Lingua Fanca Case Study

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In the twenty-first century the world is becoming more urban and more modernized, and the adoption of English is a symptom of this, for increasingly English serves as the lingua franca of business and popular culture. It is dominant or at least very prominent in other areas such as diplomacy, shipping, computing, medicine and education. Ding and Saunders (2006) defines lingua franca – a term which refers to any language which serves as a common medium for communication between speakers of different tongues--has its origins in the domination of the Levant by Latin-rite Europeans (Franks) during the Middle Ages. While English is incontestably the global lingua franca of the current era of globalization, it is not without competitors (Ding & Saunders, 2006). In Asia, especially in East and Southeast Asia, with the development of tourism and international trading more frequently, Chinese has becoming one of the most important communication language in the region. A report in YAZHOU ZHOUKAN (2003), said that:
Due to the rise of China’s comprehensive power and huge target market and international influences, there was a great mass fervor of learning Chinese, and more than 85 countries added Chinese lessons, covering nearly 30,000,000 students. Most of them are Japanese and Korean. The second large populations are Malaysian, Thai, Vietnamese and other southeast countries’ people. The third are North Americans and European countries people. Chinese is becoming a new dominant language just after English.
There is no doubt that English has been the dominant global language for a century, but is it the language of future? Thousands of people have thousands of answers. Maybe it still need time to tell. As David Crystal (1...

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...l not replace English as the global language in the next century. English language has a solid foundation of population and technological field. Since everybody is learning and communicating with each other in English, is it necessary for everyone to learn a new language (Chinese) for sharing ideas? The answer is obvious. However, it is possible that English will not keep its monopoly in the next century. Rather, a small number of languages including English may form dominant roles – each with a special area of influence, for instance, Chinese’s rising will create a bilingual English-Chinese region. In other words, English may supplement or co-exist with other important languages by allowing strangers to communicate across linguistic boundaries. It may become a tool that opens windows to the world, unlocks doors to opportunities, and expands our minds to new ideas.

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