(From The Daily Telegraph)

English will turn into Panglish in 100 years



Last Updated: 2:44AM GMT 27 Mar 2008

English as it is spoken today will have disappeared in 100 years and could be replaced by a global language called Panglish, researchers claim.

New words will form and meanings will change with the most dramatic changes being made by people learning English as a second language, says Dr Edwin Duncan, a historian of English at Towson University in Maryland, in the US.

According to the New Scientist, the global form of English is already becoming a loose grouping of local dialects and English-based common languages used by non-native speakers to communicate.

By 2020 there may be two billion people speaking English, of whom only 300 million will be native speakers. At that point English, Spanish, Hindi, Urdu and Arabic will have an equal number of native speakers.

Dr Suzette Haden Elgin, a retired linguist formerly at San Diego University in California, said: "I don't see any way we can know whether the result of what's going on now will be Panglish - a single English that would have dialects... or scores of wildly varying Englishes, many or most of them heading toward mutual unintelligibility." How long will it take to find out? "My guess, a wild guess, is less than 100 years."

(From The Daily Mail)
How English as we know it is disappearing ... to be replaced by 'Panglish'

by DAVID DERBYSHIRE
Last updated at 08:09 27 marzo 2008

It is English but not as we know it.

A new global tongue called "Panglish" is expected to take over in the decades ahead, experts say.

Linguists say the language of Shakespeare and Dickens is evolving into a new, simplified form of English which will be spoken by billions of people around the world.

The changes are not being driven by Britons, Americans or Australians, but the growing number of people who speak English as a second language, New Scientist reports.

According to linguists, Panglish will be similar to the versions of English used by non-native speakers. As the new language takes over, "the" will become "ze", "friend" will be "frien" and the phrase "he talks" will become "he talk".

By 2010 around two billion people - or a third of the world's population - will speak English as a second language. In contrast, just 350 million people will speak it as a first language.

Most interactions in English now take place between non-English speakers, according to Dr Jurgen Beneke of the University of Hildesheim, Germany.

By 2020 the number of native speakers will be down to 300 million. That's the point where English, Spanish, Hindi-Urdu and Arabic will have the same number of native speakers, according to predictions.

As English becomes more common, it will increasingly fragment into regional dialects, experts believe.

Braj Kachru, of Ohio State University - one of the world's leading experts in English as a second language - said non-native English dialects were already become unintelligible to each other.

Singaporean English, for instance, combines English with Malay, Tamil and Chinese and is difficult for English-speaking Westerners to understand.

"There have always been mutually unintelligible dialects of languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Hindi and Latin," he said. "There is no reason to believe that the linguistic future of English will be any different."

At the same time as new dialects develop, global English - or Panglish - will become simpler.

Unlike French - which is jealously protected from corruption by the Academie Francaise - there is no organisation to police the English language.

Linguists say Panglish will lose some of the English sounds which non-native speakers find difficult to pronounce. That could see the "th" sounds in "this" and "thin" replaced by "z" or "s" respectively, and the short "l" sound in "hotel" replaced with the longer "l" of "lady".

Consonants will also vanish from the end of words - turning "friend" into "frien" and "send" into "sen". And group nouns like "information" and "furniture" - which don't have plural versions - could vanish, so that it may become acceptable in Panglish to talk about "informations" and "furnitures".

Non-English speakers often forget the "s" at the end of third person singular verbs like "he runs" or "she walks". In Panglish, people may say "he talk" or "she eat".

Suzette Haden Elgin, a retired linguist formerly at San Diego State University in California, said the future of global English was unclear.

"I don't see any way we can know whether the ultimate results of what's going on now will be Panglish - a single English that would have dialects but would display at least a rough consensus about its grammar - or scores of wildly varying Englishes all around the globe, many or most of them heading toward mutual unintelligibility."

Within 100 years, it should be possible to known which way English is heading, she added.

