World ‘ENGLISHES’ – is this really the FUTURE of English?

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Ever heard of Singlish? Manglish? Chinglish? Spanglish? These are all now recognised as ‘forms of English-es’. But do they really represent the future of English?

People now completely accept American English, British English, Australian English and New Zealand English – 99.9% of these English language forms however are not in any way different from the original British English. Grammatically they are just the same, but accent-wise they are very different.

But Singlish, Manglish, Chinglish and so on is more than just an accent. These ‘Englishes’ are more than just a different accent, they represent a whole new range of grammatical forms that are distinctively from that part of the world, and though technically grammatically incorrect, are accepted as grammatically correct by their country.

Often these Englishes are from countries that are either ex-British colonies or have a substantially large amount of English speaking people speaking English daily. As a result the English used has morphed into a different kind of English with certain nuances that are distinctively ‘Singlish’ or ‘Spanglish’ etc.

So why do people from these countries not want to get their English at least grammatically perfect?

Well it can be due to a range of reasons:

  1. They actually don’t know the original grammar rules.
  2. They do know the grammar rules but find that no one understands them when they speak, so they don’t used them
  3. They are proud of their ‘Singlish’ because it recognises them immediately as from that particular country, and they are proud of it.

Many theorists are saying now that the future of ‘pure English’ is gone. That as English is constantly evolving and will never stay the same, this is the reason why these World Englishes will evolve.

But my question is that – Are these ‘Englishes’ more related to spoken English than written English?

I ask this question because I notice in Malaysia (where they often speak Manglish – among other things), that when they sit a lot of internationally recognised exams, most struggle to pass due to their poor ability to complete assignments in a correct enough English. Plus their legal system is based on the ‘British system’ which means in turn that all legal documents have to be in ‘pure English’.

So if researchers believe that the future of English is in these world ‘Englishes’, how is it going to work with written English?

What do you think?

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3 thoughts on “World ‘ENGLISHES’ – is this really the FUTURE of English?

  1. I think there’s no way to allow for Englishes accents to become part of written exam. The printed word just can’t duplicate the multiple accents. I’ve just completed teaching my 7th session of EF Chinese education so I know whereof I speak. They also have some difficulty understanding the British English spoken on audio CDs. They learned American English more quickly.

    • Yes completely agree with the written side…but then of course it does depend on who is marking the exam! In Malaysia this is the biggest issue. No one in the public school system is entirely sure what is real English and what is their own English.

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