Globish

by Chikashi

Globish used to go by a different, rather more unflattering name. With the non-English speaking countries enjoying economic growth and gaining global influence, it is no surprise that the term came into use. Frankly, I think it’s still akin to referring to a flaw as a feature. That said, there is something positive about Globish.

A Globish speaker once told me how Globish speakers often do not quite understand what English speakers are saying and vice versa, but Globish speakers understand each other consistently well even if their respective native tongues are completely different. At the time, I just dismissed it as another snide comment from a fiercely competitive (and professionally successful) man with minimal formal education. I just smiled.

As a matter of necessity, conversations in Globish are stripped down to the bare essentials. The objective is to communicate the important bits using a severely limited number of words to construct something that is supposed to resemble a sentence, often reflecting the grammatical structure of their native language.

Given that many English speakers seem to prefer speaking and writing incomprehensible rubbish these days, I have to admit that Globish does seem to have an edge over contemporary English.

I wonder if this is one of the reasons why the English speaking countries arguably have the least influence in developing countries.

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