The Importance of the English Language


fullrom.com|The Japanese of English is no other than “Eigo.”

Why is the English language important?

Last time, I wrote about something about Filipino vs. English. Well, for here, you might wanna know why English is a very important language… in terms of communication.

1.) Learning English is a process if you want to communicate with people who do not speak your native language.

For instance, you’re a French speaker who communicates with a German speaker. Of course, you’ll use English, unless the German speaker could speak French.

Communicating with people who do not speak your native tongue needs a certain language. You can’t use Interlingua, or any other artificial language designed for people with different native tongues to relate with one another. A natural language is needed, NOT a language which is man-made. You also cannot talk to someone whose mother tongue is artificial, unless he or she’s a robot.

2.) English is the universal language.

The former universal languages are: Greek, Latin, French… and so on and so forth.

Diplomats are required to learn and study English. Would you ever call yourself a diplomat (or polyglot) if you don’t speak the universal language? Sure, you could speak Greek, Latin and/or French, but if you’re not fluent in English compared to the mentioned languages, well… you might have a hard time.

3.) Using the English language (whether you’re a native speaker or not) is a bridge to learn a new language.

For the East Asian people, they could hardly be very fluent in English. Well, there are some people who could speak English, but the rest, could not.

The advantage of speaking in English will help you learn a new language. It’s like asking, “How do you say this in your language?” Of course, this is really a big help, but there are some people who cannot catch up with the English words, since English is very hard to learn, especially those who are monolingual non-English speakers.

In my experience, I asked some of my Korean friends on how they say it in Korean, but I forgot what arrogant is in Hangugeo, haha. However, they were impressed when I read some Hangul and yeah, it worked.

I believe in the Koreans who are studying in the Philippines. If they’re cold-hearted, according to some sources, they’re actually not. They know how to lay-low and learn something new. Of course, the advantage of Koreans in the Philippines is that, we could learn their language. Remember, there are some Koreans who barely speak in English, so that’s why we share cultures with them. Some Koreans learn Tagalog/Filipino, although they find it hard. They also admit that Korean’s also hard… well, is there such thing as an “easy” language? German ain’t that easy, either. Wait… did you ever encounter Dativ and Akkusativ in English grammar and syntax?

4.) English is the language of communication.

If you’re a Filipino, you think that English is the language of the learned and of the leaders, which isn’t right. Wait… do you think Andres Bonifacio knew some English? Did Rizal used English during his early years? Wait, telling that English is the language of the learned and of the leaders, most specifically to the Chinese and to the French is an insult.

The reason why Filipinos learn English is because of the OFW thing. Don’t get me wrong; our educational system makes us laborers. If Filipino is for HOME USE ONLY, then how about the poor people in school? Most Filipinos speak Filipino as their first language at home, but it happens that English is the language used in grade school– which most masa people barely speak or understand.

Remember, it is really useless to celebrate the Linggo ng Wika if we continue to implement “English-speaking” zones (quoted from Xiao Chua). The tendency of people learning English in Math and Science is that, they tend to memorize without comprehension. I really don’t know, but since I’m a native English speaker, it sounds awkward when Math and Science are not in English.

The advantage of speaking in English is that, we become good communicators, and an interpreter is not needed. However, there are things that we should take note of: How about the masa? Why can’t they achieve their goals that instant?

If you’re in another country, if someone in that country speaks English, that person is considered a good communicator. Look at some of the leaders like Angela Merkel and Nicolaus Sarkozy. They rarely speak English, and they have a free pass to speak their native language in forums, conferences, and summits. Some famous people like Brigitte Bardot only spoke English in movies, just like Gong Li (BTW, Gong Li rarely speaks English in some interviews, and she preferred Chinese interviewers).

Right now, there are some countries that are doing their best for their people to speak English, like for instance, China. This happened during the preparation for the Beijing Olympic Games of 2008. This served as a lesson to them, and not only that. This is also an advantage for them to share their native language (be it Mandarin, Cantonese) to the tourists. Right, Mr. Loo?

5.) This is a free pass if you want to be well-known in Hollywood.

People like Brigitte Bardot and Gong Li are exposed to Hollywood, occasionally. This is also in the case of Penelope Cruz’s younger sister Monica, who knows a few English words.

Non-American/(or British/Aussie/NZer) (American citizen or not) celebrities like Bar Refaeli, Franka Potente, Ivana Baquero, Heidi Klum, Maria Sharapova, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ken Watanabe, Moritz Bleibtreu, Zhang Ziyi, Charlize Theron, Jackie Chan, Marion Cotillard, Asia Argento, Audrey Tautou, Antonio Banderas, Milla Jovovich, and others speak English is because this is the only gateway for them to earn fame, although some actors are patient enough to stay (and be predominantly famous) in their home country despite receiving unwelcoming remarks from their compatriots (e.g., Audrey Tautou, Asia Argento, Zhang Ziyi). Audrey Tautou, despite the fact that she prefers to live in France thinks that New Yorkers are polite, compared to the French (BTW, the French is stereotyped for being rude, but that’s only an impression; ironically, they’re courteous). Zhang Ziyi said that Americans are more polite than the Chinese, although she lives in Hong Kong. Lastly, Asia Argento is criticized in Italy for her wild-child image (what’s new?).

