What will be the result of the “war of languages in Europe” over the course of one generation, as Louis-Jean Calvette called this phenomenon in his acclaimed book? The European Laboratory for Political Forecasts, according to a number of observed trends, predicts the formation of a new linguistic order in Europe by 2025. We can ascertain some of these trends today. For example, the “triumphant return of the German language”, which already prevails in Eastern Europe, and which has always been the dominant language of the European Union. It is spoken far beyond the borders of Germany. As you know, in Germany, unlike France, there are no linguistic minorities.
The assumption about the “revival” of the French language is rather a desirable phenomenon, dictated by hope and love for the motherland, than a real one, as the analysis shows. The European Laboratory for Political Forecasts predicts a very likely “decline of Anglo-American as the hegemonic language of our time” due to the end of the world order that arose after 1945. It is assumed that it will remain a common language, but used informally and with a limited vocabulary. The role of the Spanish language, on the contrary, will strengthen internationally, threatening the primacy of English in America, although in the European Union its importance will remain small due to the linguistic fragmentation of Spain. In 2020, the Russia-European Union partnership will lead to the entry of the Russian language into the European linguistic “purgatory” as a common, although not official, language of the Slavic countries. But according to the European Laboratory for Political Forecasts, these phenomena will not lead to a change in the existing bilingualism of the European Union, also because the presence of French as an official will prevent the strengthening of the importance of other Neolatin languages. In a word, the axis France-Germany will strengthen linguistically.
Although Italian, thanks to the church, remains an international language, the European Laboratory of Political Forecasts does not mention it in its reports. Undoubtedly, Italian has never been an “imperial” language, like Spanish, French and English, but it is not a national language of the second or third rank, such as Danish (it is spoken by five and a half million people) or Albanian, which influenced by a dozen other languages of the surrounding countries, and in which only 600 of their own, not borrowed from other languages words. Italian is spoken by 57 million people, more than the number of people who speak French in France, and more than the number of citizens who speak English in the UK. It is estimated that 120 million people speak it all over the world. This is one of the official languages of Switzerland. It was spoken and is now partially spoken in Corsica, which until 1768 was part of the Genoese Republic. Finally, Italian is still alive in Malta and has not completely disappeared in the former African colonies and in the Mediterranean. The European Laboratory for Political Forecasts claims that “languages are characterized by international dynamics, mainly based on the gravity of the culture of the country of origin of the language. This argument fits perfectly with the Italian language phenomenon. I am glad to repeat that our language is a world cultural language (one of the eight most studied in the world).
The most interesting thing is that Italians do not seem to be aware of this: deprived of historical memory, they seemed to Aldous Huxley “characters living on the background of a giant historical fresco”. “Poor Italy,” Vincenzo Cardelli wrote after the war, “she could not develop her own tradition, based on a firmly rooted national culture. It is Babylon, where everything can be found, except for linguistic certainty. “
Indeed, with the fall of fascism, the history of the Italian language, connected with the Italian national identity, was interrupted. Like other symbols (flag, Mameli’s anthem), designed to bring to mind the idea of “homeland,” the Italian language was put into the box by the founders, becoming, so to speak, an official language, which reflects the difficulty for Italians to recognize a common history. From here all his weaknesses and the bewildering absence on the European scene follow.
Most international languages have become such as a result of the colonial activity of small states (metropolises) both in adjacent regions (Russian, German, Chinese) and on other continents (Portuguese, Spanish, English). So, previously popular Greek and Latin languages have long lost this function. Some languages, such as Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Polish, Turkish, acquired it for a very short period. The German language, which had important international significance at the beginning of the 20th century, actually lost its international function in favor of Russian and / or English, even in the regions of its once traditional distribution (Poland, Slovakia, Galicia). At the same time, a number of languages have strengthened their international position recently. These primarily include Chinese, the largest number of carriers in the world, to a lesser extent Hindi. It is noteworthy that the Spanish language, the second largest number of speakers in the world, has steadily retained its international function for over 5 centuries and even somewhat strengthened its position since the beginning of the 21st century.
Having entered the composition of world languages in the middle of the 20th century, Russian immediately ahead of its counterparts in a number of social functions, for example, only 70% of all world scientific information is encoded in it and in English. Its universal value is associated with the richest Russian classical and Soviet fiction and unsurpassed in quality and quantity of translations into Russian of literature of all languages of the world.