Will the English Language Evolve into Separate Dialects?
Apr 30, 2009 Pronunciation/Phonics 2999 Views
In the same way the English evolved from distinct, regional varieties of Latin 1600 years ago that became the basis for the Romance languages including French, Italian, Spanish and others, today's English could become separate languages. Although these changes happen slowly, they are irreversible. And because of current trends in population growth and electronic communications, future changes to English may be accelerated compared to the English of a few hundred years ago. Thus, while we can understand most of Shakespeare's language of 300 hundred years ago, it is unlikely English speaker alive now would be able to understand English in the year 2300. By then, it will sound substantially different than it does today.
The net result is that people learning English as a second language will learn a type of English that is substantively different from the English spoken by many of us today. This type of linguistic fragmentation will displace the English spoken by native speakers as the numbers of non-native speakers increases, each with their distinct dialects. And a simplified form of English, that some call Globish, with a stripped, basic set of vocabulary, could be a another popular style of the language, that native speakers will have difficultly understanding. By the year 2020, non-native speakers will vastly outnumber native English speakers by as much as five to one or more. The net result is that the English language is evolving on it's own, and no one quite knows what it will look or sound like in a few hundred years.