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Global English – a Paradigm shift

02 Apr

A new age in cross-cultural communications using Global English as the tool.
Change has been the one constant in the development of the human race since the beginning. But never has change been so immense as it has been in the past decade. Just think about the massive changes taking place to our environment, technology, communications and economies just to name a few … and so it is now with language, in the form of Global English.

Paradigm shifts, where a whole community changes the way they do things, are fast becoming the norm rather than the exception. I have already covered the paradigm shift taking place in education in another Knol, but I now wish to cover the inter-related one talking place in global language and inter-person communications.

The message and challenge in both fields is quite clear … be part of the new paradigm or risk being made redundant and irrelevant by holding to tightly to the old.

NOTE: This article is written by a native-English speaking author for a native-English speaking audience.

Introduction to Global English

According to a 2006 research conducted on behalf of the British Council by the applied linguist David Graddol: “A massive increase in the number of people learning English has already begun, and is likely to reach a peak of around 2 billion in the next 10–15 years.”

Other research identifies that English is present on every continent and of the 196 countries of the world, English is used officially or without government sanction in over 80 of them.
The reasons for the spread and growth in the English language I will cover later in this article. By way of introduction, I simply wish to point out that of the 2 billion plus people on the planet that will soon be speaking English, only 300 million or 15% of them will be native born English speakers like myself.

This Knol attempts to follow David Graddol’s reasoning where he states that “there comes a moment where one has to pause and conclude that a new framework is required to understand the events now unfolding before us, to comprehend why they are happening, and to speculate on what might happen next. We need a ‘paradigm shift’”.

David Graddol argues in his book “English Next”, that we have reached such a moment in relation to the status of Global English, where the world of language has changed and will never again be the same. With so many people in so many countries learning English for the purpose of communicating with other non-native English speakers, it is not going to be just ‘more of the same’. There is a new model emerging which this Knol attempts to uncover.
Listed here are the primary questions that I wish to address in this Knol -
          • What form and competency level of current English will the new learners of English choose to adopt?
          • Am I as an entrepreneur and educator shaping my offer and teaching techniques to meet this massive and evolving market need so desperate for information and learning?
          • As a native English speaker wishing to exploit the global opportunities for information and learning, do I need to change my approach in the way that I produce products written in English?
Wordle of Global English Knol

I should point out that my discoveries here do not point to a time for native English speakers to relax as winners in the global competition for language supremacy. It is rather an urgent call to action and to up-skill in relearning English as a global communication tool. It is a call to match the bi-lingual qualifications of our global competitors for jobs, trade and customers.

The final point I should make is that while I am an absolutely fascinated learner in the field of English language, I am not a scholar nor a professional academic. My interest in the topic is purely commercial, because I see a massive change taking place in global language that will have dramatic affects on many kingdoms … including my kingdom of commerce and entrepreneurship.
NOTE: A scholarly article dealing with similar issues as this topic is provided in a Knol by Michał Paradowski,  a Linguist, Researcher, Educator from Poland – see Anti native speaker hegemony.

Growth of the English language globally

Neil Reynolds in an article titled “Spread the word: English is unstoppable”, published in The Globe and Mail, attempts to quantify the growth in global English with this statement – “In Mr. Mulcaster’s 1582, English was spoken by perhaps four million people. In Mr. Adams’s 1780, by perhaps 12 million. In Noah Webster’s 1828, on publication of The American Dictionary of the English Language, by perhaps 50 million. A century later, in H.L. Mencken’s rambunctious 1920s, on his publication of The American Language, by perhaps 200 million. With two billion now speaking it or learning to speak it, we can credibly imagine a genuine global language.” [1]

