The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

There should be a universal language throughout the globe

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/21/2015 Category: Education
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 531 times Debate No: 75602
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




Hello everyone,

why I feel there should be a universal language;
1) People around the globe, don't have to feel worried when travelling to a foreign country. As I come from an English/Mandarin speaking family, going to places in Europe, USA, Australia, Taiwan etc. is no problem for me. But when I go to places like Korea, Japan, Thailand, Germany, India, France, the problem arises. Yes some locals do speak English, but road signs, maps, rural areas don't have a single English word, which makes its difficult for tourist. Just look at Japan's map and you will understand.

2) The world would be much more peaceful. If people could communicate without a use of a translator, or having to learn another language, wouldn't it be much simpler and time-saving? In critical situation like war, business meetings, can a translator be fully trusted? You may be able to learn a whole new language and speak fluently in weeks? But how accurate a translation can you achieve? And the time spent on learning, could it be put to better use?

3) English it is. It is the most common 'business language'. Even businessmen in China are learning English knowing its importance for business growth in a global scale. Nothing much I need to elaborate on this.


Thank you to the PRO side for initiating this debate. I'd first like to begin by conducting a few rebuttals against their case.

"The world would be much more peaceful...simpler and time-saving". PRO has not made any logical correlation to connect these two claims. How is it that a more peaceful world is brought about by saved time and simplicity? What is the criteria for a more 'peaceful world' to begin with? Their argument, in fact, is quite contradictory, as they pride the universal language for its ability to promote peace then immediately proceed to enforce the claim that it makes war logistics more convenient.

PRO has also mentioned that traveling abroad is a pain without the presence of a universal language. That is only true because certain countries do not account for the concept of internationalism and needs of tourists when planning facilities such as signage. Societies such as Hong Kong and Singapore embrace the idea of having their society centralised around more than one language. Contrast this with PRO's example of Japan, a country that chooses not to place a heavy emphasis on creating an international atmosphere. This proves that the key to tourist convenience lies not within the inauguration of an international language, but a society's willingness to embrace linguistic diversity, thus disproving PRO's first point.

Now I will proceed onto my main arguments.

1) There is no need for an international language

We see that currently there is no pressing need and no demand for an international language, whether it be in the economic, political or social domain. There are admittedly inconveniences such as the frustration of translation to cope with, but whether this is sufficient enough to prompt the creation of an international language lies within the burden of proof of PRO, which has not been fulfiled thus far. We have not seen, in recent history, a single case of financial collapse or social disorder caused by a language barrier.

PRO seems to place emphasis on the aspect of efficiency, hence we will abide by their criterion. If it is efficiency you're talking about, then the implementation of an international language is anything but efficient when compared with the status quo. Currently, it takes no more than an interpretor and an extra minute or two for ambassadors to negotiate policies, or for businessmen to shake on a deal. In contrast, for an international language to function, massive amounts of educational resources will need to be developed, and these resources would need to be regulated and evenly distributed throughout the entire world to ensure that every single person on the planet is well-versed in this new international language. The time taken to devise a new language that fits into the mould of every existing language on the planet so to ensure maximum learnability is time-consuming enough, let alone the time required to actually implement it.

2) The disadvantages outweigh the benefits

Let us assume that there is a desperate need for an international language and it is successfully implemented. We have eliminated the phenomenon of baffled tourists standing in front of a metro map and the two-minute inconvenience of translating the latest entry in Greek economic reform's package from Greek to English for EU supervision. What is the price we have paid to achieve this? We have sacrificed cultural identity, and potentially freedom of thought.

Language is, in many cases, the cornerstone of cultural integrity and is one of the main entities within a culture that people can interact with and thus identify themselves with. The need for traditional languages will no longer exist when an international language is enforced and these traditional languages, along with their respective cultures in general, will disappear in proportion to the rising popularity of the international language. What is the point of leisure travel, as PRO mentions in his/her arguments, in a world about as diverse as three year-old's vocabulary? This isn't mere hypoethetical talk, many people and nations around the world hold their cultural values dear, as demonstrated by riots by the French people in protest of the growing number of English loan words making their way into the French language, something which is labeled as 'cultural genocide'.

Freedom of thought is also another risk/disadvantage that must be factored in when overseeing the implementation of a universal language. With every single person on the planet speaking and interacting on the same linguistic platform, this creates a haven for unscrupulous members of the ruling class to manipulate the masses and their thoughts and social attitudes. It is much easier to do so with an international language rather than the status quo which requires the vast majority of the planet to master most of the world's most widely spoken languages in order to achieve the same effect. An international language is also an easy pathway for mass manipulation as it removes cultural obstacles as aforementioned, thus eliminating the hefty task for different ethical and idealogical concepts to be translated from language to language. An example of such is the Chinese Communist Party's unfortunately successful attempts at suppressing languages in the Chinese language family other than Mandarin, such as Cantonese and Tibetan. It is widely known that the intention of the CCP behind doing so is to broaden the scope and reach of Beijing's propaganda to assert authority and sovereignty, especially for rebellious territories like Tibet. This ulterior motive is hidden from the public, and is instead branded by the CCP as a way to foster 'national identity and unity'.

All in all, there is no demand or need for an international language. And even under the unlikely premise that a) there is such a demand, and b) successful enforcement, it fails to prove its worth on both a practical and ethical scale.
Debate Round No. 1


Wycliffe forfeited this round.


It comes as a disappointment for me that the PRO side has forfeited the second round, as I was looking forward to a fruitful and enriching debate. Therefore, I should win by default as the PRO side has not been able to substantiate and defend his case, nor has he been able to fully elaborate on his existing points.

If possible, could the PRO side please state their reason for forfeiture in the comments section. Thank you!
Debate Round No. 2
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Wycliffe 2 years ago
10k Limit, 1 day
Posted by cathaystewie 2 years ago
Could you please tell me the character limit and the time I have to post my argument? Thanks.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Midnight1131 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro started off the debate with 2 points. These were later refuted by Con. They later gave 2 more arguments, which were never refuted by Pro, due to their forfeiting the last round. Therefore, due to the forfeit and Con's arguments standing at the end of the debate, conduct and arguments to Con.