One of the most famous examples of a language that fragmented is Latin.

By AD300, a new offshoot of Latin - "vulgar Latin"- was being spoken by the masses with its own grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. Over the next 500 years it split into increasingly regional dialects. By AD800 had evolved into a series of mutually unintelligible languages, the forerunners of modern Italian, French and Spanish.

And Latin and English themselves are both offshoots of a much older language, Indo-European, which split some 4,000 years ago, giving rise to Celtic, Greek, Slavic, Indo-Iranian and other branches.

I think the future is always an interesting topic, no?

Kindly pls share your opinion :-)
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English will turn into Panglish in 100 years
Not if I can help it.
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I know the feeling of 'I wouldn't like it to happen' but the idea is that the evolution of English is already not focused on native speakers, they are already outnumbered. Anyway, if you still think it's a long shot, I can only say that this is the scholar responsible for the academic side of the issue, he coined 'panglish':

David Crystal, OBE (born 1941 in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, UK) is a linguist, academic and author. He grew up in Holyhead, North Wales, and Liverpool, England where he attended St Mary's College from 1951.

Crystal studied English at University College London between 1959 and 1962. He was a researcher under Randolph Quirk between 1962 and 1963, working on the Survey of English Usage. Since then he has lectured at Bangor University and the University of Reading. He is currently an honorary professor and part-time lecturer of linguistics at Bangor. His many academic interests include English language learning and teaching, forensic linguistics, language death, "ludic linguistics" (Crystal's neologism for the study of language play),English style, Shakespeare, indexing, and lexicography. He is the Patron of the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL).

David Crystal lives in Holyhead with his wife; he has four grown children. Retired from full-time academia, he works as a writer, editor and consultant. Crystal was awarded the OBE in 1995 and became a Fellow of the British Academy in 2000.
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Mr M has a point! Emotion: smile Languages have always changed and English is no exception, as everybody knows. Even though native speakers of English will be a small minority compared with nonnative speakers in 100 years, that doesn't mean that the natives will have begun using the same grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary as the nonnatives. Like all languages, English changes slowly, and foreign influence has been and probably will be a factor in that process. Natives won't adopt the same mistakes that nonnatives make just because that would make English grammatically and syntactically easier.
The enormous amount of literature and recorded spoken English that exists today is bound to exert a containing influence on change. People will want to read and listen to what is available today for a long time to come. Panglish may "take over" - whatever is meant by that term - in the non-Anglo-Saxon world, native speakers won't give a hoot about it. Why should they, and really, how could they start making the errors nonnatives make in 100 years?
If nonnatives want to consider informations, furnitures and he speak english correct, nothing prevents them from doing that today. They don't have to wait 100 years. That doesn't mean native speakers will follow suit.
I find it rather odd to assume that the will be pronounced [zi: ] in Panglish. For many people both the correct pronunciation and the suggested new one are equally difficult. There are lots of languages that don't have a voiced s. There are languages that have no s sounds at all! There are also hundreds of languages whose speakers would think it odd to drop a final consonant in a word as these speakers have no difficulty pronouncing a final consonant.
It is indeed possible that regional differences in English - or Panglish - as spoken by nonnatives will increase. If that happens, misunderstandings will increase as well. When everything is obscure enough, people will have to agree on common usage to understand one another. For that, they'll have to turn to native speakers, who will simply refuse to speak English the way nonnatives would perhaps like them to speak it.
How all this works can be seen on a smaller scale in smaller countries like Finland. There are lots of refugees from Somalia, Iran and other countries and guest workers from abroad whose Finnish is understandably very imperfect. That doesn't mean I am going to imitate their Finnish.
The main reason Latin is no longer called Latin in Italy and some other countries is the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of the nation state. Modern English could just as well be called something else if the name of the country had changed. It hasn't. It's still England, named after the Angles that invaded Britain in the middle of the 5th century. However, modern English is just as different from Old English as Italian is from Latin.
So, Mr M and other native speakers "can help it!" They will simply keep speaking English the way they want regardless of what they see and hear abroad.
Cheers, CB
Cool BreezeEven though native speakers of English will be a small minority compared with nonnative speakers in 100 years, that doesn't mean that the natives will have begun using the same grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary as the nonnatives
Well, it just means that the statistics will turn each native speaker into a reference book? You can't have an international language depending on an elite. Only one in every six speakers will be a native. In some areas of the english-speaking countries, the differences with the standard are already pretty wide.