Now the 2 billion can be broken down further in the form of Native, Second language and Foreign language speakers. Here is a description of each group and an estimate of their relative numbers.
      •  Native -  (approx. 300 million) – people who learned English at home with their family when they were young. Typically these speakers come from United States (215 million), United Kingdom (61 million), Canada (18.2 million), Australia (15.5 million), Ireland (3.8 million), South Africa (3.7 million), and New Zealand (3.0 million).
      • Second language – (approx. 200 million) – people who learned English because they live/lived in the country where the language is spoken.
      • Foreign language – (approx 1,500 million) – people who learned/are learning English in a country where English is neither their Native or Official language. (i.e. it is a language that is studied at school or for self-improvement). David Graddol points out that we may be actually witnessing the end of English as a foreign language and the beginning of a whole new global language using English-lite as a start point.
      • Note: The term Official language is applied when a governing body determines that that language will be an acceptable basis of communication within the country/organisation in things like official documents, official meetings, or used in the media. For English this included countries like Fiji, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Uganda.

The motives for this spontaneous and global growth in the desire to learn the English language has little to do with these hundreds of millions of people wanting to imbibe or even appreciate English culture. [2]

It is rather the fact that it fulfills the need to find a common vehicle for the people of all countries to connect with each other and to become a world-citizens. So, at a time in history when the people want to and can, through the internet, connect with the world, English just happens to be the tool close at hand that can do the job.
Three centuries of British colonization coupled with American media exports and geopolitical power since 1945, has already positioned English as the prominent communication vehicle for many of the world’s inhabitants, particularly in the high-value areas of international business, science, computer technology, the internet and key global diplomatic and transport structures.  In these key areas English has already become a world language.
But something far more ‘grass roots’ is happening with the current surge in learning English and is best identified in a speech made by the Prime Minister of UK Tony Blair in 2008 who said “the pathway of global communication is a global access to knowledge.” Now the internet, with the majority of its content/learning written in English, is it any wonder that the people of the planet are using the English language as the vehicle that bridges across borders and cultures to become a source of unity in communicating with a rapidly changing world.
Learning is being delivered to the door of any person on the planet who has access to a computer and a disproportional amount of that learning is in the English language. It is my belief that the people of the planet can see that an understanding of the English language is the key to unlock the learning needed to make a better life for themselves and their communities. Global English coupled with the easy accessability of learning via the internet, will usher in the paradigm shift in both language as well as education, learning and knowledge share. For more on this, see my Knol on Open Online Leanring – A Paradigm Shift

A “lingua franca”

Recent statements have been made by researchers, that English in the 21st century, has not only become the lingua franca of international business but that it is fast becoming the lingua franca of all global communication. But what do they mean by the term lingua franca?
Well, a lingua franca is generic description of a language that is mutually understood by people who have different native languages. It is a term used to describe a language that is used widely outside the country where it is spoken as a native language and is mostly a second/third language for those using it. It is often a basic form of speech with simplified grammar and is commonly associated with trade/business, but sometimes with diplomacy.
#1 – Photo Source - www.wikimedia.org The Levant

This Latin term has its origins in Europe in the 14th century and it literally means “Frankish tongue or language.” This language was an Italian-Provencal jargon or pidgin that was widely used in the Middle Ages. Traders and mariners in the Mediterranean Basin and in particular in the eastern Mediterranean ports (the Levant) and Northern Africa used it extensively. The language was based mostly on Catalan and Italian but later included Spanish and Portuguese elements, especially on the Barbary coast. It also borrowed from French, Greek, Persian, Turkish and Arabic to form its own language set and vocabulary.

