General Question

ahro0703's avatar

Should English be an official language in Korea and other Asian countries?

Asked by ahro0703 (262 points ) January 9th, 2014

English is used in a lot of countries, and various places such as hotels and dining rooms use English.

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22 Answers

Pachy's avatar

Perhaps Americans who travel abroad should be conversant with other languages.

JLeslie's avatar

It’s not even an official language in America, although obviously it is the langauge of the government and the most widely used in America. There are arguments back and forth about making it an official language.

I can’t say whether Asian countries should make English an official language. It seems to me a lot of them are teaching English to students in schools. I think they are smart to stay on that trend. Having both languages is best.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Why? Can you offer any reasons for this idea? What would be the benefit – economically, socially, etc.?

Without some reason why, I would say it’s a poor idea.

mattbrowne's avatar

It’s good enough to have English as the official world language and official second language in all countries affected by globalization or by multiple tribal or regional languages. Educated Koreans are keen to speak English. Educated South Indians are keen to speak English when they travel north.

zenvelo's avatar

No. Mandarin maybe, but not English.

ibstubro's avatar

I don’t understand the designation “An Official Language”. Do you mean required instruction in addition to “The Official Language”?

I would think that Korea and ‘the other Asian’ countries would have plenty of dialects to deal with – not to mention the proximity of China and Russia – without the burden of adding an official English requirement.

tups's avatar

No, why should it? I think teaching English in school and the idea that a lot of the world know some kind of English is a good one, but why should it be an official language in Asia? Why shouldn’t Mandarin be an official language in USA? More people speak that language, anyway.

Juels's avatar

No. Their official language is up to them. However, I am grateful for anyone in a foreign country that is able to speak English. Any business working regularly with foreigners would benefit by having bilingual workers.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The reality is that even a rudimentary command of English is a powerful advantage to those possessing it. A number of my friends with degrees in the humanities are now gainfully employed in China teaching the children of wealthy Chinese. It seems that acquisition of anything American is useful as a matter of status, and a flat Midwestern accent is preferred over even the queen’s English. What a world!

DWW25921's avatar

If they want to speak Swahili what would it matter? It’s none of my business. Personally, I think learning languages can only help a person broaden their understanding of our world. I really wish my brain was wired for this but linguistics have always been a challenge for me.

bolwerk's avatar

Should it be the official language anywhere? I get that governments need to communicate in some language, but it’s another thing to say people should be required to know and learn that language as a precondition of citizenship. I don’t know Polish or Spanish, but either would be a benefit to me in my part of NYC.

JLeslie's avatar

English is an official language in Singapore. I believe English is also an official language in Hong Kong. I also think, but am not sure, that English is an official language in the Philippines. Maybe there are other countries in East Asia I don’t know of? India also has English as an official language, but I don’t know if you are including all countries in Asia, or only East Asian countries.

gailcalled's avatar

Countries where English is an official language.

Countries where English is the de facto official language.

Australia[
United Kingdom
United States
New Zealand

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

It is entirely a national matter whether English is declared to be an official language. I have travelled in parts of the USA whether it is not demonstrably clear that English is an official language.

rojo's avatar

From a strictly personal and selfish perspective, yes.

JLeslie's avatar

@gailcalled I glanced at your link and I should have thought of Guam. I assume Guam is part of Asia in the broader definition of Asia? Your link lists it as Oceania. Funny that a US territory has English as an official language, but the US doesn’t. Looks like it is true for Puerto Rico also.

mattbrowne's avatar

Mandarin is not a good alternative to English. Number of native speakers is not the only criterion. Written Mandarin is too complicated.

susanc's avatar

Fascist question.

gondwanalon's avatar

Of course it should.

lucyhan0429's avatar

any evidence?

BeenThereSaidThat's avatar

Every country is entitled to their own language. If I (as an American) visit that country it is my duty to learn some of the language. I also think in my country that English is our language and if people want to live here they should learn English. period!

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