Foreign Relations & International Law

Chatter: Geopolitics and the Rise of the English Language with Rosemary Salomone

David Priess, Rosemary Salomone
Thursday, August 31, 2023, 9:00 AM
How does the study of languages help with the understanding of geopolitics? 

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The English language has recently developed a historically unique dominance in the global marketplace--a situation that brings plenty of benefits and just as many downsides. Rosemary Salomone, Kenneth Wang Professor of Law at St. John's University, has researched and analyzed various perspectives on English's supremacy in her recent book The Rise of English, which has a paperback version with a new preface coming early in 2024.

David Priess spoke with Rosemary about her background in linguistics and education studies, the origins of the English language's dominance, the role of pop culture in the balance between English as spoken in the United States and as spoken in the United Kingdom, divergent official language policies of international organizations like the United Nations and the European Union, the Anglophone bubble, English as a marketable skill, the debate about the English language within France, French vs Chinese inroads in Africa, the role of the French and English languages in the Rwandan genocide and its aftermath, the controversy over the People's Republic of China-funded Confucius Institutes, the rise of English as the language of protest internationally, the culture around foreign language learning in the US, views about computer coding as a "foreign langauge," Ukrainian President Zelensky's use of the English language, the possibility of Spanish replacing English as the most global language, and more.

Among the works mentioned in this episode:

Chatter is a production of Lawfare and Goat Rodeo. This episode was produced and edited by Noam Osband and Cara Shillenn of Goat Rodeo. Podcast theme by David Priess, featuring music created using Groovepad.

David Priess is Director of Intelligence at Bedrock Learning, Inc. and a Senior Fellow at the Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security. He served during the Clinton and Bush 43 administrations as a CIA officer and has written two books: “The President’s Book of Secrets,” about the top-secret President’s Daily Brief, and "How To Get Rid of a President," describing the ways American presidents have left office.
Rosemary Salomone is the Kenneth Wang Professor of Law at St. John's University School of Law.

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