Survey: Language

Pollux V

Ra Bless America
Registered Senior Member
Like my sophoclesish counterpart, I too need an interview for an ongoing project. However I, unlike him, completely forgot:p

1) Do you believe that any species other than the human race has used written language? Why/Why not?

2) In your opinion, do some animals use complex communication?

3) If we had not taught sign language to various species of apes, would they have learned to speak to each other on their own?

4) Should human beings teach language to other species? Why/Why not?

5) Do you believe that to be at least somewhat versed in English should be a requirement for all children now or soon?

6) If you didn't know English, would you attempt to learn it?

7) Based on your knowledge of the world, is English the most widely used language (based on the amount of people that used it compared to other languages?

8) If so, why do you think it became as popular as it is today? Were there multiple factors?

9) If not, what language is more widespread, and were there multiple factors in its expansion?

10) If you speak another language, what was your inspiration to do so?

11) If English became the only language for mankind, would it be a good or bad thing? Would it be better if it were another language?

Thanks, if you want your name to be involved, please sign it. If not you'll just become another unquoted reference...
 
1. No. We haven't found any remains of it, if it ever existed. No proof.

2. Yes, whales and dolphins communicate over distances of miles using that echo-stuff...whales use songs to communicate...elephants use ultra-low frequency sounds to communicate across hundreds of miles i've heard. Plus, chimps have alot of noises for communicating, and many faces. So, sure.

3. In what way? Apes communicate already. But speak to eachother on their own in the sense we've taught them? I don't see why they would...the way they naturally communicated suited them fine.

4. We should, as long as that species wishes to do so. Why? We could learn from them..they could learn from us. For people that dont like people, it would offer a conversation alternative. :D

5. No, i don't think a language should be pressed upon anyone. English is really useful though..so they should be able to elect english classes if they so choose.

6. Yes, i would attempt to learn english..simply because it's really super useful. Plus, i plan on learning a bunch of languages...if my mothertongue wasn't english, i don't think that would change me. I'd still want to learn a bunch. If you know what i'm saying.

7. Not the most widely used as a 1st language. As a second or third, yes. Statistics show this...World Almanac.

8. It became popular because of British rule in different colonies etc. And, english speaking countries became large economies, which made it even more necessary/useful to know the English language.

9. Er. Chinese has one billion+ speakers who use it as a first language...plus thousands more who know it as a second language. It's not very widespread though. Arabic is. From South America across Northern Africa through Middle East, Mediterranean,a little bit in Russia, parts of southeastern Asia.

10. Conversational in spanish...fluent soon i hope. Why? Offered by my school starting in 7th grade. It was that or french. I took it at first because i know it's useful and marketable and good "for collegeeee." I stick with it because i think it's a very beautiful and useful language. I know some small ammounts of russian..my motivation for this is..i dunno. I just picked up a book and wanted to learn it i guess.

11. I believe in multilanguage..ism. So no. Besides, it wouldn't happen. Too many people identify their language as part of their culture. People take pride in their mothertongue language. Even if English is made the only legal language, and everything else is outlawed...some people would still speak it/learn it, in defiance of the people that say they can't do so, and because it's taboo. You know what i mean?

Okay hope i helped!

:cool:
 
1) Do you believe that any species other than the human race has used written language? Why/Why not?
Yes. Bears climb up against trees in Winter to leave claw marks high on trees, so that in Summer it looks like a very large bear lives in the area. This is to keep away other bears. This is a written message with a clear meaning.

2) In your opinion, do some animals use complex communication?
Google it. Cephalopods use very complex communication.

I hear whalesong changes every year, all around the world at the same time, as though they operate by a schedule.

3) If we had not taught sign language to various species of apes, would they have learned to speak to each other on their own?
They already do speak to each other. That's what is happening when they make noises and facial expressions at each other.

4) Should human beings teach language to other species? Why/Why not?
1) They already have languages. Ants, for example, communicate through chemicals, and bees through motion, dogs through expression and body posture and noises...

2) If you mean "Should we teach to other animals a language we humans can use?" then I think not. Far better to use software to interpret what they are alreayd saying in their own languages.

5) Do you believe that to be at least somewhat versed in English should be a requirement for all children now or soon?
No. I like having different languages around the place. English may be the most common language, but if is taught in all schools, it may eradicate other languages.

6) If you didn't know English, would you attempt to learn it?
Yes, as it is the international language.

7) Based on your knowledge of the world, is English the most widely used language (based on the amount of people that used it compared to other languages?
Yes. It may not be the most widespread native tongue, but when adding English as a first language and English as a second or third or whatever laguage, it far outstrips all others.

