1- The internet already consolidated English as the global lingua franca forever, even if China becomes the main superpower. Most webpages are in English, even this very post. If we use a language to communicate with aliens, it will certainly be English. Whoever replaces it, whether it's Mandarin or Esperanto, will have a hard time having this much cultural power.
2- Mandarin and Esperanto are less than ideal. As we use a lot of texting, the next lingua franca can't deviate from the standard Latin alphabet, that is basically the alphabet used in English. Esperanto can't afford not to use diacritics because its sound combination rules allow a huge variety of wild consonant combinations with which the digraphs will end up being mistaken for. Mandarin, even a pinyin-only version, will need diacritics to mark the tones.
3- A constructed lingua franca will need to check a lot of requirements, some of them are mutually exclusive, like recognizability of words and ease of pronunciation. Also, only words that are less used, like "sushi" and "zombie", are truly universal. Basic concepts like "water", "tree" or "nose" have completely different words that are unrecognizable to some foreigners, and English already does this role. Also, no auxiliary constructed language is as popular as Esperanto, because they were created much later. And people will always use, as a lingua franca, the language of the most powerful nation, currently the US and the UK before it.
4- The Mandarin language relies too much on ideograms that make the language too difficult to learn. Many Mandarin words sound identical to each other. If English spelling is difficult, Mandarin will be worse. If the English vowels and wild consonant clusters are hard, Mandarin's tones and subtle differences between consonants will make it harder to learn. You can type made-up words in the Latin alphabet, but you can't type made-up hanzi.
There will be a lingua franca after English simply due to linguistic evolution. Around a thousand years ago, people would have been saying "there will be no lingua franca after latin".
1. Latin had similar status at its prime as a lingua franca for Europe.
2. Esperanto has a much simpler writing system than English. It uses the 1 phoneme to 1 letter principle, which alphabets are supposed to follow. English's spelling is chaotic and influenced more by history than contemporary pronounciation. English is written like Chinese, except Chinese doesn't pretend it's a phonetic writing system.
Chinese was used as a lingua franca for much of East asia's history, so your point about writing system complexity is irrelevant.
3. The next lingua franca won't be a constructed one. As much as I love lojban, it won't become the next lingua franca despite it being culturally neutral and capable of preserving the word order of any translated text.
And people will always use, as a lingua franca, the language of the most powerful nation, currently the US and the UK before it.
"Currently" makes me question your belief that English will be the lingua franca of the world forever. Just as Latin lost that status, English will too.
4. There's a lot of r/badlinguistics here. You are treating your subjective judgement of Mandarin as some objective truth. The difficulty of a language depends 100% on the languages you already know.
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English is a weird language with lots of odd nuance just in pronunciation alone. Take the word "strengths," which contains a very unusual sound (dental fricative), amalgamations of consonant blending the likes of which are rarely competed with in complexity in natural language, all just to express a fairly simple idea. Mandarin may have similar pronunciation woes, but another language that actually has more speakers at birth than English has much fewer of these issues. Spanish is already used as a lingua franca by many, and if cultural pressures were to shift, I could see it becoming the predominant li gua franca.
Ultimately, I think the idea that a single global lingua franca will emerge is barking up the wrong tree. A lingua franca is most often used as a bridge between individuals, not as a standard to which the entire world adheres to enable communication. As a result of this, people will choose whatever language is easiest for them to converge onto.
Also, with the advancements of translation devices, a single lingua franca may not be as necessary as nowadays. !delta
But, for some sentences, the device would need to ask for context to give the appropriate translation.
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I don't entirely disagree with your main point, but I'm going to nitpick some of your supporting points that are wrong, even if it doesn't challenge your central idea.
As we use a lot of texting, the next lingua franca can't deviate from the standard Latin alphabet, that is basically the alphabet used in English
它为什么这么重要？Seriously, any modern phone or computer can easily type characters if you spend a couple minutes downloading and enabling the right software. There are tons of solutions to this problem.
You can type made-up words in the Latin alphabet, but you can't type made-up hanzi.
