English Today

Original Articles

Language diversity and international communication

Reinier Salverda 
a1 Chair of Dutch Language and Literature, University College London, England


Some reflections on why English is necessary but not enough.

On 11 May 2001, as part of the EU-Japan Friendship Week, and on the occasion of the European Year of Languages, a one-day symposium on ‘The Future of Linguistic Diversity’ was held at the Japan Foundation in Tokyo: see ET67, Jul 01. In his contribution to this symposium, Professor Reinier Salverda of University College London (as the representative of the Netherlands) discussed how it may be possible to work towards successful international communication in a world that is nonetheless marked by great diversity of language. The following adapted and extended version of his EYL presentation discusses both multilingualism today and the view that English, while necessary in global terms, is hardly enough.