Future of Language

November 17, 2000 • Volume 10, Issue 40
Is English becoming the world's global language?
By David Masci

Introduction

The new “Sesame English” TV show in Taiwan is based on the popular American TV show “Sesame Street.” (Photo Credit: AP Photo/Wally Santana)
The new “Sesame English” TV show in Taiwan is based on the popular American TV show “Sesame Street.” (Photo Credit: AP Photo/Wally Santana)

More than 6,000 languages are spoken in the world today. But some linguists believe that by the end of the century the influence of globalization and new technologies like the Internet will have most people speaking one language -- English. Other experts say that the most widely used tongues, like French, Arabic and Chinese, will remain in everyday use despite the growing popularity of English. While the experts disagree about the prospects for a global language, almost all are concerned that many more obscure tongues are on the verge of being lost forever. Meanwhile, some Americans believe that the United States is in danger of losing its native tongue and argue that English should be the nation's official language.

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