Publication Date

2000

Abstract

What kind of language the international language English is? In the vision and implementation of cultural pluralism, linguistic pluralism has been left out and we do not know it very much. The topic of English language imperialism has long been regarded as a problem for young children in schools, however, It is not exclusively an issue for the young, but also affects adults. The 'international' world is organized and managed in English, the language of 85 countries (Nakamura 1987), of 750,000,000 users which covers 80 percent of the all information stored in the computers in the world today (Kususe, 1994). Under such global linguistic situations, there exists a power imbalance between the ones who have English and those who do not have English. And among those who possess linguistic skill in English, another unequal power dynamic exists, those who were born to the language and those who were not. Yet another power imbalance exists in between those whose English is/sounds better and worse, completing a clear linguistic hierarchy pyramid. Discussing the linguistic inequality happens only the linguistic diversity is recognized. This paper attempts to illustrate the linguistic power dynamics using through different and particular experience of the international language (English) by five persons who has lived, worked in intercultural situations, functioning in English language. As it is not possible to completely separate language and culture, the examination of language policies and their affects on speakers in an international arena is vital in multiculturalist/internationalist discourse.

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