The Instigator
vbaculum
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
Jeremiah89
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points

World Governments and People Should Abandon their Native Languages and Adopt English

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/15/2010 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,100 times Debate No: 12550
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (8)
Votes (3)

 

vbaculum

Pro

I propose that all the world's governments and people should dispense with their non-English languages and adopt English.
Sweden has already taken this route by making English compulsory in public education. Most Swedes speak English in addition to Swedish.

Argument 1:
The convergence toward English is inevitable. It is currently recognized as the language of trade, business and diplomacy. This status creates an economic incentive for people all over the world to learn English. People are responding to this incentive (see Argument 7). Having a single language will benefit the world therefore this inevitable convergence should be hastened.

Argument 2:
People of different nationalities will have more efficient access to each others perspectives. This will promote greater understanding and will contribute to a sense of fraternity among different peoples. A greater sense of fraternity and increased understanding would arguably contribute positively to world peace.

Argument 3:
The world of culture will be expanded. People of the world will have a greater and enhanced variety of music, movies, books, television shows, etc.. to choose from.

Argument 4:
The machinery of free trade will be lubricated with the advent of a common language. Greater free trade is known to lower prices on products and services and promote innovation. Companies in different parts of the world could more efficiently work toward achieving shared business goals. Free trade working in a homolingual (forgive the neologism) world could more efficiently locate jobs to people who would benefit from them the most. This would additionally benefit the employer and improve the world economy.

Argument 5:
The world of ideas would not be limited by linguistic zones. A person who speaks a given language would not have to wait for a book written in another language to be translated into his or her own. This would obviously have beneficial consequences for world-wide enlightenment.

People would be able to read newspapers and watch news broadcasts from any part of the world. This would contribute to an understanding of a diversity of views. News organizations may become less bias because, in order to obtain the largest share of the world market, appeals to nationalism and local prejudices could not be made.

Argument 6:
Tourism would clearly be enhanced. Tourists would no longer feel limited (as some do) to visiting countries that are known to have a service sector which speaks their language. This would have a beneficial impact on world trade (see Argument 4).

Argument 7:
Though I personally wish I could say that the homolingual world should speak French or another romance language, I believe English is the most logical choice. At least a third of the world's people already speak English as a first language. However, more people speak English as a second language than any other. This is proof that there already exists a natural gravitation toward English. This natural momentum toward English should be utilized toward the fostering of a world language.

English most likely already has more words than any other language proving that it is a highly expressive and competent language. A global convergence to English would cause even more words to be imported into the languages adding to its utility.

Most English words are of Latin origin and a very large number of them are of Greek origin. This linguistic connection to ancient learning is useful for understanding the vocabulary of subjects such as philosophy, science and other areas of learning.

Argument 8:
Modern software is riddled with bugs and inelagancies pertaining to the correct encoding and rendering of the worlds languages. Unicode and other encoding systems have made it possible for programmers to write software for any writing system. However, because there are so many issues in doing this, many days are spent in efforts to render and store characters using these troublesome encoding systems.

The simple Latin alphabet encoded in 8-bit ASCII is virtually flawless in terms of computer recognition and comprehension. The result is that English renders very well and is easy to work with for a programmer. Asian characters and even many European alphabets cause significant amounts of time to be spent getting them working correctly.

Argument 9:
Creating bi-lingual content, digital or otherwise is human effort which could be better employed. An unknown amount of money is spent translating books, creating subtitles and rendering signs into two or more languages. The world would be a more efficient place with out these unnecessary expenses.

Argument 10:
Though learning foreign languages may be fun for some people, it is likely that there are better subjects students could be spending their time on. After the advent of a homolingual world, foreign languages classes could be replaced with other electives from which society may likely benefit more. Note that this wouldn't be the end of polyglotism. There would still be dead languages to be learned such as Greek, Latin, or French for example.
Jeremiah89

Con

Well, Sorry for the Delay. Yes it would make some part of government simple and help the transition of policy and agreements easier. However it would;
1. Turmoil with the vast amount of countries that had to drop there native Languages.
2. English is the not a language with the broadest set of term and definitions, nor is any other languages.
3. It would never work, for the fact is that there is 6909 (give or take) languages in the world.
4. Dialects of the languages make this even more complicated, where there is more dialects then you could image.
5. Religion would also be impacted.
6. The World should not adopt English due to technology it, should be the complete opposite where technology should adopt all the known languages.
7. (See Argument 9 of the pro) What is call an unnecessary expanses is someone's job and what will can unknown amount is apart of are world economy, which is employing people.
8. Finally you would have to learn the thousand of other languages anyways.

Workcited Sources

http://www.ethnologue.com...

http://globalrecordings.net...

http://www.interproinc.com...

http://www.nap.edu...

http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
Debate Round No. 1
vbaculum

Pro

I thank my opponent for joining me in this debate and providing his well-reasoned counterarguments and his impressive command of English syntax and grammar.