8) If so, why do you think it became as popular as it is today? Were there multiple factors?
  • The spread of the English empire around the globe and its dominance as the French faded.
  • The constant bombardment of USA television and movies and their numerical dominance of the internet.
  • The use of English as the itnernational language in fields such as international radio communications procedures.

9) If not, what language is more widespread, and were there multiple factors in its expansion?
Answered.

10) If you speak another language, what was your inspiration to do so?
I was learning my ex-girlfriend's native tongue for a while.

11) If English became the only language for mankind, would it be a good or bad thing? Would it be better if it were another language?
The good: We could all communicate with each other.

The bad: I like variety, I like keeping the past alive.
 
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1) Do you believe that any species other than the human race has used written language? Why/Why not?

Do you mean on Earth or aliens from space? Because Im sure that apes, if taught well enough, could write.

2) In your opinion, do some animals use complex communication?
Yes. Maybe when my cat meows she saying "Pick me, take me over there..."

3) If we had not taught sign language to various species of apes, would they have learned to speak to each other on their own?
Maybe. If all of you atheist really believe in evolution then shouldn't they, be speaking that is.

4) Should human beings teach language to other species? Why/Why not?
No. Let them learn how to do it for themselves... Besides, my cat has seen my doing things...

5) Do you believe that to be at least somewhat versed in English should be a requirement for all children now or soon?
Well, I saw on CNN a report about how all of these old languages are on the way out... Maybe we should, but that scares me, like startrek scary.

6) If you didn't know English, would you attempt to learn it?
Only if I had to.

7) Based on your knowledge of the world, is English the most widely used language (based on the amount of people that used it compared to other languages?
Id say so.

8) If so, why do you think it became as popular as it is today? Were there multiple factors?
TV and movies. It's as simple as that.

10) If you speak another language, what was your inspiration to do so?
I would like to learn how to speak German, only because my ancestors were german.

11) If English became the only language for mankind, would it be a good or bad thing? Would it be better if it were another language?
Bad. Language is an important part of culture.
 
No attachment?

This doesn't seem to be working. Here are the stats as of 1998:

Mandarin: 874,000,000
Hindi: 366,000,000
Englilsh: 341,000,000
Spanish: 322,000,000
Bengali: 207,000,000
Arabic: 201,000,000
Portuguese: 176,000,000
Russian: 167,000,000
Japanese: 125,000,000
German:100,000,000
 
Mandarin Chinese appears to be the language with the most native speakers. Cantonese has far fewer and would not be in the top five. In terms of the most widely spoken the world over, my vote would go to English.

Joseph F Foster
Dept of Anthropolgy
U of Cincinnati, OHIO

Most people, when talking about the most widely spoken languages, take into account only native language, or what the main language is in various countries. They don't take into account that a huge number of Chinese, for example, also speak English, whereas very few Brits speak Chinese. English is the most widely spoken language in the world.
 
Yes, Adam I was just going to point that out.

Thank you for the insight Fraggle!
 
1) No. Animals such as tigers in India and bears in North America do leave markings that could be viewed as a writing. However, these markings do not constitute a coherent language or script like the one in which we are now exchanging ideas.

2)No. Communication, of course, but nothing more complex than "This is mine," or "Take that you meddlesome interloper!!!"

3)No. They didn't do so before we began to instruct them, so why assume they would now?

4)Yes. It would be amazing and increase the diversity and efficiency of society. Sentient and well educated Gorillas would prove to be excellent paid laborers.

5)In the USA, yes. In other countries . . . that's ludicrous . . . NO WAY!

6)Perhaps. This would be dependent upon my upbringing.

7)No. Mandoran Chinese is almost definitely the most common language (in my opinion).

8)Why is Mandoran Chinese popular? It's popularity is on account of its being the standard language of the most densly populated nation on earth.

9) ARGHHHH Look above

10)I can translate Latin . . . but I don't think that qualifies . . . School requisites "inspired" me . .. :rolleyes:

11)This would increase our efficieny tenfold . . . it WOULD ROCK !!!:D
 
Well, English is one of the official languages of India, for a start.

From the CIA World factbook:

English enjoys associate status but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication; Hindu is the national language and primary tongue of 30% of the people; there are 14 other official languages: Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, and Sanskrit; Hindustani is a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India but is not an official language

http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/in.html#People

There's a good billion there, a former British colony, most of them speaking English.

USA
http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/us.html
Another 280 million...

UK
http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/uk.html#People
Another 60 million...

