English as international business language – contd.

July 4th, 2010
The popularity of English as international business language continues to grow by the day as top business schools and universities irrespective of location are pushing for English as the teaching medium in order to meet the challenges of globalization and with an eye on revenue. Even in France which is a traditional English hater, universities are offering parallel business courses in English to attract international students. This could raise the demand for French translators who are fluent in both English and French. The Lille School of Management in France is no longer treating English as a foreign language and teaches 50% of post graduate programs in English. Essec, a French Business School in the suburbs of Paris offers MBA programs in English not only because it enables international students to come and study there but also French students to go abroad for assignments. According to one estimate the no. of master’s programs in English has doubled to 3300 programs in 1700 universities all over the world during the last 3 years. Even in South Korea university education requires attending classes in English. For example the 121 years old Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul is hiring foreign professors and made learning English compulsory in order to equip the students to become global leaders. One of the factors for teaching in English in business schools is because international accreditation requires English to be included in curriculum since late 1990’s. Another factor is attracting foreign students to increase revenue. This trend of course will lead to increased need for tutoring in English and professional translation services for translation of teaching materials from English to local language and vice versa. The dominance of English in economics, science and technology is slowly creeping into the literature world as well. Even though the share of English in the worldwide publishing industry is diminishing due to growth of literacy in other languages, its share in the translation industry is growing. According to a study, English constituted about 25% of the world publishing industry output and about 40% of the translations in early 1960’s. While its share in the publishing industry fell to 17% in late 1980’s, the share of English in the world of translation exceeded 50%. Thus authors writing in English have much better chance of being translated into other languages as English is the predominant language in the publishing industry. Translations between languages not involving English are becoming commercially unviable due to volumes of scale. Only writings in English have greater chance of reaching worldwide audience. The English dominance may result in the best works being limited to that language alone. The translation industry has chances of becoming polarized into English into other languages and vice versa. Also it may become harder and harder to find translators for document translation from and to other languages if English dominance continues in the publishing world.

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