> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of MacLeod Dave > > No immediate dangers, but withing a few centuries they could be > > extinct or near extinction. Those "countries" as we know them > > today could become little more than "administrative zones" > > belonging to some future world government. By this time, people > > are relatively free to travel and relocate to other parts of the > > world. The global language being very important to daily life > > for these mixed populations, the local languages become > > increasingly deprecated. I'm sure the major languages you > > mention will be the ones to survive for a long time, and > > ultimately even contribute a lot to the the global variety of > > English. > > Once again, total conjecture. If this theory were correct languages > like Estonian, Lithuanian, Hebrew, Welsh, and all the rest should be > on death's door now. It's also based on the idea that there is a kind > of concrete barrier between languages, that people learn one and then > suddenly stop learning them. A situation in which _everybody_ knows a > language and an IAL results in a much more language-friendly world > population, and I've shown the numbers where those who have learned > one language naturally start absorbing others. I never said this would be a sudden change. It would be something that occurs over generations. Also, the world is a very different place now. It's only been in recent years that we've had fast and easy ways methods of communication available to the masses. This changes the whole picture greatly because it makes the world "smaller" in terms of the ability to communicate with others. Twenty years ago the internet belonged to only a small group of techno-geeks, long distance phone calls were still relatively expensive, mobile phones and pagers were yuppie status symbols, out of range. The only real barrier left is the language barrier. > > Japan and Korea do have their *current* comfort zone. The > > English skills in these area may be weak, but over a long period > > of time, as they becoming increasingly bombarded with > > English-language media and pop culture this will change. > > No, it's the opposite. Korea didn't have a comfort zone for quite a > while and it looked like they were going to make English the official > language for a while in the late 90s and early 21st century, but > _after_ absorbing more western influence, culture and technology > they've found a comfort zone where the average person doesn't need > English. The average person of today probably doesn't, but the person of tomorrow will be more likely to need it when we are all working within a global economy where survival will mean communicating with people in other nations. > > Comfort or not, what happens when there's massive cross > > migration of people? We're already starting to see the world's > > major cities becoming small melting pots. It's these melting > > pots that will have the greatest need for some type of lingua > > franca. What's going to happen when Tokyo or Seoul become > > flooded with immigrants from a variety of different places? > > None of them speak Japanese, but all of them having picked up > > some English in school. > > The ones that live long enough pick up Japanese and Korean because of > the advantage it offers in everyday life. The ones that don't > eventually leave because they don't like it. The world is changing a lot. What happens when Tokyo and Seoul become microcosms like so many other major cities? Commerce is now being conducted more and more on a global scale than it had in the past. We have American companies producing goods in China, then selling them in Europe for example. What languages are these multinational corporations using internally, as oppose to externally? What about mass movements of populations across borders? There are just so many things now going on that are forcing people to intermix like never before.