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David Crystal - Global Language

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A language becomes a global language because of the power of the people who speak it. It's nothing to do with the structure of language, It's nothing about English grammar or vocabulary or pronunciation or spelling that makes English an appealing language at a global level In fact, if you think about it, English spelling would put most people off, you'd think So, it's nothing to do with the structure of language, no, it's all to do with power. But power means different things at different times. English first became international because of political power, military power, the power of the British Empire, really But it isn't just politics that takes a language around the world, there can be other factors too. A century later, we're talking about the sixteenth, seventeenth century, that we had the power of science, of technology, the industrial revolution. English is the language of science that started then, as something like two thirds of the people who invented all the things that made modern society what it is did so throught the medium of the English language. And then in the nineteenth century, economic power. Money talks, always, and the language that was talking in the nineteenth century was English because America and Britain, between them, had the money markets of the world for the most part. And then, in the twentieth century, we have cultural power. with English being the language of the vast majority of inventions that made modern sociaty what it is. So, it is English turning up in the, as it were, almost in the right place at the right time during these last four hundred years or so that has produced the enormous global status that it currently has.

Video Details

Duration: 2 minutes and 33 seconds
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Views: 332
Posted by: paulapazosv on May 8, 2012

Global English with Professor David Crystal. Another innovative feature of Global - Macmillan's new course for adult learners of English.

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