On Thomas Hylland Erikson’s site Engaging with the World  some nights ago I came across his keynote speech to the conference “Bi- and multilingual universities: Challenges and future prospects” [University of Helsinki, Sept 1 – 3, 2005] wherein he reflects  cultural implications of English as a universal academic language: McDonaldisation or diversity? Notes on the use of English as a foreign language

I won’t try to reproduce it here, you can go and have a worthwhile look yourself icyai. While both title and the initial lines, which are said to be an “aphorism from the internet” are provokingly set, it is a sensuous reflection on what it means for non-native speaking academics to professionally communicate in English–especially in the humanities. You know these nightmares in which one cannot speak, only grumbles and strange sounds coming off one’s mouth, like a video that is on slomo?   

The use of English moreover may impact the representation of non-native speakers’ research in the academic community and on the publication market, as far as I ve understood Erikson–whom I would not have been able to read without him presenting in English. 

The last line of that internet aphorism btw–I think–Adrian would have answered by “an australian? “.   



2 Responses to “language”

  1. Sarapen Says:

    Hey orange, what’s the RSS feed for your blog? I’m wondering if I’m being an idiot, but I can’t seem to figure out how to get it.

  2. orange. Says:

    thx for the reminder. I had to look that up myself.
    I’m still reading the blogs on their “original locations”, if one can talk of urls as such. It’s for the individuality I think. Feed aggregators transform the entries.

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