YOUR language in the next 1000 years

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Surtalnar
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Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Postby Surtalnar » 2013-05-16, 13:47

Languages like French, Russian, German, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese will survive.

But I'm scepitical with languages like Dutch, Norwegian (but also other North Germanic languages) and the indigenious languages of India (and other countries who have English or French as an official language).

As a lingua franca I see no language be able to compete in the next centuries with English. The only language, which is able to replace English could be an alienate language from far horizons. This isn't an unrealistic scenario - if a peaceful alien folk discover our earth, they could get the economical power over us and therefore we need to learn their language.

History never happens as someone predicts. We will see what the future brings.
Last edited by Surtalnar on 2013-05-16, 14:01, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Postby johntm » 2013-05-16, 14:01

From all I've read, Dutch and the Scandi languages are fine. Yeah, their people by and large know English and there's not many learners outside of people moving to those countries (and even then, some people don't learn it), but the Dutch and Scandi people themselves still use and take pride in their languages.
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Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Postby Car » 2013-05-16, 16:22

Yes, I don't see why their future should be worse than German's or Russian's. I'd separate those from French, Spanish et al. since those are spoken in more than one part of the world.
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Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Postby linguoboy » 2013-05-16, 17:22

Surtalnar wrote:As a lingua franca I see no language be able to compete in the next centuries with English.

That's just it: You often don't see these kinds of changes coming. How many people predicted the rise of English a century before it happened?

I think it also begs the question to say, "English will still be spoken." Something will continue to be spoken, but how closely it will resemble what we currently call "English", well, that's really what the OP is asking, isn't it? Certainly as the USA slips from being the leading Anglophone country to only one among several, I expect to see the input from currently marginalised varieties (e.g. Indian English, Continental European English) increase.
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Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Postby Surtalnar » 2013-05-16, 18:51

*likes to discuss*
linguoboy wrote:
Surtalnar wrote:As a lingua franca I see no language be able to compete in the next centuries with English.

That's just it: You often don't see these kinds of changes coming. How many people predicted the rise of English a century before it happened?

But you can't compare the situation today with the situation in the 19th century.

In the 19th century English was already a strong language spoken in multiple countries. In this time here were visible tendencies that English or German could scratch on French's lingua franca status.

Now I explain why the situation today is different. At first, there are no tendencies visible, that another language could replace English as lingua franca. At second, the world is globalised, many informations in the world and the internet are in English, all programming languages are in English. Even if the United States fall economically, there 55 (!!!) other countries, which have English as an official language, and among those, there are a lot of economically powerful countries, were English is spoken.

If I look at possible candidates, I don't find one, who is able to compete with English.

Spanish: All Spanish countries aren't economical powerhouses. Spain is massively struggling, and Catalan becomes stronger and stronger in Spain. If you look at municipality websites in Catalonia region of Spain, you see that many of those websites are now Catalan-only. Spanish is in the EU de facto irrelevant and Puerto Rico wants to teach their pupils in English only.

French: Sadly struggling in many countries, even in Canada and France. France now want's to allow English courses in their universities. Ex-colonies like Tunisia get part by part away from French.

German: Just used in Europe. The problem of German is that it lacks relevance in all other continents like the Americas, Asia, Oceania and Africa. Even the European Central Bank uses English only, howbeit there are just 6 million English native speakers using the Euro as currency, whereas 90 million German-speaking and 70 million French-speaking people uses the Euro as their currency.

Chinese: Just spoken in one relevant country. To complex to learn for all people out of East Asia. You just can't expect that an English, German, French or Spanish native speaker learns Chinese.

Russian: It's use as second language is massively falling in the last year and also the number of native speakers is about to shrink.

Don't get me wrong, I don't support English as lingua franca. My personal favourite would be French as the lingua franca, but that's just a little dream.

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Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Postby Karavinka » 2013-05-16, 19:10

I'd be quite surprised if any of the languages I speak / learn (including English) will be identifiable as such in 2013. They will either disappear or fragment into different languages.

English will of course fragment into a language family itself, and "English" as such will cease to exist, just as Latin as such ceased to exist as a spoken language. "Arabic" per se will probably cease to exist as well.

I doubt Korean or Japanese will still continue their existence in 3013, esp. Korean. Even if it does exist in 3013, there will be at least two Koreanic languages. At least I don't envision Korean unification in this century.

