Baby-lon or English?
What is English? Germanic + Romance = English A child who was born to a German mother with a French step-father and has some Scandinavian blood incorporates the best qualities of the two most powerful nations in Europe. It has moved on to incorporate further qualities from even far distant languages, cultures and genetically totally different without any reservations and is destined to rise above national interests and become a must for us all whether at work or in our leisure time. We are all caught in its web today.The fact that German and French play a very important role in the existence of English make these two languages a good basis for comparisons.
Although wars are negative in what they inflict on life and property yet in the case of English they helped to create the English we use today. Shakespeare was only possible after those invasions which turned English to a powerful tool of expression. The Germanic language spoken by the German tribes sounded male and was full of difficult to pronounce sounds. This mirrored the tough life those tribes used to lead. As we know England was conquered many times by different people. The most important of them was the French invasion. This changed English from a tough language to a "beautiful civilised and polite": would you be so kind as to ..., There are no short answers that kill conversation as in German although particularly British English sounds a bit snobbish or posh, there is no polite form for addressing people as German "Sie" and "vous" but these can again be seen as barriers between people People. Germans waste a lot of energy and time whether to "Sie" people or to "Du" them i.e. to be on first name terms with them, and sometimes as in Shakespeare time Du as thou is used to signalise insult or closeness. How can this politeness can exist on the one hand and people start eating without saying "Guten Apetit" as in German or French though taken from French and the French Bon apetit is only spoken sometimes in the British high society and the waiters have come to say enjoy your meal.
English has also become a big intellectual challenge when its vocabulary became so extensive. It is good news for all sciences in this world to have finally a powerful tool at their disposal to express all its concepts and ideas thus broadening and carrying our power of thinking to further boundaries. It cannot be compared with the languages of its parents nor even with any other language in the world as far as its huge vocabulary is concerned. It is like the sun around which the other planets (languages) revolve and are dependant on it for communication. Some might argue and say that English constitutes a burden on our memory especially our children since they have to learn more words than in other languages. English in fact does not use its own building material to coin new words as the German does. For example if you know the German word Hand: hand and the word Schuh: shoe then you might easily guess from that what the words might mean when they are put together (coining new words by motivation which is unfriendly towards adopting words of foreign origin) Handschuh. The English uses gloves which has no relation and no association. That is why English for non-native speakers is neutral and there is no feeling of discrimination or dominance.
English has borrowed words from almost all languages in the word even from those which are fare away and genetically not related. It is therefore a world heritage and it is no longer the property of those who speak it as a native language. It makes the use of an artificial language like Esperanto superfluous since such a language needs time to develop, does not possess the beauty and the dynamic quality which is inherent in English and does not draw from a variety of languages as English does. Perhaps it is as its name might evoke associations of a guardian angel of human heritage. However, particularly the French in spite of their contribution to English they are very unhappy with their step-child. They are afraid that "la grande Nation" with its superior culture is now dominated by an unwanted and illicit child born to a poor and uneducated German mother. Their sublime culture is now in danger because this rebellious child brought up by a mother who was only a wretched farmer is overrunning their language and plays havoc with them like an ungrateful and undutiful bastard. In their despair they resort to imposing fines upon those people who give English names to their vocabulary. Alas they have forgotten that language is democratic and does not bow to dictatorships. This is also surprising since the very French who present themselves as advocates of democracy and freedom open their former prisons and revert to punishing people for no other crime save the freedom speech.
Some numbers in other languages are unnecessarily difficult for example you say in French 4 twenties and ten just to say ninety and the German read them from thirteen on as in Arabic from right to left
The English alphabet has no umlaut a gliding sound and very difficult to master even if you have lived in Germany for a very long time. It is only reserved for the native speakers and sounds more Turkish , the German /ch/ which sounds Arabic as in Dach, Fach, Sach, Lachen, sounds in English more Italian and the German /z/ sound in some words, sounds even Chinese take some German words as "Zeitung Heizung Umleitung" they sound like Mao Tse Tung. English opts for /t/.
town Zaun the two words have now different meanings but you can still see the relationship.
You can make try out some other words and you will be surprised about this rule..There is no useless time wasting on how to write nouns as in German where a noun begins with a capital letter. They often spend time and energy on whether some words are written as one word (compound word) or not. This makes German word very long. Compare: Wohnzimmertischlampe mean a lamp for the living room table.
Although English can be regarded as a child born to German and French Parents it has in its blood and genes the features of a variety of world languages seldom found in other languages. Thanks to its multinational tendency and no interest in purity and pride there are no nationalist demands, as the French have, to establish an institute for the protection and purity of English. It simply integrates them and has no interest to ask where and why these words come from.
The reasons why this language became so internationally accepted partly of course go back to the role of the former British Empire and to the fact that America is a super power but no doubt to its beauty and incorporating power and of being devoid of difficult and unnecessary sounds that exist in other languages as well. There is no declination in the way German does. Thus it has gained a unifying power. It is like a United Nations of languages so we can call the United Languages of the World.The development of English will also give rise to worries. The existence of American English and its dominance for economic, military and political reasons is increasingly more and more palpable.
To some people English is easy but some select know there is nothing more confusing than English. This is hardly surprising since you can't expect more from Rosemary's Baby supposed to be a miscarriage from a Germanic-Romance romance. Take any area you like whether number, comparison, tense, adj. /adv. vocabulary, spelling or pronunciation. In addition it is the language of double everything. Names of animals are Germanic but the meat eaten is Romance:
Still the bastard (my apologies) has managed to be number one in the world despite La Grande Nation's (its former step-father's) vehement and continuous objections and resistance. Now since English as a global language has become world property ie doesn't belong to the English and Americans alone any more (loss of linguistic identity) it is time to look for a new name. I would strongly recommend Confusion although Globish is already in use. Now Baby-lon is a beautiful young lady I have fallen in love with. But as you know love is blind knows no logic.
Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim
Bremen - Germany