Would you be willing to adopt a single, world-wide spoken and written international language as a second language in order to facilitate the global exchange of information? I would, and I currently speak only English.
Let me state up front that I am not of a One-World mindset. I am an ardent believer in sovereignty of countries and the rights of citizens to defend their countries from aggression with or without the help of other countries (unilateralism), including preemptive actions. I would celebrate the dissolution of the United Nations, whose top administrators pocket food-for-oil money and permit Iraqi citizens to be starved and abused, to mention just one contemporary atrocity.
That said, I do believe that breaking down the communication barrier across the globe represents a paradigm shift that would precipitate the single greatest conservation of resources imaginable. Consider the time, material and opportunity lost to accommodating the world’s plethora of languages, which no single person can even come close to learning. The goodwill benefit would be huge. No one would be forced to espouse such a universally agreed-upon language, but those refusing to get on-board would by default be voluntarily relegating themselves to eventual isolation from much of the outside world. People in the business, scientific, technical and medical worlds would likely be the early adopters since they have the most to gain.
Arriving at a universal language would not be an easy task and might be destined for failure since some ill-appointed, politically-motivated committee would probably be convened to take up the chore. If, however, representatives of the aforementioned likely early adopter groups took on the commission, a reasonable solution might result. Perhaps the project could begin with a study of existing communications and search for a dominating language or group of languages, then poll the user population based on results. I’m no linguist or etymologist, but it seems many of the language groups have large similarities that could be reduced to root forms, producing maybe three or four base languages that could then be combined to generate a singe universal language. Admittedly, finding a way to combine European and Asian languages would not be a simple task, but the ingenuity of some people is amazing. Computer programmers in concert with a world full of Einsteinian thinkers that can write code for dissecting the human genome surely are up to the challenge.
This global language would not eliminate the native tongues of cultures, but would eliminate the burden of deciding which other language or languages to learn when a person’s livelihood is dependent upon exchanging information internationally and across cultural boundaries. Preservation of existing languages is indeed crucial for historical and ethnical purposes. There will always be plenty of people ready, willing and able to learn other languages of the world either as a hobby or for specific vocational work. Those of us who find learning new languages to be akin to a sculptor learning differential equations would appreciate the help.
- Kirt Blattenberger Registration is not necessary to vote in the poll.