Is English necessary for a country to be civilized?

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#1
I've been lying abed suffering from man flu over the chrimbo break and have had time for reflection. What I've reflected on is this:

Is the ability to think and communicate in English what leads to countries/places being civilised?

I don't think it is particularly contentious to say that the most civilized countries in the world are those that speak English. UK, Australia, Canada, NZ USA.

Other places around the world that are civilized or have pockets of civilization are those where English is widely spoken and used in business and admin and where people think in English. Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Singapore.

India and South Africa have pockets of civilization is it a coincidence that these are also the parts that think and speak in English.

Yes I know that some of the higher functioning North European languages also foster civilization, Dutch, Nordic etc, but its notable that most speakers of those languages are capable of speaking and thinking in English.

This is not about intelligence, or the colour of skin, it is about thinking. English is a good medium for thought. Mugabe is clearly intelligent (or cunning) but it is quite clear from the way he expresses himself in English that he cannot 'think straight'. His native language of Shona is OK for squatting about and discussing goats and hunting, but its not the language of thought.

Closer to home we have the French. They do display some civilized characteristic, but one suspects its more from what they see of their neighbours - monkey see, monkey do. We can explore the way their language impedes them from thinking straight.

In English we say 'the national flag' the French say 'le drapeau national'. The English speaker on hearing 'national' thinks of his country and on 'Flag' thinks of the Union Flag or as appropriate. Because of the order of language the Frenchman hears 'drapeau' and mentally hoists a white flag before he is able to colour it in. Thus the national proclivity to surrender.

Clearly there are pockets within the English speaking countries that are not civilized. If you examine those areas you will find that the inhabitants cannot function in English sometimes because they are immigrants but more often because they are ill educated chavscum and are incapable of functioning in English or anything else. Their conversation is a series of grunts which have very little higher thought behind it.

So why should this be? As I said above it has nothing to do with intelligence or skin colour but because English is the best medium for thought, the more of those thinkers you gather in one place the more likely you are to get civilisation.

Of course all this could be Bollo@x and the workings of a feverish mind - but each time I look for flaws in my argument I can't find them.

PS I'm a porridge wog - civilization did not come to Scotland until after we mastered English - Now we speak it better that the English!
 
#2
Regarding your french reversal of the nouns, wording, etc. I think that is also how the English language used to be - e.g "Forgive me Father, for I know not what I do"

I would also say the Romans were pretty civilised. And considering the inventions that came from the arab world, or indeed the far east, I would say they did ok without English.

I'm also not sure if Sun Tzu though in English, but I very much doubt it.

You do raise some interesting points, but I don't agree.
 
#3
It might be that English is one of the easiest to learn and speak and so was/is the language of trade. Therefore our colonies/countries fared better all those years ago.
 
#4
amazing__lobster said:
Regarding your french reversal of the nouns, wording, etc. I think that is also how the English language used to be - e.g "Forgive me Father, for I know not what I do"

I would also say the Romans were pretty civilised. And considering the inventions that came from the arab world, or indeed the far east, I would say they did ok without English.

I'm also not sure if Sun Tzu though in English, but I very much doubt it.

You do raise some interesting points, but I don't agree.
I think the quote you're looking for is, "Forgive them father, for, they, no not what they do"
 
#6
jinxy said:
amazing__lobster said:
Regarding your french reversal of the nouns, wording, etc. I think that is also how the English language used to be - e.g "Forgive me Father, for I know not what I do"

I would also say the Romans were pretty civilised. And considering the inventions that came from the arab world, or indeed the far east, I would say they did ok without English.

I'm also not sure if Sun Tzu though in English, but I very much doubt it.

You do raise some interesting points, but I don't agree.
I think the quote you're looking for is, "Forgive them father, for, they, no not what they do"
I think that is *know not what they do*. But I can be pedantic.
 
#7
duffdike said:
jinxy said:
amazing__lobster said:
Regarding your french reversal of the nouns, wording, etc. I think that is also how the English language used to be - e.g "Forgive me Father, for I know not what I do"

I would also say the Romans were pretty civilised. And considering the inventions that came from the arab world, or indeed the far east, I would say they did ok without English.

I'm also not sure if Sun Tzu though in English, but I very much doubt it.

You do raise some interesting points, but I don't agree.
I think the quote you're looking for is, "Forgive them father, for, they, no not what they do"
I think that is *know not what they do*. But I can be pedantic.
So you can :oops:
 
#10
jinxy said:
amazing__lobster said:
Regarding your french reversal of the nouns, wording, etc. I think that is also how the English language used to be - e.g "Forgive me Father, for I know not what I do"

I would also say the Romans were pretty civilised. And considering the inventions that came from the arab world, or indeed the far east, I would say they did ok without English.

I'm also not sure if Sun Tzu though in English, but I very much doubt it.

You do raise some interesting points, but I don't agree.
I think the quote you're looking for is, "Forgive them father, for, they, no not what they do"
And to think I googled that phrase before I posted it!
 
#11
Forks said:
What about those barbaric Japanese?!
What about them? They learn English from an early age in Japan, but they mainly learn the vocabulary rather that how to string a proper sentance together!
 
#14
Fallschirmjager said:
Chinese Mandarin is the most commonly spoken language in the world........Apparently.
Is there an echo in here? :D
 
#15
tothepubandbeyond said:
Forks said:
What about those barbaric Japanese?!
What about them? They learn English from an early age in Japan, but they mainly learn the vocabulary rather that how to string a proper sentance together!
No more so than any other non-English speaking country. So really, how does English have any bearing to a country's civilization? I don't agree with the basis of this thread at all.
 
#16
stacker1 said:
It might be that English is one of the easiest to learn and speak and so was/is the language of trade. Therefore our colonies/countries fared better all those years ago.

English became the language of trade because the English managed to totally dominate world trading by sea for at least 350 years. From at least the 1650's and into the 1950's ish the world trade was carried on English manned ships. in 1820 the Royal Navy manned 600 warships, from 1st rates 120 gun battle ships to 6th rate 26-gun frigates. The Merchant Navy was a vast expanse of ships, so large that the war against the Americans in the early 1800's saw 1,300 ships taken by Americans privateers with British naval and privateering vessels between the Great Lakes and the West Indies taking 1,593 vessels.
 
#17
Kitmarlowe said:
stacker1 said:
It might be that English is one of the easiest to learn and speak and so was/is the language of trade. Therefore our colonies/countries fared better all those years ago.

English became the language of trade because the English managed to totally dominate world trading by sea for at least 350 years. From at least the 1650's and into the 1950's ish the world trade was carried on English manned ships. in 1820 the Royal Navy manned 600 warships, from 1st rates 120 gun battle ships to 6th rate 26-gun frigates. The Merchant Navy was a vast expanse of ships, so large that the war against the Americans in the early 1800's saw 1,300 ships taken by Americans privateers with British naval and privateering vessels between the Great Lakes and the West Indies taking 1,593 vessels.
Very closely followed by the Dutch (and the French,but who cares about them really :twisted: ) . We also didn't do bad for such a small country.
 

Schaden

LE
Book Reviewer
#18
Hardly..compare say Denmark to America...which do you think is the most civilised?
 
#19
Fallschirmjager said:
Chinese Mandarin is the most commonly spoken language in the world........Apparently.
Actually your'e wrong there.
It's Broken English, most common language on the planet.
 

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