Dia: 9 de Março, 2019

No doubt about it

O que tem a ver com o AO90 um texto sobre a Língua Inglesa escrito por um russo em Inglês?

Bom, tem tudo a ver. Qualquer semelhança entre este argumentário sólido e as tretas acordistas é mera coincidência, bem entendido, seguindo o autor uma linha de raciocínio coerente (e inteligível) que radicalmente difere do discurso errático, polvilhado com “inverdades” escabrosas, que é típico do paleio de Malaca, Bechara, Reis, Canavilhas e outros portadores de mitomania.

E se quanto a semelhanças estamos conversados, já no que diz respeito a diferenças temos apenas esta: não existe a mais leve referência a ortografia. Nem explícita nem implicitamente. Nem claramente expressa nem vagamente aflorada.

O que faz todo o sentido, evidentemente. Tratando-se de anglofonia, falando-se de países anglófonos, analisando-se a (real, efectiva) difusão e expansão da Língua Inglesa, a “questão ortográfica” jamais ocorreria sequer a qualquer anglófono: a ortografia do Inglês permanece intocada há séculos. Aliás, por alguma razão é essa e não outra, hoje em dia e desde há séculos, a única língua-franca universal.

Afinal, vendo bem, este texto tem tudo a ver porque não tem nada a ver.


The English Language No Longer Belongs to Britain and America»

Brits and Americans No Longer Own English

By Leonid Bershidsky
“Bloomberg”, 02.03.19


The Brexit circus and the unpopularity of President Donald Trump are causing apprehension about the future of the Anglosphere, the cultural, intellectual and political influence of the core English-speaking nations: Britain and the U.S.

As a non-native English speaker who works in the Anglosphere, though, I’m not worried about that; Americans and Brits are merely facing increasing competition from within their accustomed domain rather than from without.

The English language, which has just 379 million native speakers, is spoken at a useful level by some 1.7 billion people, according to the British Council. That has long ensured that U.S. and U.K. voices are heard louder than any others.

There is no indication that the language’s popularity is declining despite the recent damage to the two countries’ soft power. Last year, the British Council forecast that the number of potential learners in Europe will decline by 8.8 percent, or some 15.3 million, between 2015 and 2025. Brexit has nothing to do with this: the expansion of English teaching at schools is expected to cut demand for the organization’s courses. Overall, the market for English in education is predicted to grow by 17 percent a year to reach $22 billion in 2024. That, in large part, is thanks to insatiable demand in Asia.

I learned it in the Soviet Union. I have to admit I did it because of British and U.S. soft power: I wanted to understand rock song lyrics, watch Hollywood movies in the original, and read books that weren’t available in translation. But that wasn’t the reason high-quality instruction was available to me in Moscow in the 1980s: English was the adversary’s mother tongue. Russian President Vladimir Putin is no fan of the U.S. or the U.K., but he has learned their language well enough to speak to other foreign leaders without a translator.

It’s impossible to avoid: 54 percent of all websites are in it. The next most widespread language is Russian, with 6 percent. The most popular translation requests on Google all involve English. The global academic community speaks it, and not just because U.S. and U.K. universities are important: If they all closed tomorrow, scholars would still need a common tongue, and they aren’t going to vote to adopt another one.

Nor will the global political community. The European Union is a case in point: After Brexit, English could lose the status as one of the bloc’s working languages because no remaining members use it officially. Yet the legal departments of all the EU governing bodies have agreed that it can retain its status on the rather thin argument that it’s used in Irish and Maltese law. It’s also the lingua franca for all the Eastern European officials who have never learned French or German. Even after Brexit, it will share with German the status of the most widely spoken language in the EU – that is, as long as one takes into account non-native speakers.