, honestly, I feel like it helped me manifest love in the months after the trip. Of course, none of this would have been possible without English. Here’s the video I made of their wedding.

Basically, I’m glad that I can talk to more people around the world than ever before.

2 Responses to “Thankful for Global English”

  1. Brian Barker Says:

    Sorry to disagree

    I live in London and if anyone says to me “everyone speaks English” my answer is “Listen and look around you”. If people in London do not speak English then the whole question of a global language is completely open.

    The promulgation of English as the world’s “lingua franca” is impractical and linguistically undemocratic. I say this as a native English speaker!

    Impractical because communication should be for all and not only for an educational or political elite. That is how English is used internationally at the moment.

    Undemocratic because minority languages are under attack worldwide due to the encroachment of majority ethnic languages. Even Mandarin Chinese is attempting to dominate as well. The long-term solution must be found and a non-national language, which places all ethnic languages on an equal footing is long overdue, An interesting video can be seen at http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=_YHALnLV9XU Professor Piron was a former translator with the United Nations

    A glimpse of Esperanto can be seen at http://www.lernu.net

  2. jasonsimms Says:

    Thanks for the great comment, Brian! This isn’t the first time Esperanto has come up on our blog. But how does Esperanto solve the problem of the global language only being available to the educated?

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