Considering the population growth patterns, I'm willing to bet 50 cents that most European languages, all the way from Portuguese to Russian, that are currently official now will disappear in this millenium, or undergo a dramatic change in their structures. Many of them will join the ranks of Etruscan, Hittite or Thracian.

Most languages we know will not exist anymore in 3013, and there will be many more that we'll never know about in our lifetime. Remember... a millenium is a VERY long time, and the world changes faster than ever before now. Even if our technological civilization collapses in the first half of the millenium, the change will still be irrevocably large and long-lasting.
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Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Postby Itikar » 2013-05-16, 19:13

I fear Italian will go extinct by that time. :(
At least in the form I speak it and it was used to be known.

Russian: It's use as second language is massively falling in the last year and also the number of native speakers is about to shrink

Seriously. Its use in Italy as a second language has never been so strong as now.
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Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Postby linguoboy » 2013-05-16, 20:29

Surtalnar wrote:Now I explain why the situation today is different. At first, there are no tendencies visible, that another language could replace English as lingua franca. At second, the world is globalised, many informations in the world and the internet are in English, all programming languages are in English. Even if the United States fall economically, there 55 (!!!) other countries, which have English as an official language, and among those, there are a lot of economically powerful countries, were English is spoken.

But English is only spoken natively by a majority of the population in five of those other countries: the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In South Africa, for instance, less than 10% of the population speaks English at home; in India, less than 1%. Moreover, the "economically powerful countries" in that bunch all have mature economies. The most vigorous of them currently, Australia, has a real GDP growth rate of 3.3%. Compare that to 6.5% for India (which already has the 10th largest economy in the world) and 12.3% for South Korea.

Why is this important? Because nothing you list above is necessarily in English. About a quarter of requests for pages on the Internet are in English, and that's with 80% of the population of these countries online already. Only about 40% of the Chinese in the PRC are online. Do you think the proportion of requests for pages in Chinese (currently 23%) is going to grow or shrink?

Computer languages aren't "in" any language; they may use words derived from particular languages, but so what? Maybe that makes their commands a bit easier to memorise if that language is one you know already, but an English-speaker has to learn their meaning and use just as surely as a Japanese-speaker does.

So your point about technology and intercommunication ultimately cuts two ways. It means that if there were ever a shift in the global lingua franca, it could be propagated more quickly and thoroughly than ever before in the history of humankind.

Surtalnar wrote:Spanish: All Spanish countries aren't economical powerhouses. Spain is massively struggling, and Catalan becomes stronger and stronger in Spain. If you look at municipality websites in Catalonia region of Spain, you see that many of those websites are now Catalan-only. Spanish is in the EU de facto irrelevant and Puerto Rico wants to teach their pupils in English only.

Where did you hear that about Puerto Rico? The current governor talked last year about an expansion of instruction in English (currently taught chiefly as a second language), but he never proposed replacing Spanish with English--and even that proposal raised a lot of hackles.

The part about Catalan in Spain is a non-sequitur: All Catalonians master Spanish as well. Moreover, weak as it may be, Spain still has the 12th or 13th largest economy in the world. But so what? Mexico's is neck-and-neck with it. Moreover, Mexico's economy is expanding (+4% last year) even while Spain's is contracting, and that's a typical growth rate for Spanish-speaking America.

Furthermore, most Spanish-speakers don't live in Europe anyway. Spain has only 46 million out of an estimated 450-500 million--equal to Colombia and less than half the number in Mexico alone. Just as the fortunes of English no longer rise or fall on the basis of what happens to England, the the fortunes of Spanish are tied to the demographics and economic performance of Castile.

On top of this, there's Brazil: Sixth-largest economy in the world, fifth in population. Yeah, they speak Portuguese. But given the choice between English and Spanish as a global lingua franca, which do you think they'd prefer?

Surtalnar wrote:Chinese: Just spoken in one relevant country. To complex to learn for all people out of East Asia. You just can't expect that an English, German, French or Spanish native speaker learns Chinese.

Why is Taiwan not "relevant"? It has an economy the size of Argentina's.

China's economy may be about half the size of the USA's, but it's growing more than three times as fast. And it's nonsense to say Chinese is "too complex" for Europeans to learn. Haven't we been learning it already for centuries now? It's just as learnable for us as English is for them.
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Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Postby JackFrost » 2013-05-16, 21:11

French: Sadly struggling in many countries, even in Canada and France.

Erm, not really. It's still gaining speakers and even assimilating non-French speakers (including English speakers), especially in Quebec, which is home to 85% of the Canadian francophones..

