Which languages could have been much more prominent than they are in real life?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,559
SoCal
#1
Which languages could have been much more prominent than they are in real life?

Personally, I think that German and Russian would both be great candidates for this. Had Germany won WWI, German could have been a lingua franca throughout Eastern Europe as well as in Germany's colonies--including in whatever additional colonies a victorious Germany would have acquired. As for Russian, had the Soviet Union reformed but not broken up--or had the Russian Empire (or even an intact republican non-Bolshevik Russia) survived up to the present-day, then Russian would have been more widely spoken right now. Indeed, it's possible that had Russia avoided the Bolshevik Revolution and held on in WWI up to the very end, that a lot of people in countries such as Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia would have also learned Russian since Russia would have been the biggest ally of these countries.

Italian could have also been much more prominent, but only if the Axis would have won World War II. Else, I just don't see a realistic way for Italy to conquer much more additional territory and/or colonies.

Also, while this isn't an official language of any country, Yiddish could have been much, much more prominent today had there been no Holocaust and had large Jewish communities remained in Eastern Europe up to the present-day.

Anyway, what are your thoughts on this?
 
Mar 2016
741
Australia
#2
It would have been interesting to see if Japanese would become the lingua franca of Asia had the Axis won the war, like how English is the lingua franca of the Western world because of the British Empire.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,559
SoCal
#3
It would have been interesting to see if Japanese would become the lingua franca of Asia had the Axis won the war, like how English is the lingua franca of the Western world because of the British Empire.
Yes, very possibly--I suppose similar to the status that English has among educated Indians in real life.
 
Oct 2012
509
#4
Which languages could have been much more prominent than they are in real life?

Personally, I think that German and Russian would both be great candidates for this. Had Germany won WWI, German could have been a lingua franca throughout Eastern Europe as well as in Germany's colonies--including in whatever additional colonies a victorious Germany would have acquired. As for Russian, had the Soviet Union reformed but not broken up--or had the Russian Empire (or even an intact republican non-Bolshevik Russia) survived up to the present-day, then Russian would have been more widely spoken right now. Indeed, it's possible that had Russia avoided the Bolshevik Revolution and held on in WWI up to the very end, that a lot of people in countries such as Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia would have also learned Russian since Russia would have been the biggest ally of these countries.

Italian could have also been much more prominent, but only if the Axis would have won World War II. Else, I just don't see a realistic way for Italy to conquer much more additional territory and/or colonies.

Also, while this isn't an official language of any country, Yiddish could have been much, much more prominent today had there been no Holocaust and had large Jewish communities remained in Eastern Europe up to the present-day.

Anyway, what are your thoughts on this?
I doubt that Yiddish would have been prominent beoynd the Jewish community.
 

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,536
US
#7
French is the first that comes to mind. At one time the French vied for control of the North American continent and that of Europe as well. With a few different outcomes, French could have been more prevalent, especially if the North American continent spoke primarily French and still had the economic influence it has today.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,559
SoCal
#8
French is the first that comes to mind. At one time the French vied for control of the North American continent and that of Europe as well. With a few different outcomes, French could have been more prevalent, especially if the North American continent spoke primarily French and still had the economic influence it has today.
That would have required extensive French settler colonialism, no? The French were not known for settler colonialism. (Even in Algeria, it was Italians, Spaniards, and Maltese who appear to have made up the majority of the European settlers there.)
 
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Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,536
US
#10
That would have required extensive French settler colonialism, no? The French were not known for settler colonialism. (Even in Algeria, it was Italians, Spaniards, and Maltese who appear to have made up the majority of the European settlers there.)
Yeah. You're right. France was perhaps the most populated nation in Europe in the 16th and 17th century but not many of their citizens emigrated.
 
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