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There are in fact a multitude of contexts in which there are perhaps as many varieties of English to match. In the context of a meeting Koreans might have with close friends, essentially hanging out together, then Konglish would fit just fine. Read more: What will the English language be like in years? This approach reflects current trends toward diversity and equality, albeit from a linguistic perspective.

This is not a lesson in political correctness, but linguistic correctness, as all languages exhibit a form of grammar and vocabulary which are predictable and systematic. So to consider only one variety of grammar and vocabulary usage as correct is, linguistically speaking, nonsensical. Konglish reflects cultural identity, connects with linguistic diversity and above all, is already used to communicate in Korea, which is the ultimate purpose of language.

Below is a very small selection of some of the great words used in Konglish, and worth celebrating. Skinship : This refers to the act of physical touching, such as that seen between a mother and child, but also among adults, to indicate a deep friendship. I recall in Korea seeing two men who were close friends, with one momentarily interlocking his arms around his friend from behind. Given this practice, it makes sense to have a word to describe it, illustrating the link between language and culture.

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Burberry : This word as used in Korea refers to a trench coat, not to the clothing brand per se. GORDIN: About to roughly is the period of time when you could expect that everybody interested in how falling bodies behave or how the circulation of the blood works would be able to read Latin. So there are a lot of factors that may influence whether, or how broadly, a given language will spread.

But the central conflict, it seems — the central question we should be asking about language here on Earth 1.

H.I.S. Forum on Linguistic Diversity and Tourism, Assumption University

Is 7, an acceptable number of languages for 7-plus billion people? What language or languages do you speak? What benefits do you think that confers — whether economic, cultural, or otherwise? What do you think you lose by not speaking other languages? And how do you feel about people who speak those other languages? Maybe you think of them as more unlike you than they actually are, solely because they speak a different language?

And how much does the language you use to express your ideas and emotions influence the ideas and emotions themselves? These are obviously hard questions, maybe unanswerable.

What do you think is the effect of all that? WEBER: It is sometimes difficult to isolate the impact of languages but the general statement is: the closer the countries in a linguistic sense, the larger the volume of the trade, and the easier to trade between the countries.

Linguistic Society of America

Petersburg and I listened to this speech of the Indian prime minister. Modi spoke in [Hindi]. He chose not to speak English. He basically relied on translation — on a single translator, who translated his speech into Russian. It was unbelievably bad translation. I was just stunned by the fact he continued to do it. It was obvious that there was no contact with the audience.

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  • How do you put a price on what gets lost in translation? The trade of China is now growing everywhere in spite of Chinese language being very distant from everything else, so …. WEBER: In general, the literature showed that linguistic diversity has a negative impact, generally speaking, on economic growth. So linguistic diversity has a negative impact on economic growth. There are obviously many reasons you might want to learn another language, but the primary driver seems to be economics. The biggest boost, perhaps not surprisingly, went to those learning English.

    But at something like 1. GORDIN: Today, there is basically one common language for communication in the elite natural sciences like physics, biology, chemistry, geology, which is overwhelmingly English. You have people in Japan who spend years learning English, when their counterparts in Canada are just learning more science.


    That creates a mechanism that reinforces the elite status of Anglophone institutions. They benefit enormously from everybody else spending years putting this language into their heads. The people who benefit the most from it pay the least for it. Next thing you know, the kids really only speak English or some kind of English, and the indigenous language is gone.

    That has happened, for example, to countless Native American languages. To an extent, Native American languages were beaten out of people in boarding schools. Linguists predict that of the roughly 7, languages now spoken on earth, some 3, will go extinct within the next century. Well, that can get messy real fast:. For some 2, years, two major ethno-linguistic groups — the Sinhalese and the Tamil — had co-existed, relatively peacefully, on an island in South Asia now known as Sri Lanka.

    Over time, it was colonized by the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British. The British gave it up in ; and in …. WEBER: What happened is that Sinhalese majority tried to impose making the language of the majority the only official language of the country. Tens of thousands of people died.

    Language, Identity, Culture, and Diversity

    WEBER: The reality is that the situation was already tense, but the intensity of the conflict would have been much lower than without this Sinhala-Only Act. The price is just staggering. So many people died in the war, which easily could have been avoided. Tamil was ultimately accorded official status, alongside Sinhalese.

    It still took a long time for things to settle down. In , a reconciliation commission recommended that schoolchildren be taught in both Tamil and Sinhalese. Short answer: both. She has found linguistic tribalism in many precincts. This is called signaling theory. WEBER: Religion and language [are the] two most important factors in identifying, people identify their selves.


    Everywhere and every case the importance of the language, attachment to language, and importance of education of language of your own children and this language is very difficult to overestimate. McWHORTER: Since we have 7, different languages, one of the reasons that you might want to preserve them is that having a separate language in the world that we know is part of being a culture.

    The most vulnerable are languages spoken by small communities in mountainous areas. Sophie Hardach. The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum. I accept.

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    Global Agenda Competitiveness Framework New Growth Models Education and Skills Speaking more than one language can boost economic growth Researchers say multilingualism can fuel exports, increase salaries and help innovation. How do we build a sustainableworld? Submit a video. Most Popular. Scientists have been investigating the Loch Ness monster. The inspiring story behind this picture of two world leaders Rosamond Hutt 18 Sep Could a progressive consumption tax reduce wealth inequality?

    More on the agenda. Explore context. Explore the latest strategic trends, research and analysis. Written by Sophie Hardach.