English as the Global Language: Good for Business, Bad for Literature is a thought-provoking article by Jacques Mélitz (n.d), which aims to reveal the consequences of having English as a global language. The author’s main purpose in writing the article is to inform the reader about the possible negative effects of making English a global language. While the author points out the positive effects the move might have on business, he also draws attention to the numerous negative impacts it poses on imaginative works of literature.
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This text attempts to respond to a situation in which the dominance of the English language poses a real threat to world literature. If the English language took over world publishing, translations in other languages would reduce significantly because they would become commercially impracticable. This means that only the authors writing in English would have the prospect of attaining classic status. In addition, only English authors would manage to reach a world audience.
The author is an economics specialist at Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique. He also works as a researcher at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR). CEPR comprises a group of over 450 Research Fellows based in different locations in Europe who work together to complete various research assignments. The organization assists its researchers to develop projects, secure financial support, manage them and publicize their results (Mélitz, n.d).
Research at the organization may cover various issues including business policies and open economy macroeconomics. Besides, the research may explore the economic changes affecting various parts of Europe, as well as regionalism affecting the global economy. This information helps to establish the author’s credibility because it shows his affiliation to a reputable organization.
Mélitz also establishes credibility by including numerous examples and facts to support his arguments. The strategies are valuable because they make the article interesting and compelling. For instance, the author has provided several facts indicating how English dominance with regard to translations has continued to increase over the years.
The facts play a critical role in the text because they help to validate the author’s arguments (Mélitz, n.d). It is evident that the author does not support the move to make English a global language, mainly because it is likely to have an adverse effect on the development of literature. As the author notes, authors who wish to reach the world audience are most likely to use English, a situation that is likely to make ‘world literature’ to become an ‘English literature’.
According to the author, making English a world language would negatively affect other languages because as the author points out, great authors mainly have the ability to write in only one language, with only a few having the ability to make contributions to literature multiple languages (Mélitz, n.d). Moreover, the author feels that English dominance is likely to contribute to the reduction in the number of talented writers in the world.
These reasons, as presented by the author, help to reveal that the author is not in support of the idea. The primary audiences for this article are the authors, while educators and the public are the secondary audiences. The various audiences are bound to appreciate this article because the author’s approach is clear, logical and appealing.
Mélitz’s major argument is that, while making English a global language might be helpful to other fields such as the sciences where there is a need to use a common language to facilitate efficiency, the move is likely to have numerous adverse effects in the field of literature. The author builds this argument by presenting the weakest point first and then progressing to other points that are more convincing to the reader.
He points out the main advantages of making English a global language and then proceeds to draw attention to the various negative effects that the move poses (Mélitz, n.d). For instance, the author indicates that making English a global would make literature less enjoyable because there would be less versatility and originality. To support his arguments, the author provides the reader with numerous illustrations, which are both relevant and convincing. This is critical because it helps to boost the credibility of the author’s arguments.
One of Mélitz’s support arguments is that there has been a significant increase in the dominance of English translations. In addition, he points out that, authors who wish to reach a world audience have to write in English, which shows that other languages would not have a fair chance for advancement.
The author also presents the reader with other arguments; he expresses concern that English dominance is likely to hamper the development of talent in other languages. In addition, he feels that literature might turn out to become a field in which the best work only happens to be in English (Mélitz, n.d).
These arguments are helpful to the reader because they not only help to make the arguments informative but also believable. This article falls in the genre of discussion papers, which aim to inform a target audience of the consequences of pursuing a particular move. In this genre, the author usually presents different sides of an argument, which helps the reader to acquire sufficient information to enable him/her to take a stand on the issue.
In this text, the author has managed to provide the reader with sufficient and relevant information to facilitate reaching an informed decision. The author has discussed the different sides of the issue in a comprehensive manner, thus providing a well-rounded argument on the issue. The author has also presented objective arguments on both sides before giving his personal views and conclusions. Most importantly, he has provided sufficient information to support his arguments.
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Mélitz’s text is highly effective in communicating the main issue to the audience. The use of numerous points and illustrations helps to provide relevant and sufficient information, which is essential in helping the audience to understand the issue in a clear and concise manner (Mélitz, n.d). Therefore, the audience is able to make independent and informed decisions on the issue. Moreover, the author presents a conclusion that helps to reveal his feelings about the issue.
This is important because it enables the reader to understand the author’s viewpoint. The members of the community in which the author is affiliated have strong values about the production of highly researched and well-articulated articles, which help to boost the credibility of Mélitz’s work. Therefore, the assumptions made by the author are not only realistic but also consistent with the objective of producing high-quality work that aims to enlighten the reader.
Mélitz, J. (n.d). English as the global language: Good for business, bad for literature. Retrieved from http://www.cepr.org/PRESS/DP2055PR.htm