The name is probably taken from an Arabic custom, dating back to the Crusades, of calling all Europeans including the Crusaders – Franks. The Arab states in the eastern Mediterranean used the term Frank to mean “Western European” (i.e. the Greek noun frangkos means “Western European” or “Roman Catholic”). Arabian people also used the term ‘lingua franca’  to describe all Romance languages (those with a Romance lexicon and derived from Latin).
Now, where a native language in a single speaker community is known as the “vernacular language”, a lingua franca is know as a “vehicular language.” This is because a vehicular language goes beyond the boundaries of its original community, and is used as a second language for communication between communities in other countries who have no other means of doing so. For example, while English is a vernacular in England, it is used as the vehicular language (or lingua franca) for communication by the citizens of the Philippines, possibly because it has 170 different native languages. A lingua franca can also exist (like it does) in the specialized areas of air-traffic control and maritime communications.
Other historic examples of a lingua franca are:
      • Koine – which was the lingua franca dialect of ancient Greek at the time of Alexandra the Great and was widely spoken throughout the eastern Mediterranean area in Roman times. It is still the official language of the Vatican
      • Aramaic - part of a Semitic family of languages from Syria which played this lingua franca role in Near East/Southwest Asia from as early as the 6th century BC to approximately 650 AD.
      • Classical Latin – which was the dominant lingua franca of European scholars until the 18th century.
      • Portuguese – which served as a diplomatic and trade language for African and Asian coastal areas during the era of European exploration in the 15th–18th centuries.
      • French - which has been the lingua franca language of diplomacy in Europe since the 17th century.
      • German - which served as a lingua franca in large portions of Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries in sciences (physics, chemistry and sociology) and politics and especially in the area of business.
      • Tupi - now-extinct. Served for a time as the lingua franca of Brazil.
      • Spanish - replaced Latin as the language of diplomacy and culture during the 16th and early 17th centuries. It was eventually replaced by French.
Modern examples of a lingua franca:
        • Swahili – used in large parts of Eastern Africa in spite of it being the mother tongue of a relatively small ethnic group on the East African coast and nearby islands in the Indian Ocean
        • Hausa – used by 40 million, mostly Muslim, people in West Africa including northern Nigeria Niger Republic and Ghana. Hausa is a lingua franca in populations in much of West Africa, particularly south of Mali. Every city of any size in West Africa has a large centralized Hausa community, usually referred to as zango.
        • Arabic - the ‘lingua franca’ of the Islamic Empire. Native to the people from the Arabian Peninsula, Arabic became the lingua franca of the Islamic Empire mainly because it was the language of the Qur’an, Islam’s holy book.
        • Russian – used in areas formerly associated with the Soviet Union
        • Hindi – used (along with English) in India
        • Bislama – a form of “broken English” that were used in the Pacific Islands initially by the whalers and sandalwood loggers and reinforced by the English spoken by their overseers.  This new form of Pidgin English eventually evolved into Bislama (Vanuatu), Tok Pisin (PNG) and Pijin (Solomon).
        • Spanish – used (along with Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian) as the lingua franca of the United Nations.
        • Esperanto – used as a constructed global languages since 1887 when L.L. Zamenhof published his treatise on it for the purpose of international communication. Today it is the most widely spoken artificial, constructed language, however, it has failed to become the envisaged global language
        • French - working language at United Nations, Olympic Games. Still seen globally on documents ranging from passports to airmail letters. For example - poste restante (French, trans. post which remains),  par avion (French, trans. By Air)
        • English - as previously stated, is considered the current lingua franca of Western international business and is gradually displacing French in diplomacy. It is the lingua franca of air traffic and maritime control as it is for organisations like the United Nations, Olympics and Council of Europe.
        • Mandarin Chinese – used to provide a common spoken language between speakers of different and mutually unintelligible Chinese dialects.

Photo source #6 - www.wikimedia.org - Chinese Linguistic Groups

Why is English a prime candidate as the global language?

The two primary factors that have positioned English as a well placed candidate for a global linga franca are generally acknowledged as being (1) the British Colonialization of the 17th, 18 and 19th centuries and (2) the promotion and spread of American culture via the entertainment media coupled with its geopolitical and economic power since the end of WWII. Now while these two major influences are accredited with delivering English to this point in time, it is other factors that are causing the accelerated organic growth of Global English and it appears to be happening without any real push or promotion by the native English speaking nations.
Photo Source #2 www.arago.si.edu/ British Empire

There was a time when the British Empire encompassed 25% of all countries in the world. Naturally the English took their language with them as they colonized each country.

