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  • why had English become a global langauage - is it the language itself, is that it?

  • and it's a tricky question to answer

  • because popular belief is that it is

  • something to do with the language - I used to spend a lot of time once in the 1980s doing a

  • radio 4 series for the BBC

  • called "English now" and each week we would

  • have a different topic and I would go out onto the street with my roving

  • microphone

  • and get some vox pops as they call them

  • on the BBC vox populi the voice of the public

  • and one day we were doing global English so I'm out on the street now

  • and I'm asking people - do you know that English is a global language

  • universal answer yes - Can you tell me

  • why - why do you think sir / madame English has become a global language in

  • here are the commonest

  • answers and you will perhaps

  • be surprised - i don't know - the commonest answer

  • is because - it's obvious! - English is the most beautiful language in the world

  • and so people want to learn it isn't that obvious?

  • I knew it was wrong

  • because I know that Welsh is the most beautiful language in the world

  • did I tell you I came from Wales? I did, didn't I- you know it's Slovak

  • the point is it's a pointless question

  • but people do believe it - the second answer

  • second commonest answer - you'll love this one large

  • gentleman florid face big moustache came towards me

  • Sir, do you know why English is a global language? yes yes young man

  • young man - love him

  • love him already I'll tell you why English is a global language

  • because it hasn't got any grammar!

  • I told you you'd like that one- I nearly fell off

  • my microphone I I I said you know what what you what you mean?

  • and he says I'll tell you I'll tell you because when I was at school

  • I had to learn these foreign languages I learnt French with all that

  • stupid masculine and feminine stuff and then

  • German with that stupid neuter stuff and all these

  • endings, this nominative and accusative and

  • oh, ridiculous! English hasn't got any of that -

  • so it hasn't got any grammar!

  • you see the logic - what he's

  • doing of course is he's identifying grammar

  • with morphology word endings - which

  • English hasn't got many of - I mean there are a few

  • you know - a dozen or so as you know but English is not big on word endings

  • but of course what it hasn't got on word endings

  • it makes up for in word order - so syntax

  • is the big problem for any language learner for English

  • how much syntax is there English? well

  • go to the big comprehensive grammar of the English language by Randolph Quirk

  • and his colleagues which is that thick, isn't it - eighteen hundred pages

  • 2.4 kilograms - that's how much syntax there is in English

  • 2.4 kilos of it!

why had English become a global langauage - is it the language itself, is that it?

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B1 UK language global hasn syntax grammar answer

2014 ELTForum sk David Crystal plenary - Why English is a global language?

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    邱潔茹 posted on 2015/04/05
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