10/06/2008

The Ideology of English

The Ideology of English: French Perceptions of English as a World Language, by Jeffra Flaitz:













The Ideology of English: French Perceptions of English as a World Language
By Jeffra Flaitz
Published by Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, 1988
ISBN 3110115492, 9783110115499
225 pages

3 comments:

Bill Chapman said...

If we want a neutral lingua franca, it has to be Esperanto. Incidentally there seem to be more Esperanto speakers in France than in the United Kingdom - although I don't know what conclusion to draw from that observation!

Anyway, take a look at www.esperanto.net

Unfrench said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unfrench said...

Bill Chapman:"If we want a neutral lingua franca, it has to be Esperanto. Incidentally there seem to be more Esperanto speakers in France than in the United Kingdom - although I don't know what conclusion to draw from that observation!

Anyway, take a look at www.esperanto.net"

Esperanto is not neutral at all. Almost all of its vocabulary is European, and nearly all the roots used in Esperanto are to be found in French, the latter fact probably being the reason why Esperanto is more popular with the French than with the British. The French happen to have held a prominent role within organizations promoting artificial languages as an alternative to English. It is interesting to note that these selfsame organizations and artificial languages were created at the end of the 19th century, ie at a time when English was beginning to assume its global status as a lingua franca. I suspect that the creation and promotion of such artificial languages is almost always motivated by ideological considerations, even though practical reasons are always advanced in support. In the case of Esperanto, Ido and similar pipe dreams, many French came in support of them when they were created because they knew then that French could no longer outcompete English, a situation which they believed required new ways to thwart the rise of the rival language.
Whatever the case, Esperanto is a failure, and the world is learning English. Those who don't are increasingly left behind. If the French want to be the last to understand it, they will suffer the most.