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Will Mandarin Chinese replace English as the next world language? Show more Show less
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English became the world’s international language through British colonization in the 17th-18th centuries, the growth of science and technology through Britain’s Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, and the rise of the United States as a leader in economic, political, cultural, and scientific power in the 20th-21st centuries. Today, English (and its many varieties) has the greatest number of speakers in the world (1,268 million), followed closely by Mandarin Chinese (1,120 million). Yet, with the rise of the People’s Republic of China as a global economic superpower, many speculate that Mandarin Chinese (China’s official language) will soon replace English as the language of international affairs.

No, English will remain the world's international language Show more Show less

English is here to stay because of its widespread use in international politics, business, scientific knowledge, the Internet, and pop culture.
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US pop culture is globally prevalent

As long as Hollywood and U.S. pop culture remains prevalent throughout the world, English will still be an influential language.
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Context

Hollywood dominates much of the world's media markets. Several US musicians are popular internationally. American English is more common in Europe compared to British English. The spread of American pop culture is even more prevalent due to the Internet. Since American culture is widely known across the world, the English language becomes widely known by default.[1]

The Argument

Due to the popularity of US pop culture icons, speeded up by globalization, English will remain a global language.[2] Young people around the globe are familiar with American English slang, such as "cool" "chill" or "nerd."[3] People around the globe who have never been to the US can have a view of American houses, families, and everyday lives through visual media.[4] Many non-native English speakers learn English through watching US media, such as Friends, Stranger Things, or The Office.[5] Chinese media does not have the same cultural influence as American pop culture. For example, youth in Vietnam, a country geographically closer to China than the US, prefer listening to American pop culture and resist learning Mandarin.[2] The cultural influence of American media will ensure that English holds more cultural sway and prominence rather than Mandarin.[6]

Counter arguments

US pop culture (and English) is no longer the only major player in the global pop culture field. South Korea is one of the only countries that actively exports its pop culture to the globe.[7] Netflix and subtitles allow US Americans and others around the world to watch movies and TV shows in Spanish, Japanese, French, German, and Chinese. Increasing globalization does not just promote English use; globalization promotes more cultures and languages too.

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Americanization
  2. https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-17105569
  3. https://www.pbs.org/speak/ahead/globalamerican/slang/
  4. https://medium.com/@taieboussayfi/the-global-reach-of-us-popular-culture-d31be4aaeb4b
  5. https://unbabel.com/blog/pop-culture-language-impact/
  6. https://time.com/3585847/mandarin-lingua-franca/
  7. https://martinroll.com/resources/articles/asia/korean-wave-hallyu-the-rise-of-koreas-cultural-economy-pop-culture/

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This page was last edited on Wednesday, 14 Oct 2020 at 21:56 UTC

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