Saturday, July 7, 2007


Go for Globish

To reach the heavens mankind built the tower of Babel. According to Genesis, chapter 11 of the Bible, when God observed the unity of humanity in the construction, he resolved to destroy the tower. So, God spread all humans the world over and gave them different races, cultures and languages as insurance against another Babel. The tower of Babel is often cited as the beginning of a multicultural and multilingual world. Developments in today’s world seem to be pointing towards a pre-Babel time in which all men can speak one language.

English first took over the globe and became the international language. Other languages were quick to own English and produce hybrids like Spanglish and Hinglish. Today, English users all over the world are moving towards a form of the language that can be understood by all.

The man who recognised this new Babel is Jean-Paul Nerriere, a vice-president of IBM in America. In 1989, while on frequent business trips to Tokyo and Seoul, he noticed that his conversation with the Japanese and Koreans was much easier and more efficient than with the British and the Americans. He concluded that ‘the language non-Anglophones spoke together was not English, but something vaguely like it.’ He named this language ‘the worldwide dialect of the third millennium’ and named it ‘Globish’, a blend of ‘globe’ and ‘English’.

Just to give you a hint of the difference, the following sentence is in English: ‘I went to my niece and nephew’s party the other weekend. I played the piano and we were all singing along when a mouse ran out from behind the sofa with a piece of peach in its mouth’. The following is the ‘Globish’ version of the above sentence: ‘At the party of my brother’s children the other day, I played an instrument with black and white keys and we all sang along. Then an animal chased by cats ran out from behind the seat with a piece of fruit in its mouth’.