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Anarchy: The Philippines

     Edith Coliver gives us her angle on the problem:
     "Apropos Filipino as the Philippines' national language, let me quote from former Education Secretary O.D. Corpus: "Filipino is not a good unifier as a national language. The Indonesians had the right idea by adapting a "minority dialect (Bahasa)"as their national language." Using English as the national (unifying) language runs the risk of accusations of "cultural imperialism." The most common language in the Philippines, out of that country's 132 languages, is "Taglish", a mixture of Tagalog and English.
     When Khrushchev visited India, he addressed the parliament (Lokh Saba) in Hindi, and received a reply in -- English! Still a great unifier, if you don't happen to be an ex-colony of the English or Americans."

     My comment: The idea that a country must have a distinct national language and free itself from cultural imperialism is perverse, especially in these days of globalization. Krushchev speaking Hindi (!?) is like an old dog standing on its legs. Of course he was playing up to the idea of making Hindi India's national language, but the Indians realize how that offends the people of southern India and makes the message incomprehensible to the world at large. Krushchev may having been trying to prove that he would bury the English language. It would be fascinating to know the details of this story.
     Only an idiot or a linguistics propagandist would suggest that Latin America if each country had its own language. Let the Mexicans dream of nahuatl, but it is Spanish which holds the country together, as well as Latin America. Iberoamerica would not exist if each country had its own language. From the viewpoint of American cultural imperialism, it would be a good thing if they did.

Ronald Hilton - 12/1/99