Hello there! Nice that you are joining me for part three – the final part – of my little series about English in digital environments. First, I’ll give you a quick recap for those of who you that haven’t read part one and two and for those who already forgot what I was talking about 😀
In the first part, I was addressing the omnipresence of English by pointing out several examples. English is the language most used in memes, forums and social media. Furthermore, companies make use of it for their international advertisement which also brings a lot of hazards.
The second part of the blog dealt with possible causes of this development. I mentioned the education system as one possible source because most European countries make English classes compulsory in school. Additionally, there are some historical developments that lead to English as a lingua franca. However, the overall problem with my argumentation is that it is hard to classify if the mentioned points are the consequence or the roots of English as an international digital language.
But enough about the posts of the last two weeks. Let’s jump into my last follow-up. In this part, I want to address future trends and developments concerning English as omnipresent language, especially in digital advertisements. I think the rise of English already reached it’s peak nowadays. What I noticed is a different movement. Companies and manufacturers start to stress their origin and their roots more. It is all about home and heritage and regional production. Of course, this shifted focus also leads to an adaptation of marketing techniques used. Therefore, we see more and more digital advertisements in the native language of the company, stressing the values the product stands for.
This new development is partly caused by globalization and fading cultural borders between the countries. People partly feel entangled from their origins. There is a new need for identity and belonging. That’s why some companies use the insecurity of citizens and give them a feeling of home by using advertisements in native languages again. Additionally, issues like sustainability are on the rise and gain importance in nowadays society. By pointing out regionality, manufacturers try to advertise their sustainable and regional way of production. Unfortunately, I could only find a German article about the issue of regionality as a shopping criterion, but in case you are interested click here. Due to these issues, I predict that in the coming few years English will lose its advertising power in non-English speaking countries. We will see more presence of the respective language of the companies, also in digital contexts.
The mentioned trends only concern the trends for advertisement online and offline. But what about other digital areas in which English is the reigning language? In terms of communication, I predict that English will remain the top language used online. Social media, discussion forums and news sections will go on using English simply because it is an already established lingua franca. There will be no change in the near future as it is really hard to establish a new lingua franca. It takes a long time. However, I already said that I see the movement towards English as international digital language at its peak and I stick to that opinion. The usage of English will not rise anymore but held at a steady level.
This was the last part of my analysis of English as number one language in digital and offline contexts. I hope I could shed some light on how interesting this topic can be and maybe I made you think about reasons by yourself. I am always open for discussion and I would like to hear your opinions on then whole topic of language choice in digital environments and future trends.