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A World Language

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posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 06:07 PM
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I wanted to see what people think about a world language/universal language.

Do you think sometime in the future every person will speak the same language, such as Mandarin, English, Spanish, etc.? Or that technology will advance far enough where it can translate for us?

Would everyone speaking the same language be good or bad?

I think it could be both good and bad. Good because everyone can communicate, bad because language and culture are interwined and losing one could mean losing the other.




posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 06:38 PM
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I doubt all the peoples of the world will all adopt the same language and all strictly use it. But if it came close, I think English would be the language spoken most universally, even into the future. 50 years from now there will be even more English speakers in all countries of the world.

But there will never be 1 official language of the world, because people will stick to their local dialects, particularly if they have very little to no interaction with 'outsiders' that would be speaking this universal language. So, they'd keep their local languages, especially in the undeveloped regions.

However, once upon a time, there was only one world language. That language was Old Hebrew. Then, as the peoples scattered and moved about, relocating and journeying, searching and staking out, migrating along the waterways, the language of groups of people changed, eventually becoming vastly different from Old Hebrew. I'm not going to say that God took everyone and relocated them in the blink of an eye all over the planet, changing their languages into new and strange complex languages that everyone in that group instantly understood. No, much like most other Bible stories, you have to look at it from differing angles, particularly from a symbolic angle or point of view.

I take the old story of the Tower of Babel as meaning that after the failure of a huge archaeological undertaking that was supposed to take the people to new places, the peoples split up and decided to go in different directions to seek new places for themselves. As they did this, they'd split among tribal, family, and friendly lines. Over time as the peoples migrated, slang terms would become normal words, and other words would be introduced. Also, accents would change. So after enough time, each group would have a verbal language that would be indistinguishable to the other groups. They'd also live several 100's of kilometers away from the original site of the Tower of Babel. This is the literal fulfillment of the symbolic actions taken in the Bible story.

Edit: Okay, so the tower of babel story probably never happened.
like the noah and the ark story .. it probably didnt happen the way it is described either. Happy?


[edit on 11/18/2007 by runetang]



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 06:44 PM
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ill throw in a brief comment on this one, why not?
as to whether or not it will happen, i have to say i dont think it likely. there are simply far too many of us spread over far too large and area. and the culture gaps between places such as america and china, say, are too big to allow us to really share a language like that. as you said, language and culture do largely go hand in hand and i dont think either the americans or the chinese (to stay with that example) will ever be willing to change their traditions and world-views enough to be able to express them in the same kind of ways.
also, language effects the way you think. unfortunately its been a while since ive read up on these ideas, so i cant cite any specific sources, but do some looking into words that dont exist in your language. for myself, being a native english speaker, i find it particularly illustrative to look at asian languages like chinese and japanese, as their languages encode information in a very different way than english does, and they express many concepts in single words that in english are only expressible in whole sentences or paragraphs, if at all.

and as for whether or not it would be a good thing, well, i doubt that as well. one global language would be easier to control. as i said earlier, language effects the way we think. the kinds of words available to us in our language limits the kinds of things we can think about and the ways we can think about them. id suggest reading up on newspeak for an idea on the potential for abuse.



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 06:48 PM
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I think the whole world should speak Latin.

Just like the Romans. And the Coliseum should be reinstated in every major population center in America. And the Fights would be to the Death! and we will throw Christians in to the pits with the Lions and Tigers!

Oh, Mr. Mahdi, The Hidden Imam, please save us before its too late!!

(Mahdi was being the hidden imam and the Mahdi Army accidently blew him up in a roadside bombing with an Iranian Penetrator bomb b/c Mahdi didnt realize there was a bomb there when he cloaked himself invisible...)

Umm.. Jesus, come save us?

[edit on 11/18/2007 by runetang]



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 07:04 PM
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There already was an attempt to creat a new "world language" -it's called "Esperanto". Google it for the details (Wiki is a good start also).
It was intended to be a Universal, easy-to-learn, readily translatable form of communication that would bring all the peoples of the world into harmonious communication. Nobody liked the idea.