Brazil
http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/br.html#People
176 million there, many speaking English...

Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Argentina... Pick a country. Most of them use English at least as a second language.
 
55,000,000 first language speakers in United Kingdom (1984 estimate). Population total all countries 341,000,000 first language speakers (1999 WA), 508,000,000 including second language speakers (1999 WA).

Source.

Including alternate (second language) as well as primary (mother-tongue) speakers, two languages reached approximately one billion (1,000,000,000) speakers by the end of the 20th century. These are Putonghua or "Mandarin" Chinese, official language of the most populous nation on earth, and English, now the most widely used and studied language of the world.

The title of "the most spoken language on earth" presently alternates between Chinese and English within each twenty-four hour cycle. When the sun is over the western Pacific, the most spoken language is Chinese. When the sun is over the Atlantic and China sleeps, the most spoken language is English.

It should be noted that the linguistic use of the term "Chinese" is potentially ambiguous. The so-called "dialects" of Wider Chinese, including "Mandarin" (originally North Chinese), Min, Hakka and Yue (Cantonese) are in fact related but separate languages, not readily interintelligible except in their written form. "Mandarin" - or rather Putonghua (= "commonly understood language") - is the official language of China, spoken and/or studied throughout the entire country. To avoid ambiguity therefore, the unqualified use of the linguistic term "Chinese" is best restricted to Putonghua, in contrast to "Wider Chinese" as a cover-term for the net of closely related languages in China.

Source.

The language with the most native speakers is Mandarin Chinese, with
about 750 million speakers. (Cantonese is far behind with fewer than
50 million.

English may well be the most widely spoken language in the world if
we count both native speakers and seecond-language speakers. Statistics
on second languages are not kept nearly as carefully as those on first-
language speakers, so it is hard to know for sure, but with 450
million native speakers and probably hundreds of millions of second-
language speakers, the number might approach a billion.

One problem in considering information like this is that the criteria
of who counts as a speaker of English as a second or foreign language\
are not well defined. How do you count a student in Asia, say, who
has taken two years of English and speaks it haltingly. Nevertheless,
the conventional view is that English is the most widely spoken
language in the world.

Steve Seegmiller
Linguistics Department
Montclair State University
Upper Montclair, NJ 07043

Linguisics mailing list.

Actually, it depends on what you mean by "spoken." If you mean "What is the
most widely used first language (mother tongue)?" then the answer is
Mandarin. English is second. If you mean "What is the language used, as a
first or second language, by the most people in the world?" the answer is
overwhelmingly English. With an estimated more than a billion users, English
outstrips all others.

Hope this partially answers your question.

Carl Mills
University of Cincinnati

Linguisics mailing list.
 
language survey


1) Do you believe that any species other than the human race has used written language? Why/Why not?
species other than the human race where? i demand proof! but if there were another species they would probably use some type of written language. it provides a way to record, to express at times what pictures can not, and to describe feelings of situations.
2) In your opinion, do some animals use complex communication?
absolutely. i have three dogs and a cat who all communicate. they can't write or talk in an english language but they do talk to each other. one dog will bark and bark for the others bone. the other must somehow know that he isn't trying to harm them that he only wants the bone or else wouldn't they fight aggressively?
3) If we had not taught sign language to various species of apes, would they have learned to speak to each other on their own?
i think they would communicate in some way but maybe not in a way that we could understand.
4) Should human beings teach language to other species? Why/Why not?
sure. but why assume that they would need to be taught? maybe they would already know how to communicate with us.
5) Do you believe that to be at least somewhat versed in English should be a requirement for all children now or soon?
children in america yes. but not all children around the world. in america i believe it is important that we recognize and respect all languages but also have english available and used.
6) If you didn't know English, would you attempt to learn it?
If I knew how many people in the world relied on the use of spoken and written english i would be inspired to learn it. i am inspired to learn more about mandarin chinese since so many people in the world use that language.
7) Based on your knowledge of the world, is English the most widely used language (based on the amount of people that used it compared to other languages?
no. mandarin chinese is the most used. english is the most widly spoken. the use of mandarin chinese is so high due to the population in that part of the world.

8-9) see #7

10) If you speak another language, what was your inspiration to do so?
i wish i spoke another language. i had several classes of spanish in high school and can't remember much more than "donde esta es el bano?" so much for our educational system. that's for another topic.
11) If English became the only language for mankind, would it be a good or bad thing? Would it be better if it were another language?
absolutely not. variety is the spice of life right! lets continue to have lots of languages. songs sung in spanish are so romantic and moving. does everything have to be like america?
 
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