The fact that you can't make up new characters isn't any more of a barrier than the fact that I can't make up new letters in English. You can easily create new words- either by making combinations of existing words (like we do in English with new words like internet, cryptocurrency, or bingewatch) or you can simply make entirely new words by using characters that are obviously phonetic rather than meaningful.
. And people will always use, as a lingua franca, the language of the most powerful nation, currently the US and the UK before it.
Pretty much that. If say China rules all the world someday, no way they aren't gonna change things. In medieval times everything was in latin but we have moved somehow. Who knows maybe there will even be a new technology that will make the internet less relevant.
What about spainish?
Spanish has more native speakers than english, uses the same alphabet with only minor exceptions of including occasional accents (which can be substituted with letter-combinations unless i'm mistaken), and has more in common with several other widespread languages like Portuguese, French, and Italian.
It is also commonly spoken as a second language in the current superpower, the USA.
The main hurdle is a spainish-speaking power arising to sufficient economic prominence as to push the shift, which, while far from guaranteed, remains very plausible considering the spread and economic resources available to spainsh-speaking countries (if they could just deal with the endemic corruption currently crippling most spainsh-speaking countries).
Esperanto can't afford not to use diacritics because its sound combination rules allow a huge variety of wild consonant combinations with which the digraphs will end up being mistaken for.
This is not correct. There are two main ways of replacing diacritics in Esperanto: H or X (so e.g. sh or sx instead of ŝ). The H system is potentially ambiguous but sh, ch, gh etc. are rare combinations, so in practice ambiguity is rare (you would have to do it on purpose). The X system, the most used one, is unambiguous because X is not used in Esperanto.
Point 3 of yours is quite well thought out. I would still argue that a lot of core non-English vocabulary is quite recognizable though when it's used in a system that is clear enough. I'll write something quick at random to see how many of those we get in Occidental:
In li tren in quel yo sta trova se tre mult gentes: persones eant a su firma por laborar li tot die, studiantes dormaci, oldones qui have ne multcos a far ma qui possibilmen have planes por vider su amics de témpores passat.
So from many of the words there we have a regular word that is now part of a larger family of derived words: témpor (time) leads to temporal, temporari, sta (stand) to station, distant, distantie, stabil, ínstabil, amic (friend) to amical, ínamical, amicitá, etc. Some others off the top of my head are manu (hand) to manual, manuscrite, scrir (write) to the same manuscrite plus scritura, scritor and all the rest.
Now in a natural Romance language the same words exist but are hidden just well enough that 1 the connections are not obvious at first glance and 2 the derivations are not as regular, which leads to the situation you mentioned in point 3. French has words like écrire, main, se tenir, lots of common words that would simply have to be relearned for someone who speaks English as an L2.
So in short: because the less common vocab (the "academic" vocabulary) is common to a lot of languages, if you can pull it apart and make it recognizable there is quite a bit there that can quickly substitute the everyday English vocabulary that otherwise has an intertia that is really tough to fight against.
Not really true. There is an entirely other internet in Chinese, with major companies, apps, etc, having equivalents in Chinese. Many things, like streaming seem to be ahead in Chinese.
A huge advantage of both is the ability to flexibly form new vocabulary. You need at most 3500 lexemes/characters to understand vast majority of what is being said and written. Chinese can be typed perfectly fine both on keyboard and mobile.
A constructed language could be contructed to be more precise and with better word derivation than natural languages, making it better and easier to learn. Esperanto is over a century old, where little was known about how languages actually work. I don't think it's likely it would overtake another major language, but it is a possiblity.
There are only about 3500 characters in common use, which isn't that bad. There are something like 1200 possible syllables, which means there may be at most three homonyms on average. Since most syllables are used in pairs or unique contexts, it's hardly a problem. Tones are common around the world, they are only particularly rare in Europe, not that hard to learn, and the pronunciation of Mandarin is in fact very simple, with only about 1200 possible syllables and no consonant clusters. Those subtle differences are not strictily necessary and not worse than English, with its some truly rare consonants and some of the most extreme vowel systems and consonant clusters. I don't see why you'd need to type made up words.
