"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more
To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.
This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.
Throughout human history, the fate of languages has been closely linked to political power relationships. Political shifts in the international system continue to affect linguistic patterns, which today are still in a state of flux following the end of the Cold War. This book considers the effects of present-day trends in global politics on the relative status of languages, and the directions in which the linguistic hierarchy might develop in the future. What are the prospects for the continuing spread of English? Will other traditionally prominent languages such as French and German gain or lose influence? Will languages such as Arabic and Japanese increase in international status? Will minority languages continue to lose ground and disappear? The book assesses these prospects, looking at the major world regions, and with its interdisciplinary approach it will appeal to researchers and students of sociolinguistics and language planning as well as of international relations.