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

Date: Tue Jan 02 2001 - 10:26:27 EST

On 12/31/2000 11:47:37 AM Alain LaBonté wrote:

>À 05:40 2000-12-31 -0800, Darya Said-Akbari a écrit:
>Hello Alain,
>Now think there would be one guy from Iran and this guy would say that not

>english or french but farsi should be the real universal language. Think
>farsi is spoken in Iran,
>Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, ... . What would be the difference
>you. I think it would make a big difference for you.
>[Alain]  The idea was to say that there is no such thing as a universal
>language, I believe.

(I've monitored this thread only sporadically, so forgive me if I repeat
things already said, or if I have misunderstood any points previously

I think we could all agree that English is a very important language for
communication around the world, and that it is likely the closest thing to
a universal language. I agree with Alain, though, that it is not, and that
there is no single universal language.

I agree with Darya that English got to where it is more or less by accident
of history and that, all other things being equal, Farsi or Mongolian could
also have been candidates. But I don't think the issue that Alain was
originally raising was whether English deserved to be the universal
language, as opposed to any other language. I think the point he was
wanting to get across, and a point I would want to support, is that we live
in a very multilingual world (whether you understand that to mean people
that speak more than one language or simply that many languages are
spoken), that people want to communicate in *lots* of different languages,
and therefore that we need to continue developing information technologies
so as to better support the multilingual reality of the world we live in.

- Peter

Peter Constable

Non-Roman Script Initiative, SIL International
7500 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., Dallas, TX 75236, USA
Tel: +1 972 708 7485
E-mail: <>

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