Globish The World Over: Volume 1 Paperback – 25 Jul 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
`Globish', as a concept, is pseudo-academic, `buzz-word' marketing at its worst. There is a great deal of RESEARCH into and theoretical DIALOGUE about the way English is used today and why it is used as it is, including English as an International Language, Global Englishes, Language as a Local Practice, World Englishes and English as a Lingua Franca (also relevant are general areas of discourse, style, language contact, language ecology, critical linguistics/theory, sociolinguistics and accounts of the `socio-cognitive turn' in Second Language Acquisition). Globish is a term that was conceived purely from the intuition of its theorists, and is therefore based on minimal/no empiricism. It fails to acknowledge the many areas of linguistics that are far more empirically grounded in their thinking, and which clearly were the origin of the (oversimplified) idea for Globish, although that is rarely/never acknowledged.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Usually, the content is good, but I have some criticisms.
1) Idioms and other figurative language are not permitted. For example, do not say, "miss the boat" if you mean, "do something too late." The guideline is good. However, although the authors claim that the book is written in Globish, the text does not conform to this Globish guideline.
2) The authors agree that phrasal verbs can be a problem, but phrasal verbs are permitted in Globish.
3) The authors do not compare Globish to other types of simplified English such as Basic Global English, EasyEnglish, or Special English.
Learning English as a 2nd language is extremely difficult. Idioms, slang, verbal-hell, variations in pronunciation between english speaking countries. Add to that converting an alphabet to symbols and it's a daunting task easily avoided or abandoned after beginning. Nevertheless, the world seems to have embraced English for some situations like international airline communications, tourist spots and then there's business. This book is about using English in International business situations. I discovered that as a native English speaker, I'm in a minority of english speakers worldwide. 4% so the book says.
The globish concept has promise and makes sense if the statistics are correct. I'm not sure that 1500 English words plus some verbs, with added in technical vocabulary is enough, but the authors seem to think so. I did write an extensive review in my amazon book review on my page at [...], so I'll abbreviate here and simply say that after all is said and done, I look at the book sitting in my studio bookshelf and feel let down by the experience. I think you can get a very good feel for globish by searching about on-line for free. Then if you demand more info, I'd look for a more in depth book then this one. "Do you speak globish?" "What's that?"
update 6-13-12: Since I first read this book, about 18 months ago, I've been following the growth of English throughout Asia, particularly in China, Korea, Vietnam and others too. The word "Globish" has been co-opted by Reporters & Broadcasters, and have battered it around. Globish, the book, presents a specific language and method to be used to communicate in a clear but basic English. The co-opted term generally refers to any corruption of English currently in use to communicate in business usually, but possibly in other situations. In any event, although I stick to my original assessment, I've increased my rating.
This book was the forerunner of a new codified approach to International communication. I think it's worth reading. Is it the answer, maybe, if it's used as a base to build upon.
I recall a period of time in American education, when the prevailing theory in teaching children to read involved looking at the WHOLE WORD and not the individual components to learn how to read. Gone was the conventional wisdom that taught how a word was composed of letters, which could be "sounded out." This "wholeness" theory came and went, serving its purpose of selling a few million dollars worth of useless textbooks. Other dumb theories, harder to prove useless, remain.
One of these is that a language can best be learned by memorizing the "rules" of its grammar.
While learning a language from the "grammar up" certainly produces a more "intelligent sounding" speaker, able to impress natives like Americans and British alike, it is not the most economical method of learning a language. In an era when most of the world speaks English imperfectly, NOT as a first language, but as a tool to pursue business with another non-English speaker, a book like Globish can be the real Rosetta Stone.
Globish does away with all the polite niceties of the English that the Americans and English learn in grammar school. It pares down English to its bare minimum elements, teaches it as a collection of decoded elements, and lets the reader throw down the book and go off and make money.
In essence, this is just what millions of native Asians, South Americans, Eastern Europeans and Africans have been doing since their countries kicked out the English teachers and did away with Western colonization. In fact, Globish seems to me to be a later step in this revolutionary process and may even be criticized by proper Anglophiles specifically as such!
I rate Globish a 5-star! I am a native English speaker, but my South American wife will attest that I learned Spanish in the Globish mode. Which means that everyone in her family laugh at how I speak, but can't figure out how I continually do successful business deals and run Spanish work crews right under their noses. Want to know how? Buy this book!