Dominance of the English language

  • Hervé ADAMI (Université de Lorraine)
    Is the English dominance inevitable?
    2018, Vol. XXIII-2, pp. 89-103

    Multilingualism always existed. All over the world at any era many different languages always co-existed. Pre-national and pre-capitalist societies roughly succeeded in maintaining a balance between these different languages. But the emergence in the XIXth century of nation- states and the XXth century economic globalization shattered this balance. Gradually countries having a single language used by the majority of the population (e.g. Britain, USA, France, Germany) extended their domination over their political allied countries and more generally all over the world by means of colonial empires. English is nowadays viewed as the one language prevailing. Hopefully escaping such a supremacy of English is possible: languages are no natural forces, but tools designed to be used by humans able to master them.