The future is inherently unpredictable. From the 17th Century, until WW2, French was the language of diplomacy, and was effectively the lingua franca, and it is still the official language of some international organizations like FIFA. There was no reason to expect English to supplant it prior to the 20th century. I think at most one could say that there is no reason to forsee English loosing its status as lingua franca, or to expect another language to join it, but who knows what the future will bring.
I try and spend as little time as possible at the gas station because it feels unsafe. I understand that a lot of men won't know what that's like or even give it a second thought. I like to drive across the country and it doesn't seem sensible for a petite woman to be sat in a $80k vehicle in the middle of nowhere while it charges. I know eventually I'll have to because they won't make gas cars anymore but it's a genuine concern right now while there isn't a huge amount of infrastructure and the charging times are so long. Can anyone relate or allay my fears?
Given the Following Facts:
Projections show we will only ever reach 65% total Vaccination, leaving 100+ million people unvaccinated.
Children, Pregnant Women, and those with legitimate medical condition preventing vaccination should be cared for and protected within reason, provided all medical care necessary, etc.
The US should continue to provide vaccines to any and all who want them, and try to reach rural communities who may not have easy access.
We can never eradicate Covid, as it has already become endemic. The vaccines have been proven effective with no long-term side effects, and have been made freely available along with incentives and a massive PR initiative. IE: Covid is an inescapable, but preventable illness at this point.
Thus, we should accept the bodily autonomy of the willingly unvaccinated, and allow them to be infected and/or die of coronavirus.
I would even go so far as to say we should allow insurance companies to deny them medical coverage. If they want to take their chances with the virus, that's their right, and we should let them.
Furthermore, if we allowed this population to become infected, that population would build some natural biological immunity to current and future covid variants. It would be better to build that immunity now, while the vaccines are still effective, than hold out trying to prevent transmission until a new variant emerges that the vaccines do not work against. The Devil we know (Delta primarily) is better than the Devil we Don't know.
Please, CMV redditors.
Thank you for all of your wonderful and insightful comments everybody. You've given me a lot to think about and helped work through some of my misconceptions. I am pretty genuinely moved by the empathy and love that many of you have shown both for those vulnerable and even to those who are unvaccinated.
You have softened my views considerably, though I do think there may come a time in the future where our society has to have this kind of discussion. But until that point, we all need to take responsibility for ensuring this pandemic be mild, even if that means doing more than our fair share.
If anyone reading this is not vaccinated, PLEASE, go get the jab. Most people have very mild symptoms, and you'll be protecting not only yourself, but those around you. It is safe and effective. please, do the right thing.
Sometimes if you hear a tragedy being reported… you might hear that women and children were among the victims.
I’ll give children a pass… but I don’t think it is relevant to know that women were also victims. I don’t think they should stand out even more.
Even in works of fiction, you might have some bad ass. He lives by a code though… he doesn’t kidnap or kill women. He would have no problem popping 2 in a guys head just because, but women are off limits.
When a tragedy happens, it’s a tragedy regardless of who it happens to. None of the victims deserved what happened to them. People who were loved were lost. We shouldn’t be more sad or less because of the sex of the victims .
I was required by my company to participate in DEI (Diversity Equity and Inclusion) training that stated, "It does not matter what the aggressor intended, harm was caused." While I understand where this logic comes from, it is a poor principle for the workplace, justice, or society.
Let me use a non-racial analogy: You tripped me.
Let's say I am walking past you sitting down. Our legs make contact and I trip and fall. Let's look at some possible intents:
You didn't see me coming and accidentally tripped me, apologized for the accident, and helped me up.
You did see me coming, intended to trip me, laughed as I fell, and did not help me up.
I saw your legs were there, could have slightly altered my path in order not to trip, and tripped over your legs purposefully with the intent to shame you for having your legs in my path.
According to the "intent does not matter" logic, all of these scenarios deserve equal treatment. This is obviously wrong to me. Treating someone who does not intend to cause harm as harshly as someone who does is unjust.
And while this point is ancillary, this "intent does not matter" logic alienates would-be supporters of DEI goals.