Today, former colonies of the British Empire (like Australia, Canada, Malaysia, India, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka), present British territories (like Bermuda, Falkland Islands, British Virgin Islands and Saint Helena), former British territories (such as Hong Kong) all are predominantly English speaking nations. Add to this list the U.S. territories (like Guam, Northern Marianas, Puerto Rico) and the heavily American influenced Philippines and you see the global spread of English via colonialization activities.
Photo source #3 - www.arago.si.edu - Hollywood

For the latter part of  the 20th century America lead the world in many fields and has exported that advantage along with the English language to all parts of the planet in the form of entertainment (music and television), business (Coca Cola, McDonald’s, IBM, General Motors, and Boeing) financial markets (American dollar influences all the money markets of the world), computers (Microsoft, Intel) not to mention Hollywood that since 1906 has been exporting the English language to anyone with a TV or access to a cinema and more recently – a computer.

It should be mentioned that English is not the only candidate applying for the position of the global lingua franca. The two others mentioned as also playing a predominant part in the first half of the 21st century are Chinese Mandarin and Spanish.
In terms of estimated potential populations on the planet, these three along with French represent the top 4. In terms of internet users the current 2009 rankings sees these languages in the top 3 with English language users ranked #1 at 464 million, Chinese ranked #2 at 321 million and Spanish ranked #3 at 131 million users. So, while Mandarin (most native speakers) and Spanish (most native speaking countries) compete for the global lingua franca, I believe that learners of the planet will vote with their feet in choosing some form of English as their lingua franca.

Factors favoring English as a global language

Photo Source #5 - www.iep.ucr.edu - Global English

Here are some factors that are contributing to English being chosen by the vast majority of learners as the global language:

      • The current dominance of the English language in learning and communication content on the internet (75%)
      • The dominance of English in the recent wealth creating industries of computer and information technology
      • It was and still is the language of the developed Western nations that the developing world wishes to do business with.
      • It is based on the Roman alphabet which is already the most widely used alphabet in the world today, and is shared by many disparate and seemingly unrelated languages.
      • It is the official communication in Olympic sport, air-traffic and maritime control.
      • It is one of the six official languages of the U.N., and, along with French, one of the two working languages
      • English is the sole working language of most UN bodies which is influenced heavily by the fact that UN headquarters, and the majority of UN bodies, are based in the United States.
      • All of the world’s major scientific journals are published in English.
      • It is easy to learn, because it has less grammar to learn than its rivals and its relative simplicity of conjugation of verbs.
      • It is used as an official language of the Council of Europe and is used for daily work and official statements.
      • English has no state-controlled regulatory authority monitoring its use. It is an inclusive language that borrows from all others which allows it to easily morph into the vernacular of the age.
      • It is one of the working languages of the European Commission.
      • It is the predominant language in the publishing industry, which allows authors writing in English to have a much better chance of translation than those writing in other tongues.
      • It usually affords better job prospects and ensures full enjoyment of English entertainment in the forms of music, film and literature.

The Evolving English Language

NEW FLASH …..

English Word Count 10 June 2009

I million English word vocabulary - according to Paul JJ Payack, president of the Global Language Monitor.

English is not a Romance language (i.e. derived from Latin), but is rather a Germanic language (from the Anglo Saxon & Jutes) that was heavily influenced by William the Conqueror’s Norman conquest of England in 1066. Because the Normans eventually went on to become the French, many of the Norman root words adopted by the early Britons have resulted in the many similarities between French and English today. But English did not stop developing its vocabulary there. Unlike the 40 countries (like the Académie française in France) that appoint a state-controlled regulatory authority to control the purity of their language, English continues to be an inclusive language that has allowed new words to be added according to common use – (as demonstrated by the news flash above).
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Origins of words in the English language

The graph here shows the areas of influence on the language we today call English. It is a  computerised survey of about 80,000 words, taken from the old Shorter Oxford Dictionary (3rd ed.). It was published in the Ordered Profusion by Thomas Finkenstaedt and Dieter Wolff (1973).

