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Burnt by English

Burnt by English

“The power of the tongue is the power of those, who speaks it "

France, Spain, Portugal and Germany intend to fight to improve the international status of their languages. They are not satisfied with the ubiquitous dominance of the English language.

“Leaving the English lingua franca status, The European Union has lost control of [cultural and political] narrative. It's time to change the situation ", - writes the director of the expert and analytical center EVRO Intelligence (Germany) Wolfgang Munchau (Wolfgang Münchau).

he reminds, that the main language of the European Economic Community, forerunners of the European Union, was french, when it consisted of only six states. The more new countries joined the EU, the more the European Union became "English". Most attempts to create joint Anglo-French, Anglo-German, English-Spanish etc.. d. media resources to inform the English-speaking audience about the politics of Paris, Berlin or Madrid were unsuccessful, since the Anglo-Saxons do not want any integration in the information sphere. UK withdrew from the EU, but English remains the leading language of the Union, which allows London to control the European information space.

To reduce the influence of the English language in Europe, Munchau proposes to create social networks in other European languages. In English-speaking Twitter, WhatsApp and Facebook completely dominated by American and British journalists, experts and analysts, imposing their views on the world on European users. The second step is to create quality software for online translators without using English. Latin speakers (French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian), Germanic (German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish), Finno-Ugric (Finnish, Estonian, Hungarian) easier to translate texts from related languages, than through english, but there are no necessary technical capabilities for this. Besides, the easiest Western European language is Spanish. Why learn more difficult English?

Spanish is the main competitor of English. It is the second language in the world in terms of the number of those, who is he for (471.5 million.). By the total number of native speakers and those, for whom is it a second language (Total 586 million.), Spanish alongside Hindi (600 million.) ranks 3rd in the world after English, owned in total 1,4 billion. and Chinese (1,2 billion.). Minus Chinese and Hindi is, that their carriers are concentrated mainly within the borders of China and India, while Spanish is spoken in Europe, America and Africa. Spanish is the third largest Internet user in the world (about 260 million.). In the United States, Spanish is spoken 45 million. citizens. Samuel Huntington predicted the division of Americans into two peoples with two cultures - English and Spanish. “For the first time in the history of the United States, more and more citizens, especially black, cannot find a job and the expected salary due to, that they only speak English. If Spanish expansion into the United States continues at this pace, this will have serious implications for politics and government ", - wrote Huntington in the book "The Spanish Challenge" (The Hispanic Challenge).

Argentine philosopher Alberto Buela in the article "Metapolitics of Castilian or Spanish" examines Spanish and Portuguese together, as related languages, understandable to their speakers. Adding Portuguese speakers to Spanish speakers (260 million.) in Europe and Africa, we get a total figure of more than 800 million., making the Spanish-Portuguese language area, with twenty-two Spanish-speaking and nine Portuguese-speaking countries, the second most linguistically influential in the world after the Anglosphere. “The power of the tongue is the power of those, who speaks it ", - sums up Buela.

Portugal also acts. 6 May 2021 g. Portuguese ambassadors, Angola, Mozambique and Brazil inaugurate the Portuguese Language Center at the University of Nairobi in Anglophone Kenya. According to experts' forecasts, to 2050 g. the number of speakers of Portuguese will increase by 30% and 2050 g. will reach 500 million.

The Goethe Institute reports an increase in the number of German language learners in the Netherlands, Denmark, Czech Republic, France and Russia and reduction by 25% in the UK and 15% in Poland. In total, German is taught in the world 15,4 million. foreigners, moreover, in Africa, learners of German have become in recent years 50% more (Algeria, Egypt, Ivory Coast). Attendance of German lessons on the official website of the radio station “German wave” reached the mark 4,2 million. users.

Italian linguist Antonio Zopetti (Antonio Zopрetti) wrote the book Let's Say It In Italian (Let's say it Italian), in which he called the abundance of Anglicisms a mortal threat to the Italian language (Because the abuse of English risks killing the Italian language). France has risen most decisively to fight the English.. French and Italians ranked last in Europe in terms of English proficiency. This is a public outcry against the ubiquity of English.

The importance of the French language for a united Europe Paris argues, that there are only two English-speaking countries left in the European Union (Ireland and Malta). Their population does not exceed 1,2% from the EU population, why is their language the main working language of the Union? In terms of growth in the number of speakers, French will overtake 2065 g. English, Spanish, Portuguese and German, moreover, English will also remain behind Arabic and Portuguese. FROM 1960 g. the number of francophones in the world has increased fivefold and by 2070 g. make 470 million. human. Such an impressive result will be achieved due to the rapid growth of the birth rate in the former French colonies in Africa and the Middle East.. TO 2065 g. Africans will 80% all francophones, while for English speakers this indicator will be equal to 30 million.

The fact of competition of European languages ​​with English is perceived by Anglophones painfully. When in 2002 g. the Indonesian province of Timor-Leste, which declared independence, chose Portuguese as its official language, the press of neighboring Australia was full of scathing comments on this topic. Australia believed, that Timor-Leste will choose English.

Russian language (258 million.) in terms of prevalence ranks 8th in the world. Ten years ago, he was ranked 6th, but over the past decade, he was outstripped by French and Bengali. This is due to repressive measures against education in Russian in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, in Ukraine and not entirely deliberate actions of other post-Soviet republics. In Kyrgyzstan, eg, the Russian-speaking environment is shrinking, although 70% students study in Russian. Higher education is the only motivating factor for learning Russian.

Vice-rector of the State Russian Language Institute named after. A. FROM. Pushkin Mikhail Osadchy described the position of the Russian language in Ukraine: «…the real demand for Russian in this state is huge, Ukrainians very often use Russian to solve various problems - and everyday, and scientific, and cultural, and educational - for many he is native, they use Russian more often when searching for information on the Internet, it all shows, that people really need Russian, but the official position in relation to this language of the Ukrainian authorities is somewhat different ".

There is an increase in interest in the Russian language in Uzbekistan. The strongest official position of the Russian language in Belarus. In the state and public sphere, it is best represented in Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Moldova. In scientific communication - in Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan. In the field of education - in South Ossetia, Belarus and Abkhazia.

A photo:

Vladislav GULEVICH

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