In the last few years, globalisation and the growth of the Internet has made English the lingua franca of business, aviation and even diplomacy. Most major multinational companies use English to ensure that all their offices in different countries can talk to each other.
Eponymous Archons; Greek Dialects, Grammar, and Pronuncation; and Syracuse
Pilots have to use English to communicate with air traffic controllers. And in Brussels, European diplomats negotiate with each other in English. This growth has led to the development of a shortened, simpler English with a limited vocabulary of around 1, words compared with over , in the Oxford English Dictionary.
Some people might lament the simplification of English. The growth of English makes our language a valuable tool for soft power, ie enabling us to make friends and influence people, not through military might but through culture.
Across the world, people want to study English to help them get on in their studies or in their careers. The importance of English will not diminish with Brexit. This drive to learn gives native English speakers an advantage. And it is no surprise many students want to learn English from the British Council rather than other native speakers.
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In Libya, the Council works with universities and schools to promote English, including a range of examinations and qualifications. They have developed many innovative ways to promote English, for example through radio programmes, Facebook and Twitter. Their work goes beyond the language and includes outreach to communities through programmes such as Young Arab Voices that helps train young people to set up their own debate clubs, reinforcing their ability to discuss subjects of their own choosing in a mature and dignified manner.
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The UK collaboration plays a vital role in stabilizing Libya and bring more desire for Libyan people to strongly learn English. He was High Commissioner to Cyprus from — He was Director of Security in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from , dealing with all aspects of security for British diplomatic missions overseas.
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Greek has three times that number, modern English prescribes 10, for a college student, 50, for a teacher, and there are half a million words available one way or another. If the latter, the numbers would be inflated by dialect specific words. There are also words which have practically the same meaning, and only a slight variation in spelling such that one could, in context, easily figure out it was merely a variation. Do these count as one word, or as two? I know that the Epic dialect has rougly 10, words, a good number of them only appearing once known as happax legomena. I know Attic Greek has a larger vocabulary, perhaps because we have more extant works, but I don't have any numbers off the top of my head.
I doubt that a human person can handle more than 10 thousand words, and in our daily life we are comfortable dealing with one to three thousand words. Do words formed by sticking suffixes and prefixes to other words count as new words?
That's what happens all the time in Greek. It has 14 volumes, each volume around pages, each page roughly 25 entries. Since the lexicon includes inflected forms etc, let's say 20entries per page. So if this method is somehow valid, the greek vocabulary is at least this big..
Some people speak of up to 50 million words in Greek.
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Any one who bears in mind the bulk of Greek literature, which is at least 10 times as great [as that of Latin], its dialectical variations, its incredible wealth of forms, the obstinate persistence of the classical speech for thousands of years down to the fall of Constantinople, or, if you will, until the present day: who knows, moreover, that the editions of almost all the Greek classics are entirely unsuited for the purposes of slipping, that for many important writers no critical editions whatever exist: and who considers the state of our collections of fragments and special Lexica, will see that at the present time all the bases upon which a Greek Thesaurus could be erected are lacking.
But even if we were to assume that we possessed such editions and collections from Homer down to Nonnus, or as Krumbacher proposed in London down to Apostolius, and further that they had all been worked over, slipped, or excerpted by a gigantic staff of scholars, and that a great house had preserved and stored the thousands of boxes, whence would come the time, money, and power to sift these millions of slips and to bring Nous into this Chaos?
Since the proportion of Latin to Greek Literature is about , the office work of the Greek Thesaurus would occupy at least scholars. At their head there would have to be a general editor, who, however, would be more of a general than an editor. And if this editorial cohort were really to perform its task punctually, and if the Association of Academies, which, as is well known, has not a penny of its own, were to raise the ten million marks necessary for the completion of say volumes; and if scholars were to become so opulent that they could afford to purchase the Thesaurus Graecus for say 6,ooo marks-how could one read and use such a monstrosity?
Last edited by elis on Mon Oct 17, pm, edited 1 time in total. I will nevertheