By Shannon Higginson
On 12th October 1492, Italian voyager Christopher Columbus ‘discovered’ the New World – today’s America. He was aiming to sail to Japan, but instead landed in what we know as the Bahamas’ San Salvador. Here he met the indigenous people of America, and called them ‘Indians’, believing he had landed in the Indies. After meeting these people, Columbus wrote in his diary: “If it pleases our Lord, I will take six of them to Your Highnesses when I depart, in order that they may learn our language.”
Since then the world had moved on, and progressed to where we are now, in the present day. Now we realise that in order to attain strong business relationships it’s vital that everyone can communicate effectively. One lingua franca isn’t the answer.
According to ethnologue.com there are more than 6,900 living languages used all over the world today, a far cry from the few in Columbus’ time. Thanks to learning and translating these languages, countries are able to make business deals, and connect to people all over the globe.
Languages have always been involved in businesses. Without learning the Chinese dialect in 30 BCE how could the Romans have established communications to form The Silk Road for future centuries?
Now a more modern example: without being able to communicate Japanese, how would we have as many technological advances? But what about the future? Will more and more school children learn Mandarin Chinese? Speaking a multitude of different languages is vital in ensuring that the world’s economy grows.
Also, wouldn’t the world be boring if everyone spoke the same language? Not to mention closed-minded.
Without languages there is no communication, and without communication I don’t believe there can be advancement or achievement.
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