The Future of Multilingualism: Warp Speed Ahead Scotty!

by Corey · 2 comments

By Corey Heller
Photo credit: Matías Ferreyra

We have now officially entered 2011.  It feels quite a bit like 2010, at least here in Seattle.  However, things aren’t the same.  We are one year closer to our multilingual future.

I can still remember the night my husband and I sat on the sofa in our tiny apartment waiting for the world to move from 1999 to 2000.  The transition into a new era.

We were all waiting and watching that night, wondering if our computerized world would make the sequential leap without collapsing and changing our lives forever.

Would our bank still report the same account balance the next day?  Or would we suddenly be penniless and forced to prove our net worth? One report after another told of yet someone else withdrawing their savings and stashing it away the last few days of December – just in case.

But the world didn’t collapse in those first moments of 2000.  Instead, we moved smoothly, effortlessly and without incident into the new millennium.

As each new year arrives, it makes me ponder the future, my children’s future, my children’s children’s future.  What will the world look like?  What will it feel like?  What languages will my children’s children be speaking and where will they be living?


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Andrew February 10, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Yup, something interesting I’ve noticed as a result of globalization, cheaper travel, the internet, etc. is the smoothing of English, the elimination of dialects and accents: you don’t find anywhere near as many people speaking with a strong Southern/California/New York accent as you did before, and people in other English speaking countries are adopting and mixing in words and even the accents from other English-speaking countries, the British are using “cool” and, even on rare occasion, I’ve heard “awesome”, the Americans and Canadians have started saying “bloody”, etc.

I think a lot of languages are going to die out, but I’m honestly not really bothered by that, because I think that people being able to communicate with each other is FAR more important than retaining every single possible language and dialect “for posterity’s sake” or some such B.S., and having everyone learn one “international language” (in addition to others) is the one thing that will do more to facilitate communication and therefore understanding and cooperation between all people than anything else will.



Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: