Advanced Level >> Themes & Topics >> Discussion starter. Students read through comments against using English as the international language in the world.

English as a common language


A common language for Europe can be a neutral language only. As far I can see it is only Esperanto, which can fulfil this condition.
Karl Heinz, Deutschland

Why is the question always "English and no other language versus chaos." It's been obvious to millions of intelligent people for over 100 years that a neutral second language for everyone is the cheapest most effective way to bring simpler communications to the world. Everyone keeps their own language (and culture) and communicates to other peoples in Esperanto. Besides, did you see the remarks of some people saying that there's a certain kind of "correct" English?! Sorry. But those who must have it all one way will not convince me.
Toni, Canadian living in USA

As a paradox, the best way to promote English as the unique EU language is to avoid any debate about languages! Just let things go and wait until it will be too late to choose another language... I think English is too difficult to understand, when spoken. A lot of people are reluctant to watch movies in the English version. There are a lot of irregularities in English and it takes 10 times longer to learn it than Esperanto, which was specially designed to be easily learnt. Esperanto is worth to spend half an hour to inform about it!
Brilleaud, France

We spend tremendous amounts of money in learning English, in Korea. According to the calculation from my personal experience, I could achieve 5 doctorate degrees, if I hadn't had to learn English. English has already deprived considerable potential/energy of me. Rather I would prefer Esperanto, a language designed to be very easy and logical for everybody from diverse cultural/language backgrounds.
Hiongun, South Korea

Didn't English kill enough languages in the islands and the rest of the British Empire? Should we support further killing of languages in continental Europe, and the undermining of the European cultural richness? The only fair and economical solution to the EU language problem is a neutral international language.
Ionel, Romania/USA

The continuation of the British empire's assault on the other national languages should cease forthwith. We are now into the time of internationalism. So use the international language, ESPERANTO. That way we save minority languages from being murdered by English, and English being murdered by other national languages. English is a good language for the theatre, jokes etc. It is unfair and inaccurate for communication between different nations, legal matters, friendship across linguistic divides. ESPERANTO is the hope for the communicating world.
Martin, England

I cannot accept the proposal: I'm Italian, and I want to preserve my cultural heritage. I think that a neutral language like Esperanto could be a good solution.
Roberto, Italy

No, of course not. I'm English and proud of it - my language is part of my cultural identity. The same goes for everyone else from every other country. The many and varied languages of Europe mark it out as a community of diverse peoples and cultures - long may it remain so.
Neil, UK

Absolutely not. A neutral language -like Interlingua- could be a good solution. English, of course, isn't neutral. On the other hand, it is a very difficult language because of its exotic pronunciation, spelling and its verbs. The majority of people that I know can't speak English.
Ignacio, Spain

No one language should be the official language unless all agree to it. If all parties do not agree to one particular language then it would be best to pick a particular one from a language groups (Germanic, Romance, etc) - although this sounds very difficult. Another choice is to go to a new language for all countries, such as the "Esperanto" language. The best point with this last example, is that all will have an equally difficult time learning it.
Ruben, USA

Business is not fair nor did it ever claim to be. However, government should be fair to the citizens. Picking English or any other European language as the only language of government would be unfair in several ways. It would favour native English-speakers for EU jobs. It would favour English-speaking MEPs and committee members, who would dominate political debates. Picking one language for EU government may be a good idea, but that language must be a neutral one. I recommend Esperanto.
Marko, Finland/USA

ABSOLUTELY NOT. Europe must be constructed on the reciprocal respect of all people living there. The languages of each Nation should have equal legal standing and cultures of the people should be given full space to coexist. Switzerland has operated in that fashion for centuries. Why not Europe? If you want a planet that is steam rolled under a uniform industrial culture for short term commercial efficiency, I do not think I'll have anything to do with it.
Yves, British Columbia, Canada

The British are notoriously lazy about learning a foreign language but why should everyone else suffer as a result. It would do the British a lot of good to eat humble pie for once and try to accommodate the rest of the world instead of continuing to see themselves as superior in every way.
Candida, UK Premium

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