B1 Intermediate UK 1411 Folder Collection
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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!
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2014 ELTForum sk David Crystal plenary - Why English is a global language?

1411 Folder Collection
邱潔茹 published on April 5, 2015
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