Wednesday, December 10, 2008
"English is not your own language, it’s our communication tool."
From a lengthy piece about foreign language education in Chosun Magazine. I'll be so bold as to say English is a global language, and that its non-native speakers and learners should strive for some ownership of it. But a line like that in a Korean magazine looks strange, especially when we remember that Koreans call Korean "우리말," or "our language," and do so in that article no less. And though it's true that many English learners will wind up using English not with native speakers but as a lingua franca, that doesn't mean the accumulated culture of its speakers ought to be ignored or trumped by people who don't know the language in the first place. Taken further, lines like "It's not your own language" seem like justification for using garbage like "I feel happyness when I eat a him."