The Instigator
Abdab
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
vocalmajority
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

All countries should have signs in English

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
vocalmajority
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/21/2014 Category: Places-Travel
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 886 times Debate No: 55135
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (3)

 

Abdab

Pro

To clarify: All countries with a major tourism industry should have signs printed in their native language and in English (Like Wales does)
First round is for acceptance, I would like to see what Con has to say. This isn't exactly my view and I would never expect it to be actually imposed, but I think it is a good point and I would like someone to show why it is a bad point.
vocalmajority

Con

Although it would doubtless make it easier for English speakers on holiday in foreign countries to have signs in English, it would not be a good thing overall. For the government of the country involved, there would be a strategic problem of doubling all the signs, as well as a large cost incurred. The measure is a little over the top, in most countries with a strong tourism industry, because in these countries tourists most often come seasonally, for example in the spring for skiing or in the summer for a beach holiday, and so these signs would be largely useless for the rest of the year. Also, it is not very difficult for English speakers and readers to understand signs in foreign languages that use the same alphabet, and it is also not difficult to acquire a map in English, to understand where to go.
There is also a point of a loss of cultural identity for the country attracting the tourists. For some countries, with a strong historical culture, for example Italy, an erosion of this culture, which could start with English street signs would detract from the experience for tourists, and create a situation worse for both English speaking tourists and the country they are visiting.
Debate Round No. 1
Abdab

Pro

(To be honest I totally agree with you, but here's to playing devil's advocate!)

English is the first language of over 380 million people, and the second language of many more. It is the official language of 57 countries and 27 non-sovereign entities. I think it would benefit countries in the long run, because although it would cost a bomb initially, it could bring in much more tourism. People may avoid going to countries due to fear of getting lost or not being able to communicate efficiently enough to find vital places such as their hotel, restaurants, hospitals or shops. I don't think it would remove any culture from the country as they are just signs. How many countries are famous for their signs? I don't mean like plaques and stuff on historical buildings, just road signs, street signs etc.
vocalmajority

Con

I agree that while this may not be the cause of an erosion of national or regional culture, it is a very noticeable symbol of the erosion that is already underway and is likely to continue due to increased globalisation and the continued dominance of America. This, rather than encouraging tourists may make them feel they haven't become immersed in the 'other' that they sought abroad.
A significant number of people do speak English, however, many also speak French, Spanish, nearly 1 billion speak mandarin, and yet English is considered the one language of choice? It seems a little strange. Also, just because English is the official language of a country, doesn't mean that this is the majority language spoken there - as is the case with India.
Although some English speakers may be inticed to a country because of its street signs, perhaps the governments of these countries could be spending the money better elsewhere. The opportunity cost of paying for street signs might be foregoing the training of the workforce, perhaps educating them in the English language.
Debate Round No. 2
Abdab

Pro

The initial cost of replacing the street signs would eventually be made up by increased tourism, and it would also create jobs because people will need to design, print, and put up the signs. I think it would be a good thing eventually, and even if natives don't speak the best english, they will see the street signs day in and day out and will slowly help them learn vital english such as 'hospital'.
vocalmajority

Con

You are definitely correct that putting up these road signs would create jobs. This seems very insignificant, seeing as jobs could be created improving the quality of the road system, or elsewhere, in education or justice. If a government were committed to providing jobs they would seek to do it in a more long-lasting way, or a way which creates greater improvements.

I agree with you that having these signs would make it easier for English speakers once they are in the country, but I disagree that this will actually bring in English speakers, or make them more likely to go there rather than to another country. Since the point of contention is 'all countries should have signs in English', the only thing that would make more English speakers go on holiday abroad is a change in the price or accessibility of these holidays, not having slightly more convenient street signs everywhere.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
English is the most used language in the world.Makes sense.
Posted by Abdab 2 years ago
Abdab
I would like to thank everybody for their voting, but would also like to clarify, I wasn't being serious with this debate, and realise it is insane to erect signs in English in every country. I just wanted to see what Con had to say. Hence why sources etc weren't really necessary. Thank you also to Vocalmajority for a great discussion c:
Posted by Abdab 2 years ago
Abdab
If it had a lot of English speaking tourists
Posted by jamccartney 2 years ago
jamccartney
Would this include North Korea?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 2 years ago
FuzzyCatPotato
AbdabvocalmajorityTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con makes stronger arguments, turns all Pro impacts.
Vote Placed by Pokemonzr 2 years ago
Pokemonzr
AbdabvocalmajorityTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct was tied. S&G was tied. Arguments go to Con. They were just more convincing, hence "who made more convincing arguments?". I felt that this was an extremely close debate. Also, I can't award source points since no sources were used! I felt that this was more of a conversation than a debate. Somebody said something, somebody said another thing. It wasn't solid arguments, refuting, bops, definitions, etc. I see room for improvement on both sides, but good job!
Vote Placed by MB17 2 years ago
MB17
AbdabvocalmajorityTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: I believe that pro's proposition is overly radical, just because English is so widely spoken, it doesn't mean every country should have to adapt to it. For example we could argue that binary code is the most universal language but what would be the point of spending money to erect signs in binary, same thing with English. I vote Con.