Is English killing other languages?

Jana Feigerlová

English. One of the most important languages in today’s modern world. It is necessary in normal life, work, business, entertainment, just everywhere. But what does it cost our own native languages? Aren’t we destroying our whole culture by favouring English? It is a global problem around the world. Many languages are dying out or becoming endangered only because of English. But why is it so important to keep our own native languages? Their importance is mainly in their strong connection to the country’s culture. Language carries the whole history and culture of every country. By using language, you can identify with one cultural group or differentiate yourself from another. You can express your ideas and knowledge, which can be helpful to someone else.

Until recently I have never thought of English as a killing tool from the point of view of other languages. I have always admired and wanted to be the best at it. Why? It is quite simple. In today’s world, we see English as a basic thing that everyone needs to know and have. If you want to be successful, you need to speak English. You need to have certificates like CAE, FCE, TOEFL and much more. It is becoming unquestionable that you are expected to have it for a good working and successful life. But is it that important?

One of the strongest indicators that English is the biggest killer these days is its importance in computing. English is sometimes described as the lingua franca of computing. A lingua franca is defined as a language that is used systematically in communication between two or more people. It is used by people who don’t share a native language and can provide them with easier and better communication in many fields. Through human history, English has been used a lot in trade, business and communication. But with the development of technology and computing it is used as the main language in these fields, too. And as we all know, technology is significant and crucial in today’s world. So it is natural that English will be more and more powerful in the future.

But what if you are not good at learning languages? If you want to have the best education in the world, you need to have your English certificated. As all the best universities are found in the United Kingdom and the United States of America, you need to speak English. If you are a native speaker you are fine, but if you are not? You need to pass exams in English. But what if the learning of languages is not your strong suit? You can be the best physicist or scientist, but the world will never know about this, because you were not admitted to an important school only because of the level of your English. Hypothetically you can be the one who will find a cure for cancer. But if you aren’t admitted to a school that will give you the best education, the chance of your coming up with the cure is minimal. So is it right to reject a student on grounds of linguistic ability alone? I don´t think so, and I hope you will think about this problem and not let your native language die out.