In the past language has dispersed through conquest. There is little reason to imagine a new force in the dispersal and change of language. However, conquest may now be economic rather than direct physical invasion.


  • In one version of the future there will be one main language for humans spoken, i.e. English.
  • In another version of the future Mandarin will become the dominant language. English will become increasingly fragmented into separate dialects, by status rather than by geographical location. Technical language for biotechnology and information technology will become so specialised that it will become a new language in itself.

Perhaps more relevant, in either future, by 2030 automatic translation will be widespread and cheap, and available on your mobile phone.

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