Posted in:

Is It Possible That Some Other Language Could Take the Place of English in International Communication?

© by Photo courtesy of

Yes, it is possible, but not likely. There is something about the English language that makes it the best international language. The letters are easily understood, and it is not as complicated as other languages in the world. 

Today, you will see websites like VulkanVegas Casino in different languages. If there is one thing you cannot deny, all these sites have an English version. English is the language of business. It is the language used in diplomacy and international politics. The reason behind this is the fact that the British Crown dominated much of the world in its heyday. 

If a language could replace English, what language would it be?

The Second and Third Most Spoken Languages  

The second most spoken language in the world is Mandarin. Chinese is what many people call it, and it is the language spoken in Taiwan and Singapore apart from China. Overall, there are 1.1 billion speakers of Chinese. 

The third is Hindi. There are more than 650 million speakers of Hindi in the world. However, there are problems with these languages, which we will explore in this section. 

Chinese, Mandarin, to be specific, is a hard language to learn. Despite being the most widely spoken language in the world, it is a challenging one. 

So, why is that? The writing system of Chinese is extremely difficult because they rely on symbols and characters, not letters. The tonal nature of Chinese is also difficult. Add to these the fact that there are many dialects in Chinese, and you have a real problem on your hands. As far as tones are concerned, there are four tones. What this means is that the way you say something can take a different meaning.  

So, what about Hindi? Hindi is also known as Hindustani. It is the language that Indians use in congress. They also use English. One thing that can bar it from becoming an international language is that India itself has two official languages. As mentioned earlier, they also use English. For Hindi to become international, Indians must start with themselves. Also, many Indians use their regional dialects first before Hindi. 

India also has to become a global superpower. They have to exercise military and economic might before the language could be recognized as a globally important one. Although Hindi is spoken in Nepal, Guyana, Bangladesh, and other countries, one will find it difficult for Hindi to overcome English. It also cannot compare against Mandarin as far as the geographical spread is concerned.

How English Took Away the Title of the International Language from French

For a long time, French was the diplomatic language that was spoken in many regions of the world. English, on the other hand, is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in Medieval England. The word English comes from the word Angles, a group of Germanic people that migrated into Great Britain.

French was the most popular language since the medieval ages. When King Louis XIV reigned and took power in Europe, French eventually displaced Latin and Italian. As such, French became the language of diplomacy during that period. 

Fast forward to the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, France lost its status as a world power. France lost to Britain. This did not immediately remove the French language as the most preferred, but it was the beginning. 

Britain became the most powerful nation on earth. By 1914, it controlled one-fourth of the world. The issue was that in the countries that they colonized, it was only the businesspeople and ship captains that learned how to speak English. 

At that time, many diplomats and other organizations still used French. Many British people studied French. Many also travelled and spoke English, but they brought translators with them.

In 1870, even after France lost to the Germans, the text used for the peace treaty was written in French. In 1919, the Paris Peace Conference was written in French. However, one person objected. This was the US President Woodrow Wilson. He said that French was the language of diplomacy but reasoned out that there was a new power and that power only spoke English. 

That objection was countered with another objection. The reasoning was that the US had participated in international diplomatic conferences and accepted French as the official language. It was also a contention that France should not be robbed of this historic privilege after a war that made many French people suffer.  

The US President was adamant. He said that those treaties had to be submitted to US officials who did not speak French. President Woodrow received support from British Prime Minister David Lloyd George. George also said that there were more English speakers in the world than French. In 1919, the Treaty of Versailles instead of being written in French only was also written in English. 

That was the beginning of why English overtook French as an international language. It was America that insisted on it. Despite France being the global power in the First World War, the decline happened because of the growing number of English speakers. 

Another factor is that as far as an economic power is concerned, America was rising along with its military might. Because of this, English received the same status as French. From there, it was only a matter of time before it became the international language. 

Can we replace English? Only time will tell. As you know, empires change. People multiply. If a certain nation produces many of its people, then there is a good reason to shift to that language, provided that the same country dominates the world.