iNate wrote:There was a time in history when other languages were in a similar situation to English (nowadays). French and Latin come to mind (speaking mostly of Europe).
Not at all. French and Latin were used by intellectual elites, people involved in diplomacy, etc. Nowadays the dominant language ideology thinks we should be thrusting English onto everyone, and they should even be fluent in it even though it's totally useless to them.
Latin was a lingua franca. Romance Languages derived from Vulgar Latin. Different dialects of latin spoken in different parts of the Roman Empire developed into different Romance languages over time.
French was a lingua franca a long time ago.
I'm not saying that English should or should not be the dominant language, but it is at a similar place where French was in the past, and Latin before that. I certainly don't want to get involved in a discussion regarding the "politics" of the matter.
The reason why so many people push English is because of its status in the business and scientific worlds, not because the average joe needs it to communicate with their next door neighbor in a remote village in Europe. That is not a reason to learn a language, which is why many people in the USA do not learn a language (they have no realistic need
to do so).
What you're describing is exactly the point that I'm trying to make. English these days is basically what French and Latin was in those days. The Lingua Franca used in Business, Science (including the medical field), by International Elites, and people involved in diplomacy, etc.