France now want's to allow English courses in their universities.

Why would that be a problem? It's not going to make the students stop speaking French outside the schoolground or the vast majority of the courses will no longer be in French. That's not a very good indicator to see whether French is struggling in France or not.
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Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Postby Iparxi_Zoi » 2013-05-17, 19:55

I can probably see both my native Spanish & English split into various languages. It just seems that the more widespread a language is the greater the differences between dialects. So maybe one day we'll speak American in the US & Mexican in Mexico :)
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Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Postby Yasna » 2013-05-18, 15:59

Luke wrote:What would you say is the future of Persian?

No idea what it will be like in 1000 years, but I bet there will be a new blooming of Persian culture by mid-century. Persian will carry a lot of soft power and be a popular language in the areas surrounding Iran.
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Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Postby Lur » 2013-05-18, 20:00

That'd be cool.

I have this idea with making Persian some sort of important future language but I base it on nothing. It's just... it's not English or European, not from India, and not Chinese :lol:
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Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Postby Yasna » 2013-05-18, 20:14

Luke wrote:That'd be cool.

I have this idea with making Persian some sort of important future language but I base it on nothing. It's just... it's not English or European, not from India, and not Chinese :lol:

It will be important for a long time thanks to its strategic position at the center of the World Island, spoken from the border of China all the way to the Persian Gulf. The only reason it's not a super popular language right now is because its culture has been smothered by that overbearing Islamic government in Iran.
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Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Postby Lur » 2013-05-18, 20:24

Oh yeah, these people need to go.
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Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-05-20, 6:27

It's hard to say what the world will look like politically a hundred years from now, but I would bet any language that's official right now and has speakers in the millions will be fine. Some form of Dutch has been spoken in the Low Countries for over a thousand years and it's doing fine even after all the political upheavals during its history.

I think English will keep being the global lingua franca for a long time, based on how widespread it is, but other big languages like Spanish, French, and Portuguese will start to encroach on it soon.

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Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Postby Llawygath » 2013-05-27, 1:50

Welsh in a thousand years...I'd rather not think about it. I read a futuristic book once that claimed to have an answer to that, and it was a very sad answer. :(

Edit: though it wasn't set in the 3000s, it was the 2900s actually.

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Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-05-27, 2:09

Karavinka wrote:I doubt Korean or Japanese will still continue their existence in 3013, esp. Korean. Even if it does exist in 3013, there will be at least two Koreanic languages. At least I don't envision Korean unification in this century.
Why? Nobody saw the Wall coming down. (Or a few people did, but nobody believed them.) I'm amazed North Korea has clung on as long as it has. If it weren't for its big brother right beside it, it would've collapsed decades ago.
Considering the population growth patterns, I'm willing to bet 50 cents that most European languages, all the way from Portuguese to Russian, that are currently official now will disappear in this millenium, or undergo a dramatic change in their structures. Many of them will join the ranks of Etruscan, Hittite or Thracian.
I don't think Portuguese and Russian are going to disappear because of low population growth; they're too widespread. They'll develop into new languages, though, just like Old English and Old High German did.
Llawygath wrote:Welsh in a thousand years...I'd rather not think about it. I read a futuristic book once that claimed to have an answer to that, and it was a very sad answer.
Which was ... what? It went extinct? Well, maybe it will, but you won't be alive then, will you?
linguoboy wrote:China's economy may be about half the size of the USA's, but it's growing more than three times as fast.
Which won't last forever. At some point, China will become a fully developed country like America and Japan, with the same low growth rates.

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Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Postby Lur » 2013-05-27, 2:53

I don't think these small European languages are going to disappear at this point.
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Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-05-27, 3:08

Luke wrote:I don't think these small European languages are going to disappear at this point.
Which ones? I bet at least a few will; say, North Frisian and Silesian, or Leonese. But I'm even more certain that small indigenous languages of Asia, Africa and South America will.

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Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Postby linguoboy » 2013-05-27, 3:52

mōdgethanc wrote:At some point, China will become a fully developed country like America and Japan, with the same low growth rates.

Strange pair of countries to bracket together: the US' growth rate [real GDP] is 2.2%; Japan's is 0.2%.

Why the huge difference? Well, once reason is that the population growth rate of the USA is about 75-80% of the global average; Japan's growth rate is negative. China has historically been extremely open to immigration and successful at assimilating both immigrants and conquered peoples. I think in the near term its trajectory is pretty assured.
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