Influences were identified as coming from Langue d’oïl (including French and Old Norman) Latin, (including modern scientific and technical Latin) Other Germanic languages (including words directly inherited from Old English), Greek with some derived from proper names or other languages.
The primary influences on the English language have been external events that have brought about paradigm shifts where the whole community of English speakers change the way they use the language to communicate with one another and with others. The English language has witnessed 4 of these paradigm shifts and many language monitors believe that the English language is currently experiencing a transition to the 5th.
Below is a timeline demonstrating the development of the English language and identifying the paradigm shifts, together with the primary catalyst that ushered in the change. Also below is a demonstration of the changes in the English language for each age, using as a benchmark the enduring Lord’s Prayer of the Christian faith. What is clear is the difficulty for current English readers to go back and read English literature from previous ages. The same may well be said for our current English … will the future generations using Global English look back and have difficulty understanding our present English? It should be noted that some researchers see Global English in the Postmodern age, as not so much a development but the basis of a whole new global language, separate and distinct from the timeline shown here.

Paradigm Shifts in English

In Old English: Matthew 6.9 (WSCp, c. 1100)

Fæder ure þu þe eart on heofonum;

Si þin nama gehalgod to becume þin rice gewurþe ðin willa on eorðan swa swa on heofonum.

urne gedæghwamlican hlaf syle us todæg and forgyf us ure gyltas swa swa we forgyfað urum gyltendum and ne gelæd þu us on costnunge ac alys us of yfele soþlice. (Corpus Christi College MS 140, ed. Liuzza (1994))

In Middle English: Matthew 6.9 (Wycliffe’s translation, c. 1380)

Oure fadir that art in heuenes, halewid be thi name;

thi kyndoom come to; be thi wille don in erthe as in heuene:

gyue to us this dai oure breed ouer othir substaunce;

and forgyue to us oure dettis, as we forgyuen to oure gettouris; and lede us not in to temptacioun, but delyuere us fro yuel.

In Early Modern English: The King James Bible (c. 1611)

Our father which art in heauen, hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdome come. Thy will be done, in earth, as it is in heauen. Giue vs this day our daily bread.And forgiue vs our debts, as we forgiue our debters.And lead vs not into temptation, but deliuer vs from euill:

For thine is the kingdome, and the power, and the glory, for euer, Amen. (word-for-word reprint, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

In Late Modern English: The New Testament in Modern English (1963, tr. Phillips)

Our Heavenly Father, may your name be honored;

May your kingdom come, and your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day the bread we need, Forgive us what we owe to you, as we have also forgiven those who owe anything to us.

Keep us clear of temptation, and save us from evil.

In Postmodern English – Globish 2009, English codified by Jean-Paul Nerriere

Our Father, Who comes to us from above, Your name is holy.

Your rule will soon be here, Your will, will be executed, in this world, and in the above as well,

Give us today the food we need everyday, And forgive what we do wrong, As we will also forgive the other persons who do wrong to us,

Do not lead us to have bad desires, But, free us from all that is evil,

For you are the ruler of the above, and you are the power, and highest honour for ever and ever. Amen.


Which English will be the Global English?

One of the key findings in David Graddol’s research into the future of English (“English Next”), is that the language is certainly in transition … but transition to what?

