18 February 2012

Global English

Columnist Christopher Caldwell makes some good points in an article in today's FT entitled The French are right to resist Global English (aka 'Globish').

On the impact that Globish, or a university-level dialect thereof, may be having on today's students, he says: "When universities ... teach classes in global English ... the net effect can be to turn these varied young people into extremely unvaried adults. Language shapes mentalities – how deeply is harder to say. But the spread of English may be limiting our ability to think in different ways."

For into-English translators and translation buyers, this also raises the question Translation into what sort of English?

If anyone in the blogosphere is aware of any reliable studies as to what sort of English is likely to have the greatest -- or the least -- impact on various categories of L2 readers (say, engineers in southeast Asia or naval officers in the Middle East), please let me know.

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