When I was younger the second languages that we used to learn was not english but you could choose between French and German. Some years later it switched to english language. Where do french and german as a second language go?
English became a official language and if you could be fluent you could get a well-paid job, watch movies in original version, travel without much trouble around half of the world, among an infinite of advantages among others.
Looked like this “trendy cool english “ was getting to Asia as well, and for some recent years it was like that in fact, but NOT ANYMORE. English has been demoted!
When I arrived to Korea, english wasn’t a popular language, and surprisingly between 2009 and 2012 english was the most studied language.
English: the most popular and cool language. During that time the korean society was all about english with their international schools, international american kindergartens, inviting native speakers from all native language countries as possible, even scottish teachers were brought to this small country, every public school in Korea need to have a foreign english native speaker and korean english teacher in the same room in english class. It was a BOOM!!! being native english and being invited to teach in Korea was like Christmas Lottery! -never had been easier to get a job without previous experience or even education.-
Unfortunately seems to happen that in Seoul english is not cool anymore! CHINA woke up and is ready to demolish all other languages.
With the enormous power that China has gathered all over the word over the last 2 years , plus the decadence of Europe and American and European crisis, along with a weak and late awakening of South American countries, and South East Asian emerging countries with lack of empowerment; China is becoming the first power in the world. Not only economically, which is this is something to discuss but in language as well. Additionally, westerners don’t learn japanese anymore, which use to be the MOST POPULAR EVER Language, young generations prefer learning Chinese even if it takes forever to do so.
Nowadays in Korea I can hear Chinese everywhere! What is this phenomenon about? why I have to hear chinese wherever I go? In Incheon airport the english has been substitute by Chinese announcements and all the cashiers speak chinese, in the city in foreign areas all the cashiers, sellers, etc.. speak chinese, internships for only chinese, korean government-like Facebook pages written in Chinese, recruitment of people with chinese language… English is not trendy anymore!
Are we condemned to watch how China and its language takes over the world? Are we too blind to see that this is only the tip of the iceberg?
Some years ago I read some article about Chinese couldn’t be the official business language. I’m not sure about it anymore. It was discussed that Chinese is too complicated not only to speak it but also to write it down, so imagine while doing business! I believe and support this idea because Chinese has too many dialects, Chinese is not a nation but a variety of conquered states that China claimed its land, they do not respect international law, don’t understand what is Intellectual Property about, play with currency. They are not ready to be an example for the rest of the world. So how possible English, even America, can be replaced by China or Chinese?
I was the other day in Dongdaemun and it was full of Chinese, I talked to my client and all I can hear about if China here and China there, I mean…. Where are we? those who live in Korea? those who believe Korea could be a hub? Those who love Korea? those who defend Korea against other nations so we can bring business here?
My experience: Some time ago I was in a convention and I had 2 spanish people together with me discussing a topic. Those 2 spanish people are from other regions in Spain. I speak Catalan (I am from Catalonia), one of them speak Galician (he is from Galicia) and the other in from other place is Spain. We all speak different languages but still we can speak spanish and understand each other without any trouble. The point here is that these 2 men they live one in mainland China and the other in Taiwan. So what happened? They didn’t feel comfortable speaking spanish so decide to speak Mandarin Chinese? They could communicate at some extend but, what about me? I was there too… If I speak korean they wouldn’t understand, so… do they pick up the a bad manners and make it their new manners?
I believed form the bottom of my heard, that was the rudest behaviour someone did to me, ever!
In spanish we have a proverb that says “Aunque la mona se vista de seda, mona se queda”, in english would be ” you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig”. Would be feasible for them to shine, smooth, polish their manners more? Do they need Government for that?
I believe neither Chinese nor Korean can become an official business language?
I have 3 reasons to believe that english must be official business language:
- wide well-known all around the world
- simpler and easier than any other language in the world
- there is no second meaning in english, so confusion is out of the negotiation table
So far, english got the world together, let’s not miss our north just because this temporary factory of the world is emerging.
However, what if Singaporean Mandarin-English hybrid could become the wold’s next common tongue? It could be possible as well!.