The Long View

Is English the Language of the Future?

Since British colonization, English speakers have seen their language as the epitome of culture and modernity. But our language is splintering as English takes root in emerging economies across the globe, writes Henry Hitchings in Salon. Foreign flair is infusing the plain old American or British versions, and native speakers are becoming just one in a million. Because of their flexibility, bilingual non-native speakers might actually be at an advantage. “Already many people who learn English do so with little or no intention of conversing with its native users. If I join their conversations, my involvement may prove unwelcome.”