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The world is growing more connected each passing day. The internet has brought instant communication between many far flung places, and enabled both businesses and individuals to quickly share ideas. Almost universal is the praise of this new era.
One thing that appears to slow down our newfound conduits of communication is the language barrier. Quite familiar to the people who live near tourist attractions, two people who speak different languages often have a difficult time communicating, a problem exacerbated by the fact that hand gestures and facial expressions are not typically transmitted over the internet.
What follows is an unpresumptuous proposal for alleviating this source of inefficiency.
There certainly are a multitude of languages in the world. Most of them are variants of a few common root languages, Greek and Latin being two of the largest. Some languages are pictographic, many more use the familiar A-Z alphabet, still others toss in some other letters or symbols. Given all of this variation it is obvious why there is not a single human being anywhere who could possibly be fluent in even half of the world's languages. What this breeds is confusion. Without a single source for translation one can never tell whether their message will be understoond by another party.
There have been a number of attempts at resolving this problem but they have all been far from adequate. Babelfish is very popular. The familiar translation dictionaries might help you ask "Where's the bathroom" next time you are traveling. The Christian bible has been translated back and forth many times over. The problem with all of these solutions is that one is vulnerable to misdeeds by the translator. In business this may mean that millions of dollars are at stake. On a personal level you might encounter considerable frustration, or end up looking like a fool. None of this is good, so why don't we pursue a better way?
My home state of Indiana has seen a recent influx of individuals of Latin American lineage. Many of these individuals speak some odd mumbly language where all the words sound the same. Their young appear to have more readily embraced their new country, as they speak excellent English and can often act as translators for their elders. While this is all well and good it would be much more efficient if all of these people could understand me as I speak as opposed to wasting my time, and possibly garbling meanings, by swapping tongues. The Amish speak English and they are originally from Germany. I suppose the difference is that the Amish understand that despite their questionable nationality, America is prepared to accept them if they will just do their part. I think this is key to resolving our internet language barrier as well, if we simply make English the standard language of the internet, communication will be greatly improved.
Most of the internet is written in English anyway. It is a difficult language to learn, but I'm sure people will catch on eventually. Russian is much more difficult, I'm told, and while gramatically simple, Chinese is pictographic in nature and not compatible with modern computer keyboards. (In high school I tried to learn rudimentary Mandarin, the pinyin was fine but the characters made it a mess). English is the obvious choice. Most countries already teach children English as a second language, thus English has a well established beachead all across the world. This position should be extended to include English training for any individual who uses the internet but does not currently speak the Standard Language, and would eventually encompass anyone anywhere, regardless of their contact with the internet. Like most revolutionary ideas, this one will no doubt meet with resistance.
Some people cling to tradition. They insist that simply because their parents did something, they must continue to do it. The occurance of this fear of the future is well documented among many indigenous tribes, such as the French. These people continue to cling to tradition, even though the rest of the world has moved on to more efficient means of conducting their business on the internet. Despite this resistance, the world must move forward if we expect to fully realize our potential. The pointless nationalism of refusing to accept English as the Standard Language must end immediately, for the benefit of all humanity. In no time at all most people will have forgotten their previous maner of speaking and will see English for what it really is: The natural language of civilized people and the means by which we will all better ourselves. When the entirety of a person's daily business can be conducted in English, on the internet; in the home; at work, there is no reason to continue to allow the old language to exist. To prevent confusion, speaking in any tongue other than English, except for religious purposes, should be a punishable offense.
As an aid to those who would ask "What dialect of English will I be speaking?", I will provide a few sample words and their meaning.
As you can see, the Standard Language of the internet is both practical and simple to understand. It aids in the rapid relay of information by condensing many of the long winded phrases present in non-Standard versions of English into short and concise words. It avoids ambiguity by assigning a single meaning to a word, such as "sod", to aid in comprehension. I hope that the elimination of the world's non-Standard languages can be accomplished as quickly and painlessly as possible.