minthaw's Blog

Why are we speaking English? (Religion on the Spread of the English Language)

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I find it completely unfair that students worldwide are forced to learn the English language in school . I am appalled that most of the money currencies in the world have English numbers. I also find it strange that I am writing this piece in English. For me personally,the pictorial languages of Mandarin seem much more aesthetically pleasing than the dull English symbols.Yet, it should be recognized that God or a divine being did not establish the dominance of Western language. Western language and culture prevailed as a result of the marine time exploration and colonialism in 1400s. Within these explorations,differing religious views played a major factor in why the West triumphed over the East. 

    Christianity was a major driving force in the marine time exploration of the West. In Christianity, the New Testament urged all Christians to spread their faiths to the world.For instance, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabelle established Christian rule by applying a non-tolerance to other religions. Christopher Columbus, in turn, used Ferdinand and Isabella’s religious zeal to convince them of Christian expansion through travel and commerce. For example, he convinced King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella that due to the Indian’s lack of clothes, arms,possession,and language,they could be easily conquered and converted.

    However, in China, Confucian officials strongly condemned trade and commerce because it advocated greed. Confucianism cared more on prestige, honor, culture, arts, education, and filial piety. In addition, it was wrong for a man to make a distant voyage while his parents were still alive.Moreover, in the Islamic Empires,the Sunni Muslim population,despite establishing Islamic laws and customs, were tolerant towards non Muslims. Non Muslims, such as the Christians in the European side of empire, were able to practice their religion or convert to Islam.In addition,another Muslim empire called the Mogul Dynasty, the ruler Akbar also showed a keen interest in other religion, ultimately proving his point by marrying a Hindu princess. 

    Religious motivation had an influential effect on dictating the language and culture of respected countries. It should be noted that before the 1400s, the Chinese were more economically stable and had the largest ship fleet in the world. Yet due to their lack of motivation for exploration, Western culture and language are dominant in today’s world. If you get angry about learning the English vocabulary,blame your Chinese ancestors for being lazy!