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dandy724-Mar-20 9:18
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W Balboos, GHB5-Mar-20 2:49
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Member 79891225-Mar-20 7:33
MemberMember 79891225-Mar-20 7:33 
It sounds like you have learned English as a second language. ... Or, wait a second, maybe I got that wrong Smile | :)

If you seriously believe that all other languages than English are static, unchanging, "corpses" as you phrase it, then you are living inside a bubble with no contact with reality (outside of your English-bubble). All languages develop.

Some people's gardens grow wild with whatever wants to grow there. Other people cultivate their garden, planting in straight rows side by side, to simplify weeding, and give each kind of plant the care and nutrition that serves that plant best.

Some languages are being cultivated more than others. In some cases, the regularity and control may be limiting to the development of the language (I'd say that Esperanto is somewhat in that direction). But like a totally wild, uncontrolled growth of all sorts of weeds may look you garden look green and fertile, but it really doesn't produce very much compared to a cultivated garden, so will a carefully cultivated language produce lots of valuable results. The major reason why French is not as important globally as it once was is not that the language is being cultivated, but rather that France does not drop as many bombs, does not send as many invading soldiers, do not force their country's economic instutions, religious, moral and political ideas onto other nations.

I don't think any country's population choose to learn English because it is a dynamic and flexible, or whatever positive term you would want, language, but simply because they have to in order to communicate with the forces in power. Like CCC and MS and the Linux community, the movie industry, the economic institutions. And in some cases, the invading soldiers.

The funny thing when you refer to the Chinese ideograms as a problem, is that we are most certainly moving in that direction in all Western languages. We just refer to them as smileys or emoticons or emojis, or sometimes as e.g. "the save symbol", icons, button faces, ... What is the percentage of Americans who read an entire novel last year? What is the number of Americans who watched at least ten movies last year?

The letter and word are loosing terrain, being replaced by graphic symbols, not that unlike Chinese ideograms.
Your idea about Mandarin being "the major dominant contenter", almost as if we can ignore the rest, is a somewhat naive approach to Asian languages. As is your idea that "their current form of government could just mandate it". Here we are talking about a culture several thousand years old; noone can simply "mandate" a major change such as replacing ideograms with a letter system.

Imagine some omnipoitent president for life "mandating" that every English word should be replaced by an ideogram - how realistic would that be? What amount of force would that require? Switching the one way is no easier than switching the other way. Both require loads of books, art, signs, information folders, .... to be discarded. Millons of teachers to be trained. Billions, maybe trillions of document pages to be rewritten in the new format. You may of course "mandate" it, but realizing it is a completely different game.

I suppose you know the poem "English is tough stuff" - a nice text to read out aloud. I presented it to one US lady who had no problems at all reading it correctly. ("Everybody else" has!) It turned out that in her childhood, she never learned to read the letters. They related to the entire word, as an ideograph. Gradually, when they had learned to read fluently, it was pointed out to them that this word symbol has some similarity to that other word symbol, and if you listen to the way we say it, they have similarities in sound as well! So ideographs exist in English as well, if done in a proper manner! Smile | :)
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W Balboos, GHB5-Mar-20 7:59
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Member 79891224-Mar-20 10:08
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