Will ‘Globish’ be the 21st Century’s Lingua Franca?

Travel Blog  •  Jim Benning  •  04.06.10 | 3:22 PM ET

What’s “Globish”?

It’s a boiled down version of English, Robert McCrum explains, comprising “1500 essential words for international communication, and the idiom-free turns of phrase in which they might be expressed by the world’s two billion non-native English speakers.”

McCrum makes a case for its rise in this intriguing essay, as well as in a book coming out this year, “Globish: How the English Language Became the World’s Language.”

Among the essay’s intriguing passages:

There’s also a sense in which the narrative of Globish makes some important cross-cultural connections. Here, I pay tribute to Magna Carta and Bob Marley, VS Naipaul, Shakespeare and the Founding Fathers, but also The Simpsons, Coldplay and the author of Dreams from My Father. Globish analyses Twitter, Iran’s green revolution and Slumdog Millionaire, and places them all in a new context: a Globish-speaking society.

(Via ALDaily.com)

4 Comments for Will ‘Globish’ be the 21st Century’s Lingua Franca?

Terry 04.07.10 | 9:32 AM ET

Funny, I actually sat in on a Globish class in Biarritz, France when I lived there a few years back. The women in my class were total characters, we used to sing ‘Clementine’ as a a class exercise. I wrote about it here: http://www.travelistic.com/blog_post/show/458/Globish

Bill Chapman 04.07.10 | 10:26 AM ET

Instead of messing about with English, I suggest making wider use of Esperanto, a language specifically planned for international communication.

Brian Barker 04.11.10 | 12:14 AM ET

I agree with Bill Chapman about Esperanto.

Can I add that the contention that “everyone speaks English” is an urban legend.

Yet people also claim “no-one speaks Esperanto” which is also untrue.

If you have a moment have a look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2LPVcsL2k0 or http://eurotalk.com/en/store/learn/esperanto

Dr Kvasnak teaches English at Florida Atlantic University.

Grizzly Bear Mom 04.27.10 | 11:34 AM ET

Terry I wondered why my Spanish teachers taught us songs.  I still remember them from 40 years ago.  Too bad that I will have few need to sing the Guantalameta song when visiting Peru this summer.

Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.