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May 26, 2005

It was inevitable. This was a "language" waiting to happen. A former IBM marketing manager, Jean Paul Nerrière, has codified a simplified form of English for international use. Why inevitable? Well, I suppose I'm just kicking myself for not having devised this one myself. For years I've listened to business people expressing their impatience with learning English in all its intricate glory. They need something quick and effective. They probably won't be talking to native speakers anyway, but to other nationalities all of whom have the same problems with the "Queen's English" as they have.

Jean Paul, with Globish, has applied system to the somewhat haphazard techniques we all use in teaching business Eglish. For example, we teach learners strategies to compensate for situations in which they do not know the exact word in English. If they don't know the word for spade or the verb dig, they ask for a tool that makes holes in the garden. Jean Pierre has turned the spotlgiht of the famous Gallic logic on all this and come up with a whole teaching method. Armed with with a streamlined vocabulary of just 1500 words and a battery of strategies like the above, the international business person can communicate worldwide using "Globish." Okay s/he won't understand Shakespeare, but what use is Hamlet when an Italian is brokering a deal in China?

And so how is Globish different from Esperanto or Basic English? According to Jean Pierre, the difference is that his language is not so much artificial as adpated from the actual experience of international communicators. They get on just fine with each other using their Globish. it's only when they deal with the Americans, the Brits, the Australians that they have trouble!

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