Languages evolve over time just like everything else. In the past these changes were expedited by trade, slavery, exploration, and war. It is the advances in technology that are causing the drastic changes in language today, redefining how and who we communicate with.
There are over six thousand languages in the world today, although around two thousand of those languages have less than a thousand speakers. Over the course of the next century this number is going to dwindle down to around six or seven hundred, with the larger languages overtaking the smaller, more isolated ones.
One of the main reasons for this decimation of languages is technology and globalisation. The amount of media available for us to watch, listen and read nowadays was unimaginable 50 years ago, and with smartphones and the internet it is at our fingertips as soon as we want it.
Another reason for the decline is rather than learning foreign languages or asking strangers for help people are using instant translation apps, talking into a computer that churns out a translation. But a machine will never be able to translate as accurately as a person, grammatically or culturally, at least not yet anyway.
When people do communicate in the future, it won’t be in Esperanto or any other artificial language and it won’t be Chinese. English isn’t going to be the sole language in the world, but it will be the universal language.
There are going to be more simplified versions of languages developing due to increasing use of smartphones. People are inherently lazy, and when texting on a phone you’re going to use more shorthand and you’re not going to spend that extra 15 seconds making sure your sentences are properly constructed.
Language is going to become more relaxed in the future, more creative. Every Language changes over time, we’re all just playing a massive game of Chinese whispers.
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