Last month, on the UG blog, we covered how modern communications technology facilitates international collaborations between people who rarely, or perhaps never, actually meet. There is a closely linked theme around the dominance of the English language. This has grown in recent decades. I recall visiting a trade fair in northern Italy in the late 1980s with many visitors from the eastern Mediterranean, where the common language was French. Nowadays, with the rise of China and Pacific trade, and the internationalization of business education based on the US model, English is the lingua franca (why isn’t there an English phrase for that?).
For those of us fortunate enough to be professional writers native in the tongue and UK-based, this does present us with advantages: many business-people, politicians and celebrities want to have their book published in London, and hire a local to help with the drafting and editing – or full ghosting, as the need arises. I have lived in Spanish-speaking countries for extended periods of time, giving me an insight into the experience of using a second language, which I think helps me empathize with clients using English at varying levels of fluency. Read more “We’re stuck with English”