What will the English language look like in 100 years?

One way to predict the future is to look back on the past. Today the global role of English plays as a lingua franca – used as a means of communication by interlocutors of different languages ​​- has similarities to the Latin of pre-modern Europe. Having been popularized by the success of the Roman Empire, classical Latin was kept alive as an average writing standard throughout Europe long after the fall of Rome. But the vulgar Latin used in the speech continued to change, forming new dialects, which over time created the modern Romance languages: French, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Italian.

Today similar developments can be traced back to the use of English in the world , especially in countries where it serves as a second language. New “interlingues” are emerging, in which the characteristics of English are mixed with those of other native languages ​​and their pronunciations. Despite attempts by the Singapore government to promote the use of standard British English through the Speak English Good movement, the blended language known as “Singlish” remains the variety spoken around and at home. Spanglish, a mixture of English and Spanish, is the native language of millions of interlocutors in the United States, suggests that this variety is emerging as a language in its own right.

Meanwhile, the development of machine translation software, such as Google Translate, will replace English as the preferred means of communication used in the boardrooms of international companies and government agencies. So the future of English is one of several types of English. Looking back at the beginning of the twentieth century, it was the standard English used in England, spoken with the acceptance known as “Received Pronunciation”, which brought prestige. But today the great concentration of the natives in the United States and the influence of the American English can be heard all over the world:  can I get a cookie, I’mgood, didyoueat, the movies, _ “skedule” _ instead of ” schedule “. In the future, speaking English will mean speaking American English. The American spelling as disk and program is already preferred the British equivalent disk and program in computer science. The domination of the use of the American in the digital world will lead to the total acceptance of further American preferences, such as favorite, donut, dialog, center.

What will be lost?
In the 20th century, English dialects were feared to be disappearing with their interlocutors. Projects like Survey of English Dialects (1950-61) were then launched to collect and preserve endangered words before they were lost forever. A similar study undertaken by the BBC’s Voices Project in 2004 found a wide range of local accent and regional terms that are available online, demonstrating the vitality and longevity of the dialect’s vocabulary. But while numerous dialect words were collected for “young people in cheap and fashionable clothes and jewelry” – pikey, charva, ned, scally – the word chav was found in England, demonstrating howcharacteristics of English Estuary spoken in the most important areas of London were replacing local dialects, especially among the younger generations.

The turn of the 20th century was a period of regulation and fixity – the rules of standard Englishwere established and codified in the grammar books and in the new Oxford dictionary “New (Oxford) English Dictionary on Historical Principles”, published as a series of volumes from 1884 to 1928. Today we are witnessing a process of de-standardization, and the emergence of concurrent usage rules. In the online world, opinions of consistency and correctness are considerably more relaxed: different spellings are accepted and punctuation marks are omitted or re-proposed to convey a series of opinions. Research has shown that in electronics the question marks of the speech can bring a series of exclamatory functions, which include apologies, commitments, thanks, agreements and show solidarity. Capital letters are used to show anger, misspellings,

Some have wondered if the growing development and the adoption of emoji pictograms, which allow interlocutors to communicate without the need for a language, indicates that we will completely stop communicating in English ? ;-) The rapidly changing world of social media is also responsible for the minting and diffusion of neologisms or “new words”. Oxford dictionary updates give an idea: mansplaining, awesomesauce, rly, bants, TL; DR (too long; didn’tread). Abbreviated forms, acronyms, mixtures and abbreviations have been productive word formation methods for a long time in English (think of bus, smog and scuba), but the large increase in inventions indicates that they will be even more known in the English of 2115. Whether you love or hate these words, think of NBD or meh , no doubt they are here to stay.

Leave a Comment