Most interactions in English now take place between non-English speakers. I think we can't argue on that one, it's just true Emotion: smile
Cool Breezepeople will have to agree on common usage to understand one another
Right, so we have to agree on common usage, not on native usage. The recent thread about 'kindly please' is a good example. I do believe natives are influenced by the way non-natives speak. Take phrasal verbs, for example, they have been dropping off esl syllabus since the 80s, natives nowadays won't use phrasals that often...maybe because they are extremely difficult for non-natives? Just as a suggestion, I think this is an interesting topic.

Many scholars have looked through lame talk, that is, oversimplified English that the natives use when interacting with students.

Again, just as an opinion, what tefl teaching should focus on at this time of globality is not a right-wrong approach to grammar. A much more interesting hot issue is to develop usage of vocabulary, semantics, synonyms, etc....

Cheers Emotion: smile
Planet HopperYou can't have an international language depending on an elite.
Why should the native speakers be considered an elite? Most nonnatives just don't have a good enough command of English to enable fluent, accurate communication. In my opinion that doesn't make those who know the language well an elite.
Planet HopperRight, so we have to agree on common usage, not on native usage.

When I read some of the posts in these forums, I get the impression that some of the people involved don't speak English well enough to agree on such a thing.Emotion: smile Many are not in the least interested in spending time doing that. I am one of those.
CB
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Cool BreezeWhy should the native speakers be considered an elite? Most nonnatives just don't have a good enough command of English to enable fluent, accurate communication. In my opinion that doesn't make those who know the language well an elite.

Why don't you open a dictionary and look up the definition of the word "elite", which you obviously don't know?
In my opinion, I think English is going to suffer for all the phrasal verbs, usage disputes and colloquialisms introduced in the past few centuries. Our language is becoming less and less consistent with its own grammar. In fact, we can barely agree on what our grammar is supposed to be.

Recent reformations (such as U.S. English) have also wreaked their havoc. We have the vocabularies and pronunciations of different dialects bleeding into one another, blurring the line between X form of English, and other forms. Although I agree with many of the changes that resulted from U.S. English, it doesn't help that its speakers aren't informed enough to discern the difference between that dialect of English, and those of the U.K., Canada and Australia. Many people cherry-pick the reformed spellings and pronunciations they want to use, and completely disregard the rest. The result is a badly mangled orthography that makes English look even more complicated than it really is. Dictionaries then have to accompany all these alternative spellings and pronunciations so its readers don't feel excluded for their preferences.
I think that cool breeze's post is on the right track. There is an interaction between written language and speech, but the former tends to exert a breaking influence on the latter. Most people are to a greater or less extent bilingual/bivarietal without there being a hard and fast distinction between dialects/varieties; which part of the continuum they employ depends on the situation. If more distinct local varieties of English emerge I do not think that will affect English as a means of international communication.

In discussions of this question Singlish usually crops up. It really ought not to as it is better described as a mixed language or creole rather than a dialect or variety of English. A far better example is Indian English. Leaving aside accent, which some may take a while to tune into, it presents no real difficulty to non-Indian English speakers. Though the odd misunderstanding may arise, there is certainly no difficulty in understanding an English language newspaper published in India - though a non-local may puzzle over the small ads.

Whilst it is unwise to make predictions, I cannot see Standard English changing over the next 100 years any more than it has changed since Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice.
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