CON: "[Homolingualism would cause?] Turmoil with the vast amount of countries that had to drop there native Languages."
Con doesn't give evidence or reasons why this would be the case.

CON: "English is the not a language with the broadest set of term and definitions, nor is any other languages."
I never asserted that English has the most words. I said it likely has the most words [1]. It is indisputable that English has a very large number of words. It is also safe to say that English is highly competent and expressive.

CON: "It would never work, for the fact is that there is 6909 (give or take) languages in the world."
The resolution was "World Governments and People Should Abandon their Native Languages and Adopt English". The resolution states what ought to be done; not what could be done. Therefore, even if Con's declarative were true, it would not be evidence against the resolution.

Also, Con seems to be implying that because it would be difficult then it would be impossible. This is plainly fallacious.

Anyway, Sweden has proven that a nation can switch to English [2].

CON: "Religion would also be impacted."
Con does not specify how or why religion would be impacted so there is nothing against which to argue.

CON: "The World should not adopt English due to technology it, should be the complete opposite where technology should adopt all the known languages."
Con does not provide a justification for why "technology should adopt all known languages" or explain what is meant by this.

CON: "(See Argument 9 of the pro) What is call an unnecessary expanses is someone's job and what will can unknown amount is apart of are world economy, which is employing people."

I will assume Con means:

CON: "(See Argument 9 of the pro) What is called an unnecessary expense is someone's job and what is called an unknown amount is a part of the world economy, which is employing people."
This gets into the larger argument about the merits of the free market which obviously is beyond the scope of this debate. I will just say that: Over the past century, many jobs have been lost due to mechanization, computer automation and more efficient business processes. Simultaneously, the past century has seen a greater increase in living standards than perhaps every other century combined. This suggests that the more efficient economies are the better they are at producing wealth. The way economies produce wealth is by employing people. As a rule, economies that are more efficient employ more people in the long run.

CON: "Finally you would have to learn the thousand of other languages anyways."
I think what Con is saying here is that in order to convert all people to a single language then a massive education effort will be required. Assuming that the governments of the world were suddenly persuaded in favor of the resolution then, yes, this effort would be massive (though, education itself is a massive undertaking). This would create a tremendous amount of work which would offset the loss of jobs that Con mentioned above. In the end, there would be a return on this investment as the world economy would become more efficient (as I claimed above).

1 http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
2 http://www3.lu.se...
2 (Translation) http://translate.google.com...

Note on citation #2. This is the same citation that Wikipedia uses. It is in Swedish unfortunately. I was not able to find a suitable English citation. There is a Google translation provided as well. Obviously it isn't very good nor can it be expected to be reliable because computers have a tremendously difficult time translating between natural languages. I apologize for the bad translation but it serves to point out that Con is in error when he says "technology should be adopted to all known languages". It seems unlikely that computer science will ever produce an adequate Bable fish which could make the distinctions between languages disappear when used.
Jeremiah89

Con

Jeremiah89 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
Easy win for Pro. con's arguments were weak, and he forfeited leaving rebuttals answered.

A fine debate topic!

I would have argued the Con position with (1) Governments mandating English would have huge political and social problems. French government leaders would be shot. Government mandates do not guarantee it would happen. (2) Parents could not teach their children english, mandate or not. (3) The technology of voice recognition and automatic translation will achieve all of Pro's advantages without the turmoil of mandates. Not his year, but within a generation or so. (4) The grammar, words, and idioms of different languages promote different ways of thinking about problems, an advantage.
Posted by feverish 7 years ago
feverish
English certainly has more words than most European languages, because it incorporates Tuetonic and Latin roots and because it is a much older and broader language. Modern French and Italian, for example were both "created" out of existing dialects in the last two hundred years.

Don't personally agree with the resolution though.
Posted by vbaculum 7 years ago
vbaculum
In a homolingual world where English is spoken French would be considered a dead language :)
Posted by Jeremiah89 7 years ago
Jeremiah89
Yes, Wee, Si... french is not a dead Language.... lol.. Mr.Vbaclum you shoud cite your facts sir.
Posted by vbaculum 7 years ago
vbaculum
@Atheism, You'll have to let me know what those better arguments are :)
Posted by Atheism 7 years ago
Atheism
Pro could easily make a better argument, but it is still pretty solid. I won't take it, because I want to see another's response.
Posted by Kinesis 7 years ago
Kinesis
Seems reasonable.
Posted by brian_eggleston 7 years ago
brian_eggleston
Its a real shame there aren't many French members on this site. This debate would have any true Franchman choking on his 'escargots au beurre d'ail' in a fit of rage!
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
vbaculumJeremiah89Tied
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Vote Placed by vbaculum 7 years ago
vbaculum
vbaculumJeremiah89Tied
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Vote Placed by Jeremiah89 7 years ago
Jeremiah89
vbaculumJeremiah89Tied
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