Wednesday, October 6, 2010


It seems that the trend of borrowing words, as mentioned in my previous article, is now reversed. Nowadays, English words are continually being adopted by all languages spoken in the world. Despite the efforts of some nations trying to forbid English terms, like France did in 1994 by passing a law prohibiting English words, where French words existed, that didn’t stop the relentless advance of English and have now given up.

Jean-Paul Nerrière, a linguistic French scholar, understood that English would be the language of the third millennium and coined the word Globish, in reference to the kind of English spoken by non-English speakers, as their English is not quite the same as the one we  speak in North America, and they only use a limited vocabulary of 1500 words. To this end in 1995 he wrote two books: “Decouvrez le Globish”, and “Parlez Globish.” International English is going through different phases, Franglais, Spanglish and now Globish, which has found  an advocate in Robert McCrum, famous English writer.

English is spoken by over two billion people and remember that there are more students studying English in China, 350 million, than people in the USA. In fact, China has started teaching compulsory English in all public schools, starting in third grade of elementary schools.

Will the whole world ever speak the same language?
It’s not unusual to see, in non-English speaking countries, signs with English messages, although in some instances they don’t make sense, or they don’t convey the meaning intended.

Here are some signs reported by the International Educator:
1.In a Paris Hotel elevator: Please  leave your values at the front desk. If you lose them in your room, we’re not responsible.
       2. Honk Kong tailor shop: Ladies may have a fit upstairs.
       3. Bankok drycleaner: Drop your trousers here for best results.
      4. Rome laundry: Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having good time..
      5. Czech tourist agency: Take one of our horse driven city tours. We guarantee no miscarriages.
      6. Norwegian Lounge : Ladies are asked not to have children in the bar.
      7. In Mexico: All the water in this hotel has been personally passed by the manager.
      8. In Japan: You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid.

1 comment:

  1. Without doubt English is certainly not the World's lingua franca.

    This is probably the best advert for Esperanto, as a lingua franca, I have ever seen :)

    At least Esperanto works, whereas English, at an international level, does not,

    Confirmation at