April 1, 2004

Language and power  

The Trib has an interesting piece on English and its cloudy future as a lingua franca. This comment might be the most illuminating for us monolingual Americans:

"Monolingualism ... is peculiar," [Graddol] told the Atlantic. "Taking a long-term historical view, I'm inclined to think that the European project (from the Renaissance onwards) that created the idea of the modern nation state, each with a single national language and that marginalized or suppressed linguistic diversity within national borders, will turn out to be a blip in history."
Just another way the internet and globalization are eroding the nation-state, I guess. But perhaps it's harder to see from inside America, with its strong borders and ineluctable cultural exports.


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