It is said that English is the most powerful language ever created, because it is constantly evolving. The relentless march of evolution continues, even as we speak. So wouldn’t it be fun to take a peek into the future and see the shape of English to come?
We were offered just an opportunity like that a few days ago…
The weeks preceding the Beijing Olympics saw a heady amount of activity in China. Yes, it is to be expected when a city is going to be the stage for such an exalted global event. True, but those weeks were also witness to an activity which would seem more suited to an English language class. This was the removal or correction of all signs that displayed bad English.
Sample some examples:
“Deformed man lavatory” - This was trying to refer to a toilet for the physically challenged people.
“Don’t forget to carry your thing” – That was on a train, advising people not to forget their belongings.
“Slip and fall down carefully” – A standard sign to warn visitors to walk carefully, lest they slip and fall.
So what do you make of the above? Bad English? Then again, what if it is English of the future? Considering that Mandarin is the most widely spoken language in the world, it is highly possible that the future may see a hybridized version of Chinese and English, or Chinglish.
This is not necessarily something to be worried about, because this is the way all languages develop. Consider Latin, which over hundreds of years broke into many distinct languages like Italian, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Romanian among many others. Consider the number of non-native speakers of English who speak in the language on a daily basis, and it is a foregone conclusion that English will change radically in say, the coming hundred years.
The English language is the tool with which Pi Business Research works. We believe in evolution and change, and match our steps to keep up with the times… resulting in the unmatched experience and expertise that our clients have come to depend on.