Here's a classic invocation of the Law of Unintended Consequences Watch

Good bloke
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It appears that members of the German government are concerned that English is being used too much, to the detriment of German, in Germany.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/articl...lish-in-berlin

It seems inevitable to me that immigrants who do not speak German will use whatever common language they have - a lingua franca - which in most cases will be English in the twenty-first century.

It is ironic that the policy of freedom of movement that was formed out of a mechanism to allow Franco-German domination of Europe should lead to such a loss of prestige and utility of the noble German language.

Perhaps unexpectedly, the lingua franca of ancient Rome, for at least a time, was Ancient Greek, used, of course, by people from all over the empire who could not speak Latin
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ByEeek
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(Original post by Good bloke)

It is ironic that the policy of freedom of movement that was formed out of a mechanism to allow Franco-German domination of Europe should lead to such a loss of prestige and utility of the noble German language.
Not really. The world over is become an English speaking world thanks to the internet etc etc. Language is fluid and always has been. Similarly, there are always those who get wound up by the fact that it doesn't stay fixed and neatly ordered. But German isn't dead by a long way, just as Welsh isn't dead.

You're just looking for stories to justify your own position on immigration.
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Meany Pie
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(Original post by ByEeek)
Not really. The world over is become an English speaking world thanks to the internet etc etc.
The primary reason is colonisation.

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ByEeek
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(Original post by Meany Pie)
The primary reason is colonisation.

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Ummm - yeah! Or it might just be convenient to speak a language that most other people understand?
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(Original post by ByEeek)
Ummm - yeah! Or it might just be convenient to speak a language that most other people understand?
Yes, of course. MP's point was, I think, that English is the world's lingua franca because of Britain's past huge empire, and especially because one arm of that empire has become the dominant commercial and military force on the planet.

However, how it happened is irrelevant to the irony I pointed out in the OP. Britain is not seeking domination of Europe, Germany and France are. Yet their native languages are both unexpectedly losing the battle for hegemony in Europe precisely because of one of their own policies. A policy which Britain has rejected.
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mlorenzo
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(Original post by ByEeek)
Ummm - yeah! Or it might just be convenient to speak a language that most other people understand?
And the reason for that is colonisation. This doesn't have to mean conquering other countries by hostile take over. This can include trade. Unless Germany and France decide on invading and conquering Europe I don't see that happening.

Why do people understand English more than any other language (Spanish is second).
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ByEeek
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(Original post by Good bloke)
Britain is not seeking domination of Europe, Germany and France are.
Are they? My take on the situation is they are pro collaboration. Collaboration will always succeed over isolation. It works on a country level, a company level, a marriage level. It is even prevalent on the rather trite reality program, Naked and Afraid.
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rugbycricket
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(Original post by Good bloke)
Yes, of course. MP's point was, I think, that English is the world's lingua franca because of Britain's past huge empire, and especially because one arm of that empire has become the dominant commercial and military force on the planet.

However, how it happened is irrelevant to the irony I pointed out in the OP. Britain is not seeking domination of Europe, Germany and France are. Yet their native languages are both unexpectedly losing the battle for hegemony in Europe precisely because of one of their own policies. A policy which Britain has rejected.
How much do you think Brexit would affect the use of English in European countries as the article mentioned it could be 'dropped' as the EU's official language. However, because of the history of the empire, there doesn't seem to be another language which people of almost every country know to some degree. I wouldn't be surprised if countries such as Germany imposed language exams which immigrants need to pass instead of training their children to speak English and cater to us.
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Good bloke
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(Original post by rugbycricket)
How much do you think Brexit would affect the use of English in European countries as the article mentioned it could be 'dropped' as the EU's official language. However, because of the history of the empire, there doesn't seem to be another language which people of almost every country know to some degree. I wouldn't be surprised if countries such as Germany imposed language exams which immigrants need to pass instead of training their children to speak English and cater to us.
Well, first of all, I believe immigrants to Germany already have to learn German. That does not make them use German though, and many (or most) will be more comfortable using English (as they already know it to at least some extent).

As for removing English as an official EU language, I suspect that may not fly as the Poles, Czechs etc will not want German to receive a boost and English is very convenient for them all. Even if it is removed (which, as I say, I doubt) officials and politicians will continue to use English in conversation when talking to nationals of another country; it cannot be stopped.

I remember the joke made a few years before the euro was created: Britain should agree to join a common currency as long as a common language is first adopted.
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Asolare
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I think it's silly to blame it all on immigration; there's no actual evidence from the article saying it is down to immigration from 'the countries that you clearly don't like' at all and is moreso down to immigration in general including those from countries like the UK, USA etc.

The reason Berlin has so many people speaking English is because clearly it is a tourist hub and it's easier to try and use a language which most tourists will understand rather than German. This is a complete non-story as almost every single country has the issue of English becoming the more dominant language in certain areas.
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Dot.Cotton
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I bet they have no problem with all the migrants speaking Arabic, though.
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Good bloke
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(Original post by Asolare)
there's no actual evidence from the article saying it is down to immigration from 'the countries that you clearly don't like'
Eh? In this context immigration is largely intra-EU movement under the freedom of movement rules, to which I specifically referred in the OP. Immigration from outside hasn't been mentioned at all by me.


(Original post by Asolare)
This is a complete non-story as almost every single country has the issue of English becoming the more dominant language in certain areas.
That is the story.
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Joinedup
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Notice he's a finance minister.... sounds almost like he doesn't want to let the market decide something.
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MR1999
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(Original post by Dot.Cotton)
I bet they have no problem with all the migrants speaking Arabic, though.
Well, Arabic is ranked as a more powerful language by the PLI. See here: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/...-in-the-world/
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yudothis
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(Original post by rugbycricket)
How much do you think Brexit would affect the use of English in European countries as the article mentioned it could be 'dropped' as the EU's official language. However, because of the history of the empire, there doesn't seem to be another language which people of almost every country know to some degree. I wouldn't be surprised if countries such as Germany imposed language exams which immigrants need to pass instead of training their children to speak English and cater to us.
Germany already do. Pretty much every country in the world does.

Part of the plan is indeed to scrap English being compulsory in school.
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yudothis
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(Original post by Joinedup)
Notice he's a finance minister.... sounds almost like he doesn't want to let the market decide something.
The market fails everywhere.
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Onde
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Even without the UK in the EU, the most common language of the EU will be English.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langua...nion#Knowledge
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username1738683
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(Original post by yudothis)
The market fails everywhere.
Trigger word, is it?
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limetang
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The simple truth is this. A common language is useful if not necessary in an increasingly globalised world. English (whether you like it or not) has taken the place of the worlds common language and no government in the planet can really change that.
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