Well no one is quite certain but whatever the transition is going to be it will be heavily influenced by the current 300 million Chinese currently learning it and the hundreds of million more from China and the world that will learn it. The sheer number of learners, coupled with China’s rising economic and political power, may well see them create a new age and form of English in the same way that the early German tribes, William the Conqueror, Gutenberg/Renaissance and the industrial revolution have in the past.
One thing is clear, these learners have little interest in the cultural, political or romantic history surrounding the language of English and see it simply as a key that can unlock the learnings written in English that have been flooding the internet and other globally accessible resources. Because the majority of their English communication will be with other people who share the same position with them (English as a world language), their level of competence may never need a higher level than basic communication and understanding in the same way that pidgin English has been used in many countries.
For those sceptable about a new English being created from the technology of the internet will only need to view the new 900 SMS acronym list from a social mobile network provider SMSfun Dictionary, to see how a new language can form from the English language within just a few years. As it is with the evolving Global English, if we fail to appreciate, incorporate and learn this language then we will fail to reach and fail to understand a whole generation of its users.
Many operators and researchers have seen this change coming and have attempted to create systems to meet it. These are valiant attempts by native English speakers to exercise some control over something that already has a life force of it own and to a large extent, is out of our control. Some of these attempts include Basic/Simple English, Globish, Plain English, International EnglishSpecial English and Essential World English.
Still, they each identify the basic principles that will underpin the formation of Postmodern English and possibly identify ones that native English speakers (like myself) that wish to trade with this new user group should adopt. Here are the key principles.
        1. Write to make it easy to translate (for humans and machine) - Be especially careful with your questions - Avoid the negatives – include glossaries & vocabulary meaning lists.
        2. Brevity - Use short simple sentences with a limited vocabulary (850 -1,500 words) - Make the main point clear – One idea per sentence.
        3. Emphasize clarity - Removal all idioms (an expression that does not mean what it literally says) - Reduce confusion and anxiety - Say exactly what you mean - use simple words that describe objects, actions or emotions – use active voice as the default.
        4. Avoidance of technical language - Avoid buzzwords, euphemisms, and unexplained acronyms. Avoid slang and overtly single cultural concepts.
        5. Attitude of inclusiveness for Non-Native Speakers of English - simplify grammatical structure. Avoid contexts that could be interpreted as insulting, embarrassing or shameful – Avoid intimidating your readers of limited English. Beware of false friends (same word but different meaning in two languages). Write to enhance your reader’s learning not your ego
Remember, international readers read slowly (i.e. one word at a time) as opposed to native English speakers who usually read in phrases. Also International readers interpret things literally and their native language may not use some aspects of English grammar nor be familiar with the Roman alphabet.

 

As Martin A. Schell says “In all, it is always a good idea to write in clear, globally understood English. If your document is later translated by either machine or humans, Global English will be easier for your translator(s) to work with. If you write for a global audience that includes people whose native language is not English, they will appreciate the fact that your document is easier to understand than most other English-language documents”. A concept that entrepreneurs call – securing a competitive advantage.

Tips for writing Global English

John R. Kohl

There are a few authors that have taken it upon themselves to provide specific tips for those wanting to write Global English for the emerging market of 2nd language English readers. Three that have documented their efforts include:

          1. Martin A. Schell  - Website – American Services in Asia.
          2. The Global English Style Guide: Writing Clear, Translatable Documentation for a Global Market” By: John R. Kohl
          3. “Global English for Global Business” by Rachel McAlpine (2005). Wellington: CC Press. ISBN 0-476-01386-0.
Here are their tips with special mention to Rachel McAlpine for her detailed instructions;

Sentences

      • Keep your sentences short. (i.e. a maximum of 16 words for instruction manuals and 20 for business documents).
      • Try to start every sentence with a word or phrase that means something. (i.e. Reduce the number of sentences that start with phrases like ‘It is’ and ‘There are’)
      • Ask one question at a time. Keep the question simple. (i.e. Are you an Australian citizen?)
      • If you need to use abstract nouns, make the sentence very short. (i.e. peace)
      • Simplify syntax by reducing subordinate clauses and modifier phrases.
      • Minimize the total number of compound nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in your sentences.
      • Be clear even when you need to be indirect.

Words

      • Be absolutely clear when using the mood helping verbs (i.e. may, might, should, can, could, must or will)
      • Reduce the number of miniwords per sentence to less than 33% of the total words ( i.e. miniwords like get, go. lot, by, for, it, he. the, a, of)
      • Don’t include negative words (i.e not), implications (i.e. unless) and feelings (i.e. reject)
      • If you use a pronoun ,check that your meaning is obvious and not ambiguous (i.e. it, he, him, his, she, her, hers, they, them, their, theirs, this, these, that, those)
      • Get to know the words in your field that are identical but have multiple meanings, differences between Britain and USA differences and  have totally different meanings in other languages (The Cambridge International Dictionary of English lists these words as ‘False Friends’.)
      • Better to split a sentence and repeat a key word than use ‘which’ in a potentially ambiguous way.
      • Avoid the other ambiguous words like ‘While’, ‘since’, ‘as’ and ‘whilst’ because they each have several different meanings.
      • Express an action as a verb rather than as a gerund (a verb expressed as a noun, by usually adding -ing to the verb – i.e. “printing”)
      •  Use active and passive voices judiciously.

