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Polyglot English...my prediction
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My friend Saritha Rai writes in the New York Times:

click here to read it

The first comment is wonderful, and, I suspect, written deliberately in pigdin English to underscore the commenter's point!

My response to this:

Languages evolve, and routinely, some disappear. Where is Pali? Hebrew? or any of the other tongues that we do not even know of? People communicated with each other through whistling across the hillsides, I learnt once.

I feel that English itself is evolving into a series of local dialects; as it is now, we can hardly understand the language as spoken in Fiji, or Singapore, or South Africa...or for that matter, the English between, say, Punjab and Tamil Nadu varies so widely.

So...I feel that instead of a polyglot Babel, we will have polyglot English....and since I am not going to be around to find out....I am OK with the process of evolution! How else would you and I communicate, dear reader, when some of you speak Swedish, Punjabi, French, and other languages I don't even know of?

It all goes back to the world needing a common language. Esperanto was an attempt that fairly well died and English has displaced all others as the language to know if you want to communicate outside your homeland. What I detest is the attitude of some English speakers who find themselves living in non-English speaking countries and are actually proud of never learning the local language well enough to communicate. That isn't the point here, I realize, but so many English speakers have become arrogant that way.

Interesting article, Deepa. Thanks for the link!

I was surprised at first when I found out that my DIL, who has an almost monolingual Japanese mother, barely speaks and understands the language! I try to encourage her to have her mom teach Japanese to my my granddaughter, but DIL thinks her mom will not be interested...I try to speak with my granddaughter in my dialects, at my son's behest, but it's hard since she only communicates with both parents in English...She picks up easily on the songs, though, so that's a start. My son, on the other hand, speaks both my mother tongue, Ilocano, and Tagalog, our national language, fairly well. Most often when I scold him or want to tell him some secret, I use any of the two or a mixture of both;)hahaha

I agree with your prediction of a polyglot English. Just off the top of my head, I know of at least one word that English, or American English, at least, has adopted from my language-"boondocks" which means "mountains," in my language. I'm sure there are some words adopted from your language.

I also am with Donna. I frown upon the " attitude of some English speakers who find themselves living in non-English speaking countries and are actually proud of never learning the local language well enough to communicate. That isn't the point here, I realize, but so many English speakers have become arrogant that way."

Edited at 2012-06-03 09:02 pm (UTC)

I didn't know "boondocks" is from Tagalog! :)))

Since none of us can know everything, I cannot understand arrogance of any kind...but I hope I am not prey to it, unwittingly...

Our sister-in-law is Coorgi, and our little niece speaks in Konkani with us, Coorgi with her, and in English at other times. Recently at her grand parents estate she picked up little Kannada from the estate workers. And not by accident, my brother speaks to her in Konkani only, sis-in-law in Coorgi only. And she turned 3 years old last month. My US cousins both parents who are Konkani cannot speak a word of it. So also any other Konkani kid in the US we know of. Strange.

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