The reason why most of these non-American celebrities live in the US is because, they think it is easier to access the studio where they’re assigned, etc., but that’s not yet the end of the story. They believed that it’s not necessary to give up your own cultural background when you’re a non-American Hollywood star living in the US. Charlize Theron said that she’s still a South African despite living in the States. Bar Refaeli stated that although she loves Israel, it’s better to live in New York City. Most of these non-American people are still loyal to their native background. Lastly, they believe that speaking in English doesn’t have to make them less of their nationality.

To conclude things…

English is a requirement to be Hollywood-famous. Whether you’re fluent at it or not, it IS a requirement. Some of the former and current world leaders like Putin, Medvedev, blue-bloods, Kim Jong-un, African world leaders, Hatoyama, Ban Ki-Moon, Kofi Annan and the others speak English is because, they want to communicate with the world without any help from a translator. They think that speaking English is a very diplomatic thing, and they believe that communicating with other world leaders is very helpful when using English. Wait… when former US President George W. Bush established friendship with the former Japanese PM Jun’ichiro Koizumi, Koizumi-san spoke a little English. Yes, he could speak English, but only a little.

Speaking in English, although you’re fluent or not, is very important. If you know how to speak the language, go ahead, because grammar doesn’t matter at all if you’re a stranger to English.

About Molybdenum Studios

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Posted on February 2, 2012, in Continental Talks, Languages, Opinion, States and Nations of the World, The Diplomacy Analyst and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I hope you’ll allow me to comment on your view that “English is the universal language.” As a native speaker of English who has travelled a lot, I am not sure that English is as widespread or useful as people claim. It is fairly widespread, but far from universal.

    I would like to argue the case for wider use of Esperanto as the international language. It is a planned language which belongs to no one country or group of states.

    Take a look at http://www.esperanto.net

    Esperanto works! I’ve used it in speech and writing in about fifteen countries over recent years.

    I wish you well, but I hope you’ll allow me to disagree.

  2. 當我們看中國的外交,卻發現她很多時會在違背自身價值觀和利益的情況下,向各國妥協。可見中國外交的失敗。

    中國所實行的睦鄰政策,可說是徹底的失敗。中國現在的領導人奉行鄧小平那套所謂的「韜光養晦」政策。但其實,這只是一種逃避挑戰的鴕鳥政策。當今中國所面臨的惡劣國際環境,則決定了這種鴕鳥政策必然失敗。

    在這種鴕鳥政策主導下,中國外交不僅畏首畏尾,更胸無大志,既沒有系統的外交戰略,也沒有長遠的外交目標。這種頭痛醫頭、腳痛醫腳式的外交政策,直接導致中國外交在面對各種挑釁時束手無策,盡顯軟弱之態,面對大好機遇時,也因毫無戰略準備而無所作為。

    對印度對日本甚至是越南,中國都是畏首畏尾,一昧退讓,實行韜光養晦。本來,鄧小平的韜光養晦,是指平時積蓄力量,關鍵時刻果斷出手,是一種積極進取的外交思維。但現在,卻成了一種鴕鳥政策,令人無奈。

    其實,按照中國現在的實力,根本不用如此讓步,中國對東南亞國家,對日本,甚至是越南,都讓得太多。完全顯示不到大國風範,畏首畏尾的外交政策,只會令中國人蒙羞!

    至於對印度和越南的外交處理手法,中國簡直令人覺得恥辱。情況就好像當年清政府打贏法國,但仍然賠償法國一樣。令人覺得是絕大的恥辱。

    中國在和俄羅斯,印度,日本,越南等周遍強國的政治經濟往來中,沒有佔到多少便宜,也沒有讓這些列強放棄對中國崛起的偏見和敵視,自身利益不斷被侵占,不能不說中國的外交政策有很大缺陷,這是中國國家佈局計劃和外交政策慘敗的最佳體現。

    中國常常想成為一等一的大國,但他的外交卻事事以懦弱的方式勉強了事,實在不能給人任何強國的風範。

  3. I agree with the comment about Esperanto. We should not overestimate the position of English.

    I live in London and if anyone says to me “everyone speaks English” my answer is “Listen and look around you”. If people in London do not speak English then the whole question of a global language is completely open.

    The promulgation of English as the world’s “lingua franca” is impractical and linguistically undemocratic. I say this as a native English speaker!

    Impractical because communication should be for all and not only for an educational or political elite. That is how English is used internationally at the moment.

    Undemocratic because minority languages are under attack worldwide due to the encroachment of majority ethnic languages. Even Mandarin Chinese is attempting to dominate as well. The long-term solution must be found and a non-national language, which places all ethnic languages on an equal footing is essential.

    As a native English speaker, my vote is for Esperanto🙂

    Your readers may be interested in seeing http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=_YHALnLV9XU Professor Piron was a former translator with the United Nations

    The new online course http://www.lernu.net has 125 000 hits per day and Esperanto Wikipedia enjoys 400 000 hits per day. That can’t be bad🙂

  4. Thank you Mr. Chapman and Mr. Barker for the comments. I gladly appreciate your opinion on English as the “lingua franca.” People like you are really very respectful when it comes to other people’s cultures and their beliefs, despite being native English-speakers.

    Well, I’d love to take Esperanto lessons, and appreciate the language.❤ So far it has all the words from different languages, right?

  5. I’d sooner choke on a cactus than learn an artificially-constructed language.

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