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.
Posted on February 2, 2012, in Continental Talks, Languages, Opinion, States and Nations of the World, The Diplomacy Analyst and tagged communication, English, free pass, hollywood, important, language, opinion, thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.