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15 January 2012 @ 05:52 pm
The world would be a better place if everyone spoke the same language.  
This is for GP class. 
You can see how awful I am at writing good essays lol. Sighhh. 
ps thanks grace & yiwye for your help <3

Language is one of the basic forms of communication of men, and it has evolved over the years into many diverse forms. Yet there has been a phenomenon of a convergence in recent times. For instance, English is now considered to be the most commonly used official language in terms of diplomatic relations, as well as in international commerce and trade. English lessons are popular and prevalent, and considered essential if one wishes to succeed. Many in the world, particularly those in developed countries, already speak both English and their mother tongues. A world where everyone speaks the same language is an emerging reality, and with it comes greater ease, accuracy and efficiency in transmission of information and data – but such advances may seem insignificant in face of the cons brought about by a common language, namely the degradation and loss of culture, and the extinction of complex languages with rich histories.
Having a common language such as English can level the playing field. With a common language, no longer will the foreign student be at a disadvantage when taking international courses or examinations, which are usually conducted in English. Similarly, in a country where only the rich are educated in English, such as India, it will benefit the poor if there is a common language as this exposes them to the world, placing them at the same starting point as the rich, equalizing the imbalance.
The presence of one dominating language is not rare in the world, considering the language adopted in computer engineering and software programming. The fact that one programming language, C/C++, amidst others, is universal makes the configuration of computers and data convenient and efficient. There is no need for translation between computers, and similarly, having a common language will enhance the growth of our increasingly information-driven society, where people are able to share new found knowledge, for instance scientific developments or breaking news, without the need to go through translation and its subsequent rounds of double checking. There will be no lag between two people of different speaking languages, and moreover, there is no fear of any meaning lost in translation. Everyone is able to access anything without the restriction of language barriers, and people can enjoy greater intellectual stimulation at ease.
On the other hand, language is considered to be an essential make-up of culture and having a shared language will erode many cultures in the world. For instance, the Japanese are known for their polite and conservative nature, which is reflected in their language, where there are conjugations of verbs primarily used to represent gratitude. The language is also less straightforward and more roundabout. The reflection of a society and culture in its language is not unique to Japan, but prevalent in many nations and societies. But the death of language is truly happening, and fast, with an estimated half of the 6000 languages today to go extinct in 200 years. Without culture, people may lack a sense of identity and belonging. Culture also imparts essential values that may go extinct together with the death of the culture's language. Without a common social identity to identify with, people lack unity and while it may not affect normal daily lives, a weakly bonded society can prove to be brittle in times of disasters.
In addition, each language is a complex system that evolved over decades, and can be considered artefacts. Much can be learned from a language, from the history of the area to the beliefs, all of which are crucial knowledge that makes up a part of humanity's past. To lose a language signifies the death of a part of mankind and while it is intangible, such sacrifices cannot be worth it. It is also surely unwise to drive the growth of our society with the destruction of the history that makes up the very society, particularly when the world is in such a tumultuous state, made evident by the violent revolutions and protests emerging daily.
However, while language undeniably unites people, but also alienates those who do not speak the same language. To have a shared language can translate into greater international cohesiveness. A global village where there is peace and harmony between all nations, once an ideal, may finally become reality. Nevertheless, it is acknowledged that global cohesiveness does not simply arise from a shared language, but also from shared ideals and goals. For instance, in North and South Korea, despite speaking the same language, there are huge rifts lasting years between the 2 countries. It is simplistic to think that language singularly forms the basis for culture and shared beliefs.
All in all, it is unrealistic to claim that the world would be better off with one language. The negative effects of losing this many languages far outweigh the positives that can arise from better communication. Moreover, to believe that language solely makes up the whole of communication is naive and there are other factors at play that we should be focusing on rather than the unification of the world's language, which will not prove beneficial at this moment in time.
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