Edit: Wow. This is a very hot issue. Love a lot of the discussion. Let me summarize how my view has changed.
There are people out there who believe that racism cannot exist unless there is explicit intent to be racist. This has never been my position. Much of what the DEI folks were trying to communicate was that racism, and some other isms, can exist and cause some harm, even if harm was not intended. To this point I also agree.
So while this person (a consultant BTW and not an actual employee or manager) might have over stepped linguistically to try and emphasize a point, most people do not believe that Justice and punishment should be blind to intent. Some exist, but that perspective is rare, especially off of the internet.
This is US-centric since I know many countries have easier access to watching the Olympics than we do here. It is impossible to legally watch the Olympics without paying for some service first, and that absolutely wrecks any enthusiasm I might have had for the Games. I get that the training and travel are not free, but why must I line the pockets of NBC and cable companies to watch "team USA"?
The greed it illustrates to me is almost comical in nature, and even goes beyond that this year. I broke down and signed up for Peacock (NBC's new streaming service) because they advertised that they were streaming coverage, only to find out that paying for yet another service wasn't good enough for full access. My wife is a horse person and loves the equestrian events, but those weren't included. Why? Probably because I needed to be punished for not having a cable subscription. It is so sad and totally unnecessary. I guess it is pretty American to suck every penny of profit out of something, but when that something is supposed to be "national pride", I feel that is a step too far.
*edit* - typo
To me it seems that dressage is just training a horse to dance. It's about the rider ensuring they have trained their horse as well as they can to follow their commands in order to perform the moves as accurately as possible. It doesn't seem to involve that much physicality from the rider. Although I'm not contesting whether or not it should be considered a sport.
How does dog training and taking part in dog agility events, or any other events that require a well trained dog, differ?
It seems that dressage is included, and dog training isn't, simply because dressage has it's roots in the upper classes.
Edit: Well apparently there's more to dressage than I thought. That doesn't really make it any less boring to watch though.
I've done everything we were supposed to over the past year or so. I've socially distanced, I've worn my mask everywhere, I've tried to stay home, and I've gotten the vaccine as soon as I could. The only people I know who aren't vaccinated, at least in my area, simply don't want it. Why should I be mandated to wear a mask instead of just mandating people get the vaccine? They're the reason cases are spiking, but I have to start wearing a mask again to protect them? Please, someone explain to me why I should be mandated to do something to protect people who could be mandated to get a vaccine and put an end to Covid-19.
Edit: I want to clarify that I am not necessarily against masks. My main point here is that if they are going to mandate masks again that they should also mandate the vaccine. Otherwise covid will simply not end because here in America too many people are covid deniers and/or anti-vax.
Edit 2: I continue to get comments that make me out to be someone saying masks are bad. I am not saying they are bad. I am saying that if a large portion of the country (I live in the USA) continues to not want the covid vaccines then we will be stuck doing this forever. Masks will help of course, but if they don't also find a way to get people to vaccinate, whether through mandates or vaccination passports or w/e, we will never be done with covid. People just keep saying masks are good. I AGREE. Convince me we shouldn't ALSO be doing things to get more people, specifically those who don't want to, vaccinated.
Edit 3: it looks like one of the main reasons mandating vaccines is difficult is due to privacy concerns and how some people cannot get it. I would say I may have changed my mind that I don't think it should be mandated. I do still think those that can should be heavily incentivized to so we can increase the rate and reach herd immunity and defeat covid. I want to thank everyone who commented, especially those who genuinely understood my position and showed me mandating vaccination isn't easy, nor is it necessarily a solution by itself.
Okay, so I am aware that this may upset some people, but hear me out.
Academia is all about observing reality as it is - as indepently as possible from cultural and societal expectations we may have - and then if these facts contradict what we previously thought abandon our previous assumptions and be ready to drastically change both our mindset as well as our actions (in cases such as climate change).
This academic attitude of being willing and often even eager to "throw away" the way we traditionally did things and thought about stuff if there's new evidence makes it really hard for the right to really embrace science- and evidence-based policies. This means science will most of the times be on the side of the left which naturally embraces change less hesitantly and more willingly.