Note: One Language for the World and how to achieve it by Dr. Mario Pei does a considerably more thorough and longer job than I have done if you feel so inclined.
Geo-Political Motivations for Choosing an Easy to Learn International Language
The International Language Changes Over Time
Throughout history there has always been an language that has always been the de facto standard for international relations. Usually this language comes to the forefront due to a specific country’s political or economic power, or via scientific relevance (Latin). The international language is usually the most powerful country’s native tongue, and of course, throughout history, as countries jockey for this position and times change, so does the language that is used for international relations. Currently English is the accepted international standard due to the United States economic and military supremacy, but this can change, and then another language will be chosen… Hindi or Mandarin anyone?
Throughout Western Europe’s history German, French, Latin, and now English has been, at various times and reasons, the international language, but it was not through mutual consensus. It was by virtue of political or economic relevance that this language was used as the go to language to get things done internationally. Every country vies for this revered and esteemed position in the world so as to have pride and the linguistic upper-hand in relations with entities from other countries that have had to learn and are speaking their native language.
People whose profession depends on speaking with those that do not speak their native tongue find it difficult which can create hesitation, misunderstandings, frustrations, and also limit the number of people that could be dealt with to either converse or sell products or services to.
There has always been an international language but it has never specifically be chosen by concensus, only by world power and influence was the associated country’s native tongue been used, which, of course, brings about a certain amount of disdain and desire to change, because others countries want their language to be the de facto international language. This thought is always in the back of their mind and seeds a level of inferiority or superiority depending on where you are in the chain.
It would be better to finally have a mutually aggreed upon language as the IAL so that it does not have to change as the world’s conditions change. Retraining diplomats, rewriting forms and signs to the new IAL takes time and money that could be spent on other things to have to do it again in who knows how many years. With an IAL selected tourists, businesses, politicians, and diplomats would know definitely what language to focus their time on, and this would be accepted all over the world increasing communication and understanding throughout the world.
Globalization, Immigration, and Tourism
With the internet and globalization growing more and more prominent the world is becoming smaller and smaller. Everyone has a greater chance to meet or speak with people from other countries especially through the internet forums, chat programs, and BLogging, as well e-commerce with business or people internationally.
International tourism is a continuously growing industry and not all speak your native tongue. Being able to communicate with all of them without spending 4-8 years of your life (per language) just being able to achieve a conversational understanding of a specific language does not sound like a good use of time, especially since there are in excess of 5000 languages that humanity uses. Which one to choose with so many choices?
Imagine being able to take a vacation to anywhere in the world and being able to talk to all public servants: policeman, go to a hospital or government building, order food at a restaurant, or tell a taxi dirver where you need to go without needing a translator or to learn a new language for each country you travel to. An agreed upon IAL can be your answer to all of this. Having an IAL will get rid of the fear that people will have due to a potential language barrier and therefore will increase tourism world wide.
Immigration is always happening no matter what nation you are in, if we all had an easy to learn international language this would speed up their assimilation, productivity, as well activity in their new nation, as well as keep them potentially out of trouble or reduce the ability of others to take advantage of them.
The United States has a Green Card Lottery in which people can win a Green Card and come to the United States and live. Others immigrate here without this, such as through marriage or though family and they come to the US without speaking English. The European Union’s borders are open to all members and immigration standards are more liberal for those in the EU. If we all spoke an IAL these new immigrants’ lives would be much easier, productive, independant, and safer.
Emerging World Powers
Currently, English is the lingua franca, but prior to World War II French was. Now that China and India are up and coming economic powers how long will it be before either of them become so prominent that everyone will need to learn those languages in order to remain competitive in the international market place to access their markets. Socio-political changes occur and there just might be a change in which country holds dominance in the world. Why should the language always change, as it will whenever a country obtains the dominant position in the world. Why should we keep learning languages which have so many problems and puts the peoples who language is the lingua franca at an advantage. Choosing a more neutral and easier to learn lanuage is to the worlds advantage in every way.
Advantages of Having a Consensual International Auxiliary Language
Increased Number of People Learning a Second Language
Having an agreed upon IAL would have more people learning this as their second language, knowing full well that this will be all that they should need to do their business anywhere in the world, instead of choosing or attempting to learn between 2 or 3 (or more) candidate languages to do business in with just a small portion of the world. This one language would be accepted and used in all parts of the world.
Since more people would know what language will work everywhere, most everyone will take this language and we will end up having a greater penetration of people with a second language. This will also help people in far parts of the world communicate with others that they would not have had the chance to due to a significant language barrier. This will more significantly impact US people since the American population has a low percentage of people that have learned a second language. With a consensual IAL there will be much more motivation to take it.
Health and Intellectual Benefits
Studies have shown that an active mind, especially one that is multilingual can delay the onset
Alzheimers as well as increase your IQ.
- Several Noteworthy Quotations
- Motivating the Gifted High School Language Student from Esperanto USA
- Being bilingual may delay Alzheimer’s and boost brain power (Guardian.co.uk)
Save Money on Translations
Are you a business or other entity that sells to or in international markets or clients? How would you like to save money on translation services by only translating your text or hiring tranlators for one language only? Why translate to 3 or 4 different languages when, if everyone spoke this really easy language, one international language will suffice.
The United Nations is already reportedly spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year on translating documents into the 6 primary languages for the UN – 100 million dollars. Wow!
Translations for movies’ subtitles and dubbing could be done in only one language. Government forms and signs in only one extra language. There is a lot of money to be saved which could then be applied to research and development or just plain profit.
Increasing Global Access and Understanding of Other Cultures and Nations
Having and agreed upon IAL that was easy to learn would:
- greatly facilitate the exchange of knowledge all around the work and allow it to be accessible to everyone, instead of those who are fortunate enough to have been able to learn English, which eliminates a large portion of the population.
- allow a greater exchange of ideas
- help people to understand, access, and learn from other cultures and nations
- making traveling easier