Re: [langue-fr] L'anglais est-il une langue universelle ?

From: Patrick Andries (
Date: Fri Dec 29 2000 - 22:43:45 EST

----- Message d'origine -----
De : "Elliotte Rusty Harold" <>
À : "Unicode List" <>
Envoyé : 29 déc. 2000 20:52
Objet : Re: [langue-fr] L'anglais est-il une langue universelle ?

> >"Patrick Andries" <> writes:
> >> May I add that this is precisely the reason that makes so many
> >> Scandinavians and Dutch unsufferable : they cannot imagine speaking
> >> else than English to a foreigner (often not even their own language).
> >
> I've held my tongue in this flame-fest so far, but I'm afraid I can't
> keep silent any longer.
> Unlike citizens of some larger countries the
> Danes and the Dutch have no illusions that the world is going to
> speak their language. They willingly accept that the mountain isn't
> coming to them, and they're going to have to go to it.

There is no denying that these people often have to speak another language.

However, the questions -- as I see them -- are : should they all speak
only English as a foreign language, why do they learn only one foreign
language (just next to them there are 100 millions native German
speakers...) and could they not automatically switch to English when a
foreigner is perceived (and imagine for a brief moment that the person may
actually speak their own language, a Belgian in the Netherlands, a Finn in
Sweden) ?

The world is definitively multilingual (about everybody speaks more than one
language, often three -- this approximation holds true to a few percentage
points) but that does not mean the world is always speaking English and
another language... It is this simplistic vision that many people condemn.

Bonnes fĂȘtes et meilleurs vƓux [I hope the digraph goes through]
Season's greetings and best wishes,

P. Andries

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