Monday, December 04, 2006

Globish takes over the world

A new language termed Globish is taking over the world, and it looks remarkably like English. In an article in this week's Observer, Robert McCrum takes a look at this stripped down version of English and how it's being used to lubricate the wheels of business around the world. According to McCrum, "By some calculations, indeed, as many as a billion people, nearly a sixth of mankind, now use English as either a first or, more prevalently, second language. This used to be known as 'offshore English'. Globish, 'the international dialect of the third millennium', is a more apt description."

But, just because we speak English it doesn't mean we have an advantage. The idiomatic, figuarative ways in which many native-speakers of English communicate makes us harder to understand than the more literal-mineded speakers of Globish who strip the metaphors and jargon away to use English in a more streamlined way.

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