Is English language the "lingua franca" thanks to US or UK?

English is lingua franca due to?

  • US

    Votes: 39 30.7%
  • UK

    Votes: 32 25.2%
  • Both

    Votes: 56 44.1%

  • Total voters
    127
Feb 2015
111
France
US or UK were more responsible for the international status of the language?

Hollywood vs British Empire? Which played more instrumental role in your opinon?
 
Nov 2014
38
US
Well the US speaks English thanks to Britain. Not sure how you could really separate the lineage as far as that goes, in practical terms.

But in the last 50 years, I would guess that most of the modern expansion of the English language (I believe it's the 2nd most spoken language in the world now, including second-language speakers) is due to:

1) The sum of all of the media exports of the US, Britain, Canada, Australia, Ireland, etc.
2) The Internet (a US invention)
3) Other technological innovations that lead to English being taught as a technical language in universities


I speak French and am learning German, and when I listen to French and German radio stations through TuneIn, guess what? They're often playing American songs, in English. You don't see the same happening in the US. So there is definitely a lot of cultural/media exportation going on that isn't being reciprocated here, for better or worse.
 

Devdas

Ad Honorem
Apr 2015
5,098
India
Although British Empire played the role in spreading in English but post ww2 its American global influence and Hollywood that played the part. I don't see British film industry at par with Hollywood nor I see any other English movies apart from that of Hollywood and I find British English accent quite unfamiliar unlike American accent.
 

Grimald

Ad Honorem
Nov 2011
5,921
Hercynian Forest
English would certainly be a world language due to the British Empire alone, without the influence of the United States. However, it would not be the dominant world language that it is today, but just one among others such as French and Spanish.

Many countries of the former British Empire such as India or many African countries that lack a major unifying and developed language on their own would still resort to English as their language of administration and education. However, European states with fully developed languages, such as France or Italy would not see the need to surrender to the primacy of English. They would retain their own language, and on the international state would probably resort to several languages, with French the most dominant among them due to its standing in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries.
 
Oct 2012
123
Yes, English or American-English is rapidly becoming a required language in certain circles and certain parts of the globe. But it is not always the case. Back in the early 1980s when a flood of Cubans boated to the US, and the US Army was called in to house them, it was discovered the most common second language of these displaced people was RUSSIAN. I would expect to learn Chinese is gaining language power in parts of Africa. And in the heart of Africa in Mali is Timbuktoo where the native language Hassa is heavily influenced by Arabic.

All these pockets have been directly caused by Economics. Each case had/have heavy outside economic links, cultural links.
 

Tulun

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
3,941
Western Eurasia
both. The US speaks English because of her British colonial legacy, but why it is currently the main lingua franca is due to the US.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,619
Italy, Lago Maggiore
US ... Hollywood has diffused American English well more than the British Empire diffused British English.

Out of doubt. Even on the net, automatic spelling checking systems tend to prefer American English to British English ...
 

Devdas

Ad Honorem
Apr 2015
5,098
India
Many countries of the former British Empire such as India or many African countries that lack a major unifying and developed language on their own would still resort to English as their language of administration and education.
In India, English is both loved and loathed and historically English had been loathed in major part of India and some others it was liked seen as a language to progress. Its an important language but I won't call it a unifying language.

Vast majority of Indians have very poor English proficiency not more than be able to read road signs or able to fill some application form in English. Although English come as a great help when it comes to scientific literature as most of the Indian languages lacks it. Indian students find it quite easy to adapt themselves in Western Universities due to their English proficiency.
 
Last edited:

kandal

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,866
USA
I would say both US and Britain. British with their global peacekeeping role (Pax Britannia) played an important role in spreading English beyond their colonies. US has been playing that de facto role after WW2, and that has helped to keep English as world's lingua franca to this day, and probably for a long time to come.
 

Grimald

Ad Honorem
Nov 2011
5,921
Hercynian Forest
In India, English is both loved and loathed and historically English had been loathed in major part of India and some others it was liked seen as a language to progress. Its an important language but I won't call it a unifying language.
I can understand this ambiguity. The problem in India is that it is too diverse; for example, people from the South would not accept Hindi as the unifying language of India. So, you will have to stick with a language that in essence is a foreign import and will always remain a reminder of the days of the British Empire.

Vast majority of Indians have very poor English proficiency not more than be able to read road signs or able to fill some application form in English. Although English come as a great help when it comes to scientific literature as most of the Indian languages lacks it. Indians students find it quite easy to adapt themselves in Western Universities due to their English proficiency.
The important people in India do speak English though. However, they are wrong to think that English is "the" language of Western culture, science and education. With English, they will be ready for American and British universities, not Western universities in general, because they will have no understanding of Western cultures that are not English-speaking and for whom the dominance of English is a very recent phenomenon starting in the second half of the 20th century.

Ultimately, this development will lead to a monopoly of the Anglo-Saxon tradition in almost every respect, at the detriment of other cultures with different perspectives. Just some time ago, students who came to France or Germany of course had a knowledge of French or German, or at least wanted to learn these languages and get to know the culture. Now, they usually come to Europe with the expectation that everybody speaks English anyway.