Phrases

      • Eliminate wordy clichés (i.e. in terms of), colloquial expressions (i.e. come off it), phrasal verbs (i.e. put up with)
      • Don’t include ‘double negatives’. (i.e. ‘not unusual’ can mean ‘very unusual’ to global English readers)
      • Don’t use idioms or at least explain them fully. (i.e. ‘by the book’)
      • In situations that call for nuance, subtlety, or finesse, make sure that your indirect statements are clear statements:

Paragraphs

      • Don’t write any paragraph longer than ten lines Long paragraphs and vary their lengths.
      • Use left aligned rather than fully justified text
      • Make sentences overlap so that they support each other and produce a clear context for all of the paragraph’s ideas.
      • Restate some of your key ideas using different terms

Format Structure

      • Use frequent headings as signposts for the reader
      • Create visual relief with the occasional use of bullet points.
      • Keep the average words per line at between 10-13.
      • Break up continuous text with headings, tables, blank lines or short lists of bullet points.
      • Avoid printed watermarks, or any other device that distracts from the text.
      • Number rather than bullet point and keep the lists to 6 points or less

Layout spaces

      • Separate graphics from text with white space.
      • Leave generous space above headings, for example two blank lines.
      • Leave a complete line between paragraphs rather than indent paragraphs.
      • Set generous margins of at least 3 cm all round to counteract variations in paper size with international faxes.
      • Make sure the space between lines is at least 120% of the height of the words.

Fonts

      • Don’t use fancy fonts or narrow versions of conventional fonts – for on-screen use Verdana, Trebuchet MS, or Georgia.
      • Use a maximum of two fonts per document.
      • Avoid underlining, caps and italics .
      • Do emphasize words by using bold and larger font sizes.
      • Use a font size of at least 12 point.

Numbers

      • Always write the month in full (i.e. 3 February 2009)
      • Always write complete phone and fax numbers (i.e. +64 4 189 7016)
      • Be consistent in the way you write numbers
      • Include the country before the currency value (i.e.US$100.00)
      • Mark off thousands (i.e. 1 000 000 or 1,000,000).

Some light relief … the English Language

 

Finnish Comedian Ismo Leikola on the English Language

Some software tools that may help!

Here is a link to some very useful and free online tools that can help you write for the new Global English. They cover Readability Tests, Dictionary, a Learn To Read English, Vocabulary Builder, Filtered Word Frequencies, Explains All Words, Usage of words in literature and Detector of Complicated Vocabulary all created from your supplied text or URL. http://www.online-utility.org/english/index.jsp
Here is another link from the Simplish team who are part of the group working on Artificial Intelligence. The main objective of this team effort is producing a means to reduce the number of words employed to convey knowledge, while substantially maintaining the information content. Currently, the Simplish wizard is able to translate text, based on a 100,000+ vocabulary, to a representation using less than 2,000 words. So this tool helps you translate your standard English into Global English. http://www.simplish.org/
Here is a WORD LISTS and SOFTWARE for SPELL CHECKING and TRANSLATION from the Basic English Dictionaries 40,000 common words-senses with Basic translation.The intent here is to provide developers with a translation list from standard English into Basic English. A related project is a spell-check word list for the Basic English words and proper nouns. http://www.basic-english.org/eoffice/translate.html#sc
This uses the Thesaurus feature of OpenOffice.org to translate from standard English to Ogden’s Basic English. The Basic English spell check will identify words that need translation to Basic. Use of the drop down thesaurus will offer Basic wording alternatives for various senses of the word. http://www.basic-english.org/down/readthes.html

Conclusion

Photo Source #4 - www2.hawaii.edu - Global Map

The economic and social benefits of a global language has been recognized for centuries but it has never happened. This is most probably because of the unwanted cultural and political baggage that accompanied attempts by authorities in the past to bring it about.

