I have a theory: at globalization era, to be unilingual is a kind of illiteracy.
But this unilingual illiteracy is unfair, depending of dominent and dominated languages. The main languages of globalization are those that are coextensive to a powerful state. The hegemonic position of English speaker countries – i.e. United States, United Kingdoms, New Zealand, Canada and Austrilia – create linguistic acculturation, even for prosperius culture areas as French, German, or Japanese ones.
I suppose that everything I wrote now you knew it, and I am pretty sure that you are concerned as well as you are naturally fascinated by or you are raised into the anglo-american culture. If I expose you the obviousness, that’s because many people – and you are very not many people on this blog – conceive acculturation as the consequence of culture, and forget economic or sociological aspects (a gentle reminder: I’m a scribbler and – also – a failed intellectual).
To have dream about an academic career before reality wakes me up, the”publish or perish” thing is a constraint for the non-English speaker who must to improve his/her linguistic skills to compete with natural speakers. This obligation to bridge a gap between a local language and the globalized language is a big challenge that imply a linguistic acculturation to obtain cultural references and, worst, to re-create a certain level of subtlety.
Nonetheless, I’m very not agreed with people who criticizes “Globish” as a wilting of English or a process to uniformize local languages. We are not in the same era that Latin, and people keep their language, learn it and revitalized it easily because its knowledge is easier to maintain and to diffuse. Plus, every language are hybridized, even English. If the “Globish” distorts English, English speakers have not waiting to do that. Perhaps in a century – more or less, I dont’ know – Globish will be a different language than English like English is from German. There is not levelling down, but a re-creation that takes time.
Thus, I am more and more convinced that global creativity and the global knowledge need that people express themselves in English. This blog is a good example of relative anonymity on the web: connected with the world, but disconnected for the most part of it, and anonymous for the other one. For a long time, I have not write in English because my skills are not the same than my mother tongue, and I’m not by able to reproduce the subtlety of the primary language. Now, I’m more confident about my skills and, above all, I’ve learn that is vain sometimes to try to translate in English, but more efficient to innovate in “Globish”. Probably, I will never be able to write with the same language level as French, but I make some experiments.
Moreover, I’m pretty sure that English introducing in my writing improves my French. Not with the way you think it does, but in the exact same way when I plug some words in Hebrew to play with level of reading or use German syntax to disconstruct sentences and work on harmony : I explore my inner borders.