The Economist (official group for The Economist newspaper)

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James

The internet and language change

Manager Top Contributor

There are a lot of good questions to consider about the internet and language. There are equally many good questions to be asked about the future of English now that a majority of its speakers are non-natives http://econ.st/Udobs2

  • Comment (7)
  • December 21, 2012
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  • Sirajul I.

    Sirajul

    Sirajul I.

    Senior Consutant at Independent

    Good questions raised. Everybody in today's world need to qualify for their survival, and thus, comes knowing the language that is needed, and learn how to use the Net. More people still speak Mandarin or Hindi than English today, but I think, they're also vying for learning English because it's the Language today.

  • Muhammad Abbas K.

    Muhammad Abbas

  • Herbert P.

    Herbert

    Herbert P.

    Member of the Academic Committee at Renmin University of China

    The importance of languages other than English is surging already, probably the ones speaking English are just not aware of it! in China where a estimated 500 million have access to the internet, the hyperactive bloggers manage to move a sizable percentage of the world's population without resorting to English. The censorship does not have such a wide impact as claimed, as Chinese are very inventive, such as putting two unusual characters together to escape censorship! English has helped a lot, but there is much more more going on!

  • Michael H.

    Michael

    Michael H.

    Superforecaster at Good Judgment Project

    I often have heard of the lament of how Americanism or American based English took over. My belief is that a new hybrid International Internet English will take place in casual conversations, either 140 characters or more.

  • Richard L.

    Richard

    Richard L.

    English Language Coach & Restaurant Promoter

    I couldn´t agree more! I´ve been helping people improve their English for over 30 years and now, more than ever, feel that the future is an "International English", There is little point being overly concerned about British, American or which ever varient of English. We should strive for clear communication.

  • Peter J.

    Peter

    Peter J.

    Manager, Science AECOM

    The world is a very dynamic place - there is nothing static - including language. With the the global adoption of the English language, and the onset of 140 character news, opinion, and other sound bytes - the language will continue to evolve just as it has for the last several centuries. Like Jake on Two and A Half Men said while trying to read Elizabethan english of Shakespeare - can you just give me the regular English version.

  • Sirajul I.

    Sirajul

    Sirajul I.

    Senior Consutant at Independent

    Discussion is progressing well...English has, in fact, changed a lot by now, and I don't think, it has to changed more. We were discussing about 'the internet and language change', and as my experience goes, web pages are available in all the major languages, and there's a translation service available...we don't face any serious obstacle because of translation only. All the time, 'change' doesn't bring real change; it pushes backwards also.

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