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

English as a common language


You don't really "choose" languages: they choose themselves through what look a lot like market operations. People celebrate their local languages, but in practice over time, they tend to adopt the dominant common language of their era. This took place with koine Greek, then Latin, then French, and now with English. Choose all you like, or let bureaucrats choose for you, but in the end processes of language adoption that have taken place in the past are most likely to take place today, and then again in the future.
Jon, USA

Seriously, there is an excellent reason why English should be the official language of the EU; it is the de facto language of business in the world today. That pragmatic consideration outweighs any idealistic preference for a language that does not give a nation an "unfair" advantage or that is "tainted" by colonialism. Secondly, large numbers of Europeans already have skills in English as a second language, more so than any other language, I would guess.
Wilson, UK

Should English become an official language of the EU or not, it still will stay the single International language in the world. It's always easier to swim in the river downstream than against upstream, isn't it?
Stanislav, Russia

Of course!! After all, English has been the universal language for the last 100 years, thanks to the colonial British empire. I think the EU should adopt the English language. Heck, It's the most popular language in the world. Incidentally, I'm from India, the Jewel of the Crown!!
Karthik, USA

English is THE business language of the world. It is also the international language of air traffic control (except in France). Though the choice would not effect the present generation of politicians, the next would be able to work together much more closely, the cost of the EU would be reduced, but an awful lot of translators would be out of work. I think its worth it.
Cameron, UK

English is taught as the first language in my country, and there has been a lot of people to visit EU countries. I'll never say that all people must speak English, but if we can meet the people who can speak it all in the EU countries where English isn't there mother language, we will feel it is very convenient and relieved. And I've heard there is a opinion to make an new language which takes another language's words, grammar, and so on. But I think it just makes the EU confusing.
Koichi, Japan

Esperanto ?? Jeez!! You gotta be joking!! It makes sense to use English when you consider that vast proportions of Africa, Asia, and North America speak the same language. Of course, it'll never happen because the French won't allow it, just as Quebec won't allow it in Canada.
Ray, Australia

As an American in Austria (9 years) and fluent in German, I still believe the official language should be English. It is a world language now and because of very good programs available for children at elementary schools here, they begin learning English (and the importance of being able to communicate in English) at a very early age. Persons from English-speaking countries tend to be lazier about learning and acquiring other languages, but in other European countries, there seems to be a positive attitude about English and learning it.
Nadine, USA, living in Austria

You can't have every dialect or regional language in Europe treated equally so why bother with the more widely spoken languages. Nobody can be expected to speak every language. The Language of business is generally English. The cost of translations is high. The time not spent on learning a multitude of languages can be spent on learning vocational skills. Many-to-Many relationships are impossible so lets normalize to a One-to-Many relationship and have a Single European Language which is English.
Tim, UK

Most definitely - English is taught as the primary foreign language in the majority of countries. It therefore makes sense to unite all the countries of the EU with the one language their nationals all know. The member states have enough new systems to get used to without making language one more.
Marc, UK Premium

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