Reflection Essay Example
How in the Era of Globalization, the Domination of the English Language Impacts Language& Cultural Diversity
In the last few decades, the English language has been used as the lingua franca for economic, scientific and even political exchanges. Effectively, the English language domination in several aspects of the global community has impacted other languages and cultures. Globalization has enabled people from different cultural diversities to integrate and exchange the views, ideas, products, and other aspects of culture. Technology cannot be ignored since it has impacted how cultural views are shaped, shared, and accepted in different regions of the world. An essential aspect of the cultural diversity is a language because it allows people to communicate, share and understand each other. The English language is one of the most spoken in the world on different platforms and its impacts cannot be ignored.
According to the cartoon, people who are strange in any region will resort to speaking a language that they think those from such communities understand, probably the English language. The tendency to ask people to speak the English language, as depicted by the cartoon, is a demonstration of the language’s nature to dominate others. For instance, in one of the circles, one of the strangers, perhaps a Briton expects the other the stranger to speak the English language. Furthermore, the domination of the English language is exemplified through the circles as one circle has the United Kingdom’s flag while in the other circle, several national flags are represented. Therefore, the domination of the English language, as a subculture of the West’s influence on other nations, is demonstrated as aliens or strangers need to communicate using the English language.
According to Rick Noack and Lazaro Gamlo, the dominance of the English language is depicted from the number of countries where it is spoken and the number of people that speak it. The authors posit that over five hundred million people in the world are native English language speakers. Furthermore, the English language is the most popular spoken language in over one hundred countries around the world. They posit that the language, like the French, and Spanish, is spoken widely because of the imperial past of these nations (Noack & Gamlo, 2015). The domination of the language poses serious impact on cultural diversity. For instance, the extinction of over five hundred languages as indicated by United Nations Scientific and Cultural organization (UNESCO), can be attributed to the dominance of the English language and by extension its cultural practices (Nuwer, 2014). Again, the extinction of over one hundred aboriginal languages in Australia since the onset of European settlers is a demonstration that English domination is a threat to the existence of native languages. The hostilities that non-English speakers in the United States face is an indication that major languages, English included, threaten to wipe out other small native languages and cultures in the world (Nuwer, 2014).
One of the defining aspects of a culture is its language. When people stop teaching their children the native language for fear of not succeeding in life because of another language, then the entire community’s culture is under threat of extinction (Nuwer, 2014). Major languages like Chinese do not want others languages to be spoken. The English language and its domination, for instance, in the United Arab Emirates, is being blamed for the erosion of cultural practices, especially among the youth. Imperatively, the English language will continue to dominate and kill native languages since it is the most learned language, with over a billion people learning it in the world (Rizvi & Bell, 2015).
Bell, J., and Rizvi, A. (2015, April). UAE residents stress importance of preserving Arabic
language; The National. Accessed on October 14, 2016 from http://www.thenational.ae/uae/uae-residents-stress-importance-of-preserving-arabic-language
Noack, R. and Gamlo, L (2015, April). The world’s languages, in 7 maps and charts; The
Washington Post. Accessed on October 14, 2016 from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/04/23/the-worlds-languages-in-7-maps-and-charts/
Nuwer, R (2014, June). Languages: Why we must save the dying tongues, BBC. Accessed on
October 14, 2016 from http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140606-why-we-must-save-dying-languages
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