Yet, today we see the emergence of an almost spontaneous world-wide desire by much of the developing world to make English the language of choice in their attempt to learn and communicate with the world.
The primary catalyst for this change is the internet, which English language learners see as a platform for broad-based learning. Equally these English learners see a chance, with a global linga franca like Global English, to communicate and share information with every other person on the planet. It is this second activity that may well create a paradigm shift in the English language. Using English-lite as a start point, these English language learners may well create a whole new version of English that ‘native’ English speakers will also need to learn in order to engage fully.
So, if our ‘native’ English information products are going to tap this huge emerging market, it will be imperative that we provide the products and services on the internet in the vernacular of the age – Global English. We need to be both mindful and sensitive to this massive new market that is developing before our eyes. Native English speakers must also realize that in a world where bilingual and cross-cultural communication will become the norm, single language speakers, like me, will be the ones marginalized and devalued.

References and Bibliography

[1] The handbook of world Englishes By Braj B. Kachru, Yamuna Kachru, Cecil L. Nelson
“In 1962, Quirk estimated the number of “native” speakers of English at around 250 million, compared with 100 million using English as a “second language”; by 1977, Fishman, Cooper and Rosenbaum gave the figure of 300 million for each group; but by 1995, Crystal is arguing that one could identify 350 million native speakers, around 225 million second-language users, and around 550 million users of English as a foreign language.”
[2] A Knol by Anti Native Speaker Hegemony Rationale – “Many learners themselves do not aspire to Native Speaker competence (mostly not considering the effort worthwhile), especially where they have no intention of becoming part of the L2 community (House & Kasper 2000:115). Rather—if at all—they may be seeing English as a tool for building their identity as world citizens.”
http://www.languagemonitor.com/no-of-words/globalenglish “Spread the word: English is unstoppable” By NEIL REYNOLDS, The Globe and Mail
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20912132-29677,00.html “Globish now the lingua franca of world travellers” Adam Sage, Paris, December 12, 2006,  Article from:  The Australian
http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~kemmer/Words04/history/paternoster.html Suzanne Kemmer, Associate Professor of Linguistics Rice University Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
http://openlibrary.org/b/OL4784763M/Ordered-profusion;-studies-in-dictionaries-and-the-English-lexicon  Finkenstaedt, Thomas; Dieter Wolff (1973). Ordered profusion; studies in dictionaries and the English lexicon. C. Winter. ISBN 3-533-02253-6
http://www.wired.com/culture/culturereviews/magazine/16-07/st_essay “How English Is Evolving Into a Language We May Not Even Understand” By Michael Erard, WIRED MAGAZINE 23 June 2008
A guide to speaking English so that the French can understand you! by Nathalie Kleinschmit, for the Franco-British Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Executive Forum Newsletter, April 2001
http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats7.htm - INTERNET WORLD USERS BY LANGUAGE Top 10 Languages
http://encyclopedia.stateuniversity.com/pages/13578/lingua-franca.html Cambridge Encyclopedia, Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 46 - lingua franca – Outside Europe, Pidgin. State University
http://www.open2.net/healtheducation/education/globalenglish.html  Open2.net is the online learning portal from The Open University and the BBC. David Graddol, former OU Lecturer, has a particular interest in the development of global English and his publications include The Future of English?, published by the British Council in 1997 and an article commissioned in 2004 by Science magazine on ‘The Future of Language’. David’s recent work includes a new analysis of global trends in English and English education, for the British Council, which will be published in autumn 2005.
http://www.audiencedialogue.net/english.html - Audience Dialogue is an Adelaide, South Australia based  consultancy, formed in 1999 by Dennis List.
http://www.michaelerard.com/ Michael Erard is an author and journalist who writes about language at the intersection of technology, policy, law, and science.

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1 Comment

Posted by on April 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

One response to “Global English – a Paradigm shift

  1. www.cs1322.Com

    July 11, 2013 at 3:14 am

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