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Blog criado por Bruno Coriolano de Almeida Costa, professor de Língua Inglesa desde 2002. Esse espaço surgiu em 2007 com o objetivo de unir alguns estudiosos e professores desse idioma. Abordamos, de forma rápida e simples, vários aspectos da Língua Inglesa e suas culturas. Agradeço a sua visita.

"Se tivesse perguntado ao cliente o que ele queria, ele teria dito: 'Um cavalo mais rápido!"

segunda-feira, 31 de outubro de 2011


Will the English language’s dominance last?


English is increasingly compulsory in schools worldwide. 80 per cent of people in Taiwan want it as the country’s second language. Mongolia’s prime minister declared that his country must become bilingual.

Yet David Graddol’s book English Next (British Council, 2006) deconstructs the traditional narrative: like a rags-to-riches fairy tale hero1, English rose2 from humble3 Anglo-Saxon origins, fought off French oppressors, produced Shakespeare, Newton and the Oxford English Dictionary and has now triumphed globally.

This ethnocentric view, says Graddol, ignores signs in today’s global geo-economics.


The internet (which was invented by an American, Vincent Cerf, in 1973, while the World Wide Web was invented by an Englishman, Timothy Berners-Lee, in 1989) has brought the English language into homes around the world.

But translation engines and software supporting all languages and alphabets have rapidly reshaped the net. In 1996, 90% of web content was in English and 80% of users native speakers. Today those figures have fallen to 40% and 20%. Likewise, regional culture is bouncing back. US and UK music and film remain popular, but Indians prefer Bollywood films; Brazilians prefer homegrown music. As traditional distribution methods break down, two culture layers will coexist – global and regional.


Campaigns to simplify English and reform spelling show anxiety about this “universal language”. With no Academy to police misuse, will English become a cacophony of mutually unintelligible dialects? Chinglish, Britalian, Europanto…
Brits and Americans set the norms for speaking English, but will they retain authority unchallenged? Their universities created the global education market, but their overseas student numbers are falling, their e-universities failing. Emerging nations like China are fighting back preparing students for global markets with homegrown courses in English which are more accessible and cheaper. This places foreign speakers in a paradoxically strong position. Monolingual native speakers will lose out, unless they learn language awareness. I know Brazilians who chat confidently in English with Japanese, Spanish and German businessman, but avoid idiomatic Americans. Meanwhile, 91% of top US companies cannot respond correctly to foreign emails. Such insularity4 is laughable to multicultural Europeans. 

                                                                                      Source: Speak up # 247

1. rags-to-riches fairy tale hero: fictional hero that becomes rich after a life of extreme poverty.

2. rose: past simple of rise.
3. humble: poor or of a low social rank; ordinary; not special or very important.
4. insularity: interested only in your own country and not willing to accept different or foreign ideas

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