Inquiry Project – Ellen

Written by Ellen Piasentin

My inquiry question is: In the future, how will languages converge and influence each other, and will the world one day end up with one single global language?

As a bilingual person growing up in a multi-cultural family, I have always been conscious of all the different languages spoken around me. Slowly, I started learning more about the precarious nature of a lot of these languages. Half of my dad’s family speaks Friulian while the other half speaks Neapolitan, both of which are Italian dialects going out of style. I speak french and both in France and Qu├ębec the people are strongly defensive of their language and dislike the influence of others. Over a while, I’ve learned more about the extinction of languages and how the cultures behind them are fighting to stop it. Furthermore, as I spend time on the internet—in both French and English—I see more and more sayings and terms used not just by people speaking the language from which the term originated, but rather by everyone in the relevant internet communities. The internet itself has gained dialects and languages within different cultural and interest communities. All of this together means a significant amount of new international words are appearing and older words, languages, and dialects are dying. Finally, with the influence of the internet, the possibility of complete global connection and understanding is more prominent than ever. Whether or not this is a good thing doesn’t change the fact that it has been widely speculated that we will end up with complete connection and with that will likely come complete understanding (ie. a global language).

The extremity of the rate of languages dying and the severity that the impact of it has, as well as the peculiarity of new “languages” arising on the internet, is why this question is of interest to me.

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