|AP Human Geography||
I got the chance to talk to Greg Anderson, the guy from The Linguists, and had to opportunity to talk to him and ask him a few questions. Here are a few of his responses.
Russ Rymer, the author of the article, Vanishing Languages on National Geographic, predicts that the world will only have 7,000 languages left in 2012 after most of the other languages have assimilated English, Spanish, or Mandarin. He also states that 78% of people speak a language in the 85 largest languages in the world.
In his article, he gives many examples of different languages dying off due to the top three languages. I encourage if you have the time, and the interest, to read this article, since the stories are quite interesting!
Rymer, Russ. "Vanishing Languages." - Pictures, More From National Geographic Magazine. National Geographic Society. July 2012. Web. 26. May 2014.
Notice how almost every group has English in it somewhere, except for Asia & Pacific. I find that odd considering lots of people in China are trying to learn English, and it's on it's way to becoming one of the largest English speaking countries.
While Jay's video is short, he is very blunt and to the point. In the first parts of his TED Talk, he shows a short audio clip with an Asian group trying to learn English. Their words are somewhat along the lines of not disappointing their country, their parents, and themselves. They are part of the two billion people trying to learn English.
Jay also uses the people of China as an example of a country forcing English onto it's people. "In China, you start learning English in the third grade by law." Jay states that in 2009, the year this talk was filmed, China will become the world's largest English speaking country. He then proceeds to talk about a test, worth 25 percent of a students grade, and how much it is based on English. "She spends 12 hours a day, for three years, studying..."
Walker, Jay. "The World's English Mania." Jay Walker:. TED. Feb 2009. Web. 27 May 2014.
Patricia Ryan was rounded up by the British Council, along with 25 other English teachers, and sent to Kuwait to teach their students English. She states: "We were brought to teach English, because the government wanted to modernize the country and to empower the citizens through education." She was part of the first group of teachers to be a non-Muslim teacher. The British gained oil in exchange for the teaching of English.
Patricia agrees that we should keep a universal language that everyone understands, but disagrees that languages should just disappear to assimilate to the English or Mandarin. "Do we want to end up with only 600 languages, and the main one ending up being English, or Chinese?"
As one of her opening statements, Patricia mentions that a language dies every 14 days. Every 14 days. She also mentions that we encourage everyone to learn English, but we make the tests impossibly high in price. The top 5 Universities in the world, are all located in either the UK or the US.
Don't Insist on English. Dir. Ted Talks. Perf. Patricia Ryan, Patricia Ryan:. Ted, Dec 2010. 22 May 2014.