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Globish
Alex Steffen, 25 Apr 05

Globish, some say, is really what most of the planet's Anglophones are actually speaking:

It happens all the time: during an airport delay the man to the left, a Korean perhaps, starts talking to the man opposite, who might be Colombian, and soon they are chatting away in what seems to be English. But the native English speaker sitting between them cannot understand a word.

They don’t know it, but the Korean and the Colombian are speaking Globish, the latest addition to the 6,800 languages that are said to be spoken across the world.
(via Howard French)

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Comments

Oh, man, you forgot to include the best quote in the article:

"A language is the vehicle of a culture. Globish doesn't want to be that at all. It is a means of communication."


Posted by: Jeremy Faludi on 26 Apr 05

Not to disparage Nerriere's efforts to describe the commonalities between English as spoken by natives in other languages, but as a prescription he's starting out on the wrong foot, providing entry to the language only to Francophones rather than the much larger population that can speak some ragged version of Globish already. If we all have to learn French in order to understand the Globish grammar, we're probably not going to get very far.

In any case, C.K.Ogden did the same thing 75 years ago with Basic English. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_English) And with only 850 words instead of 1500!


Posted by: Alton Naur on 26 Apr 05

There's also "passive understanding" (or "passive competence" in a language). We as children learn to understand the language before we can speak it, and it is the same with new languages.

So some people are working in methods to let us learn passively a few other languages: I understand your French and you understand my Spanish.

Apparently, learning 10 languages passively would take as much effort as learning 1 language actively. If that's the case, then we'd have "Europe", "Africa", etc.

See this on "passive competence".


Posted by: Lucas Gonzalez on 27 Apr 05



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