Linked: Globish is the new English

Robert McCrum has a fascinating article on Globish – what he calls ‘the worldwide dialect of the third millennium. An abstract:

The Times journalist Ben Macintyre described how, waiting for a flight from Delhi, he had overheard a conversation between a Spanish UN peacekeeper and an Indian soldier. “The Indian spoke no Spanish; the Spaniard spoke no Punjabi. Yet they understood one another easily. The language they spoke was a highly simplified form of English, without grammar or structure, but perfectly comprehensible, to them and to me. Only now,” he concluded, “do I realise that they were speaking ‘Globish’, the newest and most widely spoken language in the world.”

Like I said, fascinating.

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Category: Linked List

  • Brian Barker

    Globish reminds me of another project called “Basic English” Unfortunately this failed, because native English speakers could not remember which words not to use :)

    So it’s time to move forward and adopt a neutral non-national language, taught universally in schools worldwide,in all nations.

    As a native English speaker, I would prefer Esperanto

    Your readers may be interested in the following video at Professor Piron was a translator with the United Nations in Geneva.

    A glimpse of Esperanto can be seen at

  • Eli James

    I’ve heard of Esperanto, but by and large it’s not a language that’s worked. I think a huge part of that has to do with the baggage that comes with a language – Esperanto, while nice, is an artificial language. It doesn’t have the cultural and historical associations that make a language so precious.

    (But you’ve probably heard all that before, of course)

    Globish, on the other hand, seems to be the natural evolution of the English language after it’s been localized. There’s nobody pushing it, because it’s already happening on its own. To wit: I’m now in Singapore – and let me tell you, the English here’s vastly different from the English spoken by most people in the West. And yet it’s perfectly understandable, even while the English is something they each call their own.

  • Brian Barker

    Hello Eli

    Concerning your contention that Esperanto does not “work” can I point to

    It’s cultural value has also been been recognised by the United Nations – through a special UNESCO declaration as seen in