- Paperback: 228 pages
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (28 July 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0521530326
- ISBN-13: 978-0521530323
- Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.7 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 77,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
English as a Global Language Paperback – 28 Jul 2003
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'A masterly synopsis of the spread of English across the world … English as a Global Language arrives as an elegant successor to Robert McCrum's The Story of English, published in 1986. It is at the same time cool and immensely authoritative. Less than half the size, but with scarcely less text than its richly illustrated Rolls-Royce predecessor, it sets a new standard in the popularisation of linguistics.' Sir John Hanson (Director-General of The British, The Times Higher Education Supplement
'This little book is a cross between a tourist guide and a no-nonsense school textbook ... Crystal is skilled at assembling scattered yet useful data in a form that seems safe and reliable. He presents enough facts and figures to make readers feel that they are getting good value for their time and money … The book's value is clear. It is a judicious mix of outline facts and good sense about language ... Overall, this commonsensical little book will be a useful tool for spreading the important message that English is not supreme because it is superior … , that English is not declining, and that it would be a tragedy if English alone remained among languages.' Jean Aitchison, Times Educational Supplement
'This is a fascinating and useful book... a fine introduction for a wide variety of potential users.' Choice
'Crystal provides us with an excellent account of the growth of English as the global language.' Good Book Guide
This new edition of David Crystal's influential book contains extra sections on subjects including the future of English as a world language, English on the Internet, and the possibility of an English 'family' of languages; footnotes; new tables; and a full bibliography. There are updates throughout.
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Top Customer Reviews
From Daniel's review, you might get the impression that Crystal advocates fertilizer bags having instructions only in English. In fact, Crystal is quoting the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, who said that farmers in her country should learn English as a second language, since international companies were never going to print instructions on fertilizer bags in Sinhalese. She was simply being realistic.
Crystal recognises that the dominance of English today is the result of chance, the language repeatedly being in the right place at the right time. If English had not become the common second language, another language would have done so. Crystal gives us the reasons for English's rise, the history, the effects on other languages and some predictions of where its going. It's quite a short book, and I would have preferred more detailed discussion in places. But it's certainly worthwhile reading.
On the whole, the book is very comprehensive, detailed, learned and extremely interesting, claiming the expert hand that wrote it.
I advise everybody to read this must-run book, also to enjoy the sistering "Language Death", which I am going to do soon.
However it sometimes lacks detail and leaves you wanting more, but don't let that put you off - it's an interesting introduction to a subject I intend to learn more about.
I originally picked it up for my Extended Project research, but it is interesting enough to read it anyway - even when I decided to drop the EPQ.
Crystal is practically worshiped by my college's English Language department, and I can certainly see why.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
David Crystal never dissapoints a linguist. Everything is explained so that everybody can access those materials but at the same time he is very meticulous and gives good points... Read morePublished on 20 May 2015 by Beatriz Castillo Adan
Interesting and a good overall view of the power of English in the language scenario nowadaysPublished on 15 July 2014 by Mónica de la Riva
David Chrystal makes studying English and Linguistics fun and fascinating. Very interesting and a good opener for more of his.Published on 2 Feb. 2013 by Jon Swan