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Article   | Lingua Franca of the World

In last few weeks, there are news of large multinational corporate giants changing their official language to English. Honda changed it from Japanese and Volkswagen changed it from German. These companies are in reality global companies and so they will carry out their official communication in English.


It sends the signal that English is now the global official language.


Interestingly, there is a trend of communicating to people in their local language. On one hand, we have one global language, faced with local comfort and purposeful use of language. It is often driven by the market.


My linguist friends are not very happy with English becoming omnipresent. The diversity in communication languages may pose some difficulties, but only one language will be like have replicas of one city all over the world, cities losing their own interesting identities. As it is, we are having various versions of English, spoken by people with different mother tongues. There is German English, Hindi English, Tamil English, Spanish English and so on. These come in colourful ways, with their own idioms and phrases, expressed in English. It can be funny at times, but that makes things spicy.


One of my friends in the Air traffic control was telling me the story of Hindi speaking pilot communicating in English. The pilot told ATC “We are coming”. The ATC was a bit confused and asked, “How are you coming? In a formation or in a row?” There was a brief silence, “not in formation”; now the ATC thought his eyes were cheating him, “How many of you are coming?” The answer was confident, “We are alone!” That explains! The Hindi `Hum’ referring to oneself with pride which translates `we’ and not ‘I’ was maintained.


Then there was a polish team member on our US tour, who proudly declared, “My favourite wine is beer!”


This is how you have a glimpse of different cultures through one language. Maybe this will make the Queen’s language more rangeen – colourful that is!!


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