Sunday, October 24, 2010

An Internationally Standardised English - please!

Andrew D Atkin

In our new internet-age and ever more globalised world it makes sense to me that we should all be speaking a universally understood language, and ideally as everyone's first language. Of course we are already moving in this direction (with English) but we could still be doing it so much faster and more efficiently.

Here is my idea:

Using the United Nations as a centralised authority, we could develop an internationally standardised form of English: English "Systems International".

An SI-English should first be cleaned-up so as to get rid of unnecessary complexities/contradictions that exist within common English today. We could even look at other possibilities such as expanding the alphabet; that is, maybe creating more (new) letters so as to allow us to more efficiently group sounds. English would be easier for young people (and foreigners) to learn if the letters were more directly correlated to their phonic associations.

An SI-English could be open to updates say every 5-10 years.

A supporting website could provide free education for anyone to learn SI-English. The website should also provide audio downloads for properly pronounced English. (Pronunciation should be standardised to help overcome the problem of understanding people with extreme accents).


To me this idea is common sense. Language, before anything, is just a communication system and in principle it is silly to have everyone speaking all kinds of different languages in a tightly connected world. We should go out of our way to drive for the process of standardisation, and through our standardisation we should also take the opportunity for fundamental improvements as well. It's easy to do, and it's worth it.


A little uninformative, but I have to agree with Mr B'stard:

1 comment:

  1. I have often thought about this as well. I like the idea of standardization. I have also thought about adding letters and sounds to everyone’s alphabet so that we can better learn other languages or sound them out.

    An expanded and standardized alphabet for all languages. They can still be different but much more readily accessible just the same. With such diverse alphabets, its hard to know how to pronounce anything.

    But I have found that languages in their original form help to trace origins and development. And once you know the sounds of their letters, you can often find similar words in other languages. It’s a fascinating study for sure. But being able to communicate more seems like a good thing to me.

    But those in power might prefer keeping us divided. Too much of a good thing . . . . .