I still support the notion that English should be the preeminent language of the world. It's very adaptable and capable of expressing almost any thought. It is mutable and readily modifiable. It assimilates words and phrases from other languages like a Borg. Granted, individual words may not be as precise or defined as in some other lingos, but that's part of it's strength. Considering the rapid change of technology and intermingling of cultures, I think English stands out as the most capable of evolution. Therefore it should continue to be the standard of international discourse.

[edit on 18-11-2007 by passenger]

[edit on 18-11-2007 by passenger]



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 07:21 PM
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reply to post by passenger
 


languages are subject to the same kind of evolution as living organisms. in daily usage, even on an individual level, people change their language and those changes that are better suited (be it practically or aesthetically) to the description of the world as it is in the present survive while those less suited are dropped quickly. just as one cannot say scientifically that a human is "more" evolved or advanced than a duck, one cannot say scientifically that english is "more" evolved or advanced than any other language. english is a great language (considering its my only, i am greatly biased), but i have a hard time accepting that its in any way "better" than any other language out there. claims such as it is "capable of expressing almost any thought" are not valid. its seems capable of expressing almost any thought to you because you already think in english. someone who thinks natively in another language (japanese, say) but is fluent in english will still have some difficulty expressing some uniquely japanese thoughts in our language. granted, this will occur mostly in very obscure realms of thought - the examples im thinking of are several concepts of zen buddhism which cannot really be accurately expressed in english at all, and all of our best attempts turn into dissertations.

not trying to be contrary here, just expressing my take on a concept ive heard before (english is better/more advance than other languages) that i dont agree with



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 07:24 PM
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reply to post by passenger
 


Esperanto was kind of an interesting 'experiment' if you want to call it that. I'm kind of surpised I haven't seen more about it here on ATS.

I'm surprised that the first two responses said that there would be no universal language. Even as the world becomes more and more globalized, you wouldn't think that one language would become dominant? And you don't think someone will make a sort of Star Trekky (Tekker?) device that will translate languages for you?



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 07:24 PM
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One world language already exists.

English.



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 07:28 PM
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reply to post by frumpwallow
 


I'm glad you mentioned the evolution of languages. I don't think too many will argue that English is the 'best' language or anything, but it can adapt better than some languages.

For example, I think France has like a language council, where they make up new words for the French language and keep others from entering the language. If you look at English, you'll find words from all other languages that have been adapted to use.



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 07:45 PM
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Originally posted by frumpwallow
languages are subject to the same kind of evolution as living organisms. in daily usage, even on an individual level, people change their language and those changes that are better suited … to the description of the world as it is in the present ..


My point exactly. What other language can you present that is so mutable and adaptable as English? It readily and quickly adopts foreign words and phrases without losing it’s core structure. It encompasses words from Latin, Greek, Inuit, Spanish, Japanese, Russian, etc. without missing a beat


Originally posted by frumpwallow
..one cannot say scientifically that english is "more" evolved or advanced than any other language. ..


I never said it was more evolved – only that it had the greatest potential for evolution (See your above quote).


Originally posted by frumpwallow
i am greatly biased), but i have a hard time accepting that its in any way "better" than any other language out there. ..


I am biased as well. However, I am not talking better in the sense of “better” in the sense of cultural superiority. From an evolutionary standpoint, there is a test for “better”: That which adapts survives, that which does not perishes. Can you provide a language that seems to have a greater potential for change than English? One has only to look at how many recent technologies have world-wide usage in English terminology because the native tongue has no reasonable facsimile.



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 09:32 PM
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Please excuse me, the true story about the Tower of Babel is God confused our language :

www.thebricktestament.com...
logos.uoregon.edu...

You may not believe the Bible, but please don't change what it said, if you are not sure please don't say it.

Thanks you and God blessed !



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 10:06 PM
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Originally posted by passenger
I am biased as well. However, I am not talking better in the sense of “better” in the sense of cultural superiority. From an evolutionary standpoint, there is a test for “better”: That which adapts survives, that which does not perishes. Can you provide a language that seems to have a greater potential for change than English? One has only to look at how many recent technologies have world-wide usage in English terminology because the native tongue has no reasonable facsimile.


i think the usage of english terminology world-wide for various technologies is demonstrative of other languages ability to do just what you say english is best at - borrowing words from other languages. many languages do this, though i must admit that in my (perhaps limited) experience with other languages, english is the most omnivorous in this process. i truly expect that, with the rapidly shifting world economic and power structures we will see chinese become very widely used. i dont know a whole lot about the language, but it seems just as pliable and diverse in its usefulness as english is. perhaps in a more metaphorical sense than english, which is predominantly literal (with a capacity for metaphor), but still very viable. the only stumbling block that chinese has is its difficulty in being learned by non native speakers. of course, english is pretty high up on the list of difficult languages to learn, so itll depend on whether or not their new found clout in the world (combined with the depreciation of americas clout - and, therefore, the english language) will over come the difficulty of learning their language.

and @ Chyort:
yes, ive heard of frances language coucil. while i understand that language is deeply tied to cultural identity and the desire to keep that identity "pure," i find it unfortunate that there exists a body that will try to prevent the natural evolution of language. english benefits greatly from having no such official prescriptivism, or at least not one so influential as theirs. ive often found interest in learning the origins of words i always assumed were just english which were, in fact, foreign in origin. ive also watched with great interest the way that new words and phrases can be coined, even starting in a seemingly insignificant localized way. for example the use of the word "wicked" meaning "very, extremely" in the northeast which has gained, i think, if not national use, then at least national understanding. also the word "beast" or "beasty" to mean "strong" or "extremely well done in the face of unlikely success" which started in little Providence, RI, which has now spread throughout the state and, in very rare instances, outside of the state. living languages are a beautiful thing, and i hate to see them stifled so.



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 10:40 PM
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Originally posted by runetang
Umm.. Jesus, come save us?
[edit on 11/18/2007 by runetang]


It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs.




posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 11:02 PM
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I'm really surprised at some of the religious overtones that some of the posts have taken.
This might be a strange question, but does anyone out there think that if everyone spoke the same language, an event like what happened in the Tower of Babel story would occur?

@frumpwallow
That's funny about the beast slang, because we say it over here in Washington.



posted on Nov, 19 2007 @ 08:40 AM
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really?? thats awesome! when did it start over there? its only been around here, in RI, for maybe 4 or 5 years. did we perhaps import it and i wasnt aware? or maybe it developed independently. weird....



posted on Nov, 19 2007 @ 08:43 AM
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I would hate it, considering English doesn't have the "how manyth" word like many other languages have.

Technically almost any language could be used, I wouldn't call it a matter of ''more evolved'' or w/e, but a matter of which language is more spread-out than others, least difficult to learn, and still has the most extensive vocabulary.



posted on Nov, 19 2007 @ 09:05 AM
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There has always been a universal language.

Mathematics.

No matter where you go on this planet 1 and 1 always equals 2.

You can easily communicate with any fellow human in mathematical forms.

Some may also say simple sign language or gestures could be considered universal but certain gestures can have adverse effects based on culture.

Becker



posted on Nov, 19 2007 @ 11:05 AM
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reply to post by Becker44
 


Hmm I can see how math is universal, but not a universal language. I could just see going up to my boss and saying "2*2=4." He'd probably just say, "if you keep that up, you will get 2-2=0, 0=your salary."

I don't see how people could communicate purely by mathematics.



posted on Nov, 19 2007 @ 02:17 PM
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My point was more on a rudimentary level, meaning we as a human race share mathematics beyond cultural or language barriers. Therefore, we can in a sense communicate with each other.

You are correct in stating mathematics is not a language per se.

Becker



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