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Old 04-28-2021, 03:19 PM
 
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Considering the historical moment of the world in which English emerged as the global lingua franca, it’s hard to imagine a context in which it stops being so. Within the next 100 years, I can only think of a post-apocalyptic scenario.
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Old 04-28-2021, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Canada
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Originally Posted by Oistrakh12 View Post
Not to mention the huge Chinese population in Australia, USA, etc.
A good portion of Chinese in Western countries are Cantonese speaking.
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Old 04-28-2021, 05:53 PM
 
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
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No. That is not practical. It will increase the importance in the future and will be good to learn it, but as a lingua franca, it's simply impractical. English is not the "lingua franca" only because of Britain or USA, but because it spread to many countries. Much of Africa speaks it, almost all of Oceania speaks it, India has English as one of the national languages, and in South America, while only Guyana speaks it natively, is close enough of both Portuguese and Spanish to not be a nightmare to learn it for latin american nationals.

Mandarin, on the other hand, is spoken only in China as a national language and it's an alien language for non-Chinese people, requiring most of people in the world to learn to read and think from scratch. The closest languages outside China of the same family - and still very different - are Burmese and Bhutanese. It's simply not practical to have it as lingua franca.
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Old 04-28-2021, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Honolulu/DMV Area/NYC
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No. The era of colonization and conquest are done, so Mandarin will not have the same opportunity as English to become so widely used.
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Old 04-28-2021, 08:51 PM
 
Location: Buenos Aires and La Plata, ARG
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Yep, Mandarín is still very limited to its mainland, as this graphic shows. But don't sleep on the rise of China's agressive investments/bussiness overseas. That could become a factor as language spreader in the future.

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Old 04-29-2021, 05:27 AM
 
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I mean I wouldn't bet on it but it's the only realistic option for a world language vs their economic rivals in north-east Asia: Japan and Korea. Japan seems like a lost case to ever become a world power unless bitcoin hits a million and they make it legal tender...so Japan gets as rich as Monaco instead of the current state of "Italy of Asia". For South Korea they need to unify with the North and keep up the current status quo for Korean to be considered some alternative to English.



China however has the disadvantage of slowing economic growth and language spoken in one region with weak mainstream culture as well as absurdly difficult writing system. For me at least the good news is that French and Russian can be ruled out safely, seeing how I can't stand the way they sound. Spanish is a good bet though, in 70+ years Spanish could easily rival English.
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Old 04-30-2021, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
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I mean I wouldn't bet on it but it's the only realistic option for a world language vs their economic rivals in north-east Asia: Japan and Korea. Japan seems like a lost case to ever become a world power unless bitcoin hits a million and they make it legal tender...so Japan gets as rich as Monaco instead of the current state of "Italy of Asia". For South Korea they need to unify with the North and keep up the current status quo for Korean to be considered some alternative to English.



China however has the disadvantage of slowing economic growth and language spoken in one region with weak mainstream culture as well as absurdly difficult writing system. For me at least the good news is that French and Russian can be ruled out safely, seeing how I can't stand the way they sound. Spanish is a good bet though, in 70+ years Spanish could easily rival English.
A lot has to go off track before Spanish can rival English, on a global scale at least.

There will be more people learning Chinese in the future in all continents, for sure, as people want to learn the language and culture of a global power, but Chinese would not become more popular than Russian at the height of the Cold War. If anything China might become one of the largest English speaking country in the world. Anyone who wants to be seen as educated there want to pick up English and acquire some Western taste.
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Old 04-30-2021, 07:03 PM
 
Location: East Bay, San Francisco Bay Area
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No.
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Old 05-04-2021, 03:56 AM
 
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It would need to have a phonetic alphabed tied to it. And by doing that, it would lose lose the universality of written Chinese within China. So that would be a huge hurdle.

But if it did happen, Mandarin is much easier to learn than English at the basic level, so an alphabetic Mandarin would probably catch fire very quickly. But somebody with the authority of an Ataturk would have to make it happen.
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Old 05-04-2021, 10:46 AM
 
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
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Originally Posted by arr430 View Post
It would need to have a phonetic alphabet tied to it. And by doing that, it would lose lose the universality of written Chinese within China. So that would be a huge hurdle.

But if it did happen, Mandarin is much easier to learn than English at the basic level, so an alphabetic Mandarin would probably catch fire very quickly. But somebody with the authority of an Ataturk would have to make it happen.
I studied Mandarin until the HSK 3 level, and my perception is that the Hanzi script is, indeed, more suitable to the features of the language than an alphabetic version. Mandarin has a lot of homophones and each syllable has a meaning on its own; it looks to have no real "words" in the western sense. Moreover, that script is not that difficult as it looks. Once we get familiar, it's even easier recognizing each "word" by a Hanzi than by the pinyin version. What happens is that Hanzi only works well for sinitic languages. Japanese, for example, uses the Kanji (adapted Hanzi) mixed with two other scripts, what makes a nightmare to grasp the language, and surely would do better for learners if it switch to a latin script.

On the other hand... a former girlfriend of mine, daughter of japaneses, said it would difficult to switch the scripts since the new generations wouldn't be able to read older texts. It would make all the history of the literature obscure to the new generations. And this is not a small issue.
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