Do you speak Globish?

English-and-GloblishPeter Cornish, a Londoner, has lived in Việt Nam since 2008.

Cornish has been in education for more than twenty years, initially as an English teacher, then in operations, management and marketing positions.

He is going to discuss a new form of the English language in this article.

A revolution is moving across the world and the effects are being felt in Việt Nam.

It’s not a revolution fought with guns and bombs.

The revolution is taking place in boardrooms and visitor houses around the world, led by business people and people visiting other countries all wanting to be understood in a language that is not their own.

English has long been the language chosen for cross-country communication, but how many speak it as a first language?

Not many.

Millions more people spend hours studying it and language schools across the world are always happy to sell you the next level.

But why do people spend so much time and money to learn a language that so many say is not easy?

More often than not they want it as a tool – a tool to do business, to travel or to study in other countries.

But the language spoken all over the world by close to 90% of the people, for business, travel and education is not exactly English as the Queen speaks it.

Imagine a Vietnamese man in a visitor house in Thailand talking to another visitor from Japan.

They are talking to each other in what seems to be English, but the man from America sitting next to them is having problems understanding.

They might not know it, but the language they are talking is Global English, or Globish – the latest addition to the 6,000+ languages spoken in the world and the one that is growing the fastest.

Globish is a simple version of the English language that is quick to learn and easy to use, and is built from a list of the 1,500 most commonly used words in English.

The list of words was first made by a Frenchman, Jean-Paul Nerrière, who saw that 95% of communication in English happened between people who did not speak English as a first language.

During his work as an executive for IBM with people from over 40 different nationalities, Nerrière saw there was a pattern to how non-native English speakers communicated in English, in both the words they used and the structure of language.

Nerrière understood that if he studied and documented these patterns, he would be able to make a language system for global communication that was quick and easy for people to learn, much quicker and much easier than English.

And so was born Globish, the language of global communication.

With a limited number of 1,500 words, Globish uses groups of words to communicate easy messages.

The language makes the speaker or writer responsible for understanding and the listener or reader responsible for saying when they do not understand.

It does not include difficult words or groups of words from English and does not include local ways of speaking.

Once a person has learned to speak Globish, they can continue to improve their communication skills to speak and read English.

The goal of Globlish is to give everyone a common ground for communication, where everyone understands everyone else, no matter where they come from.

In a world where communication across cultures happens all the time and with English being the number one language, there is now a quicker, easier way.

Do you speak Globish?

This is written with just words from Nerrière’s list of 1,500.

It might not seem well written if you are an English speaker, but it is easy to understand if you are not.




One thought on “Do you speak Globish?

  1. If you are working in a multinational company, sometimes it becomes a compulsion to learn a new language so that you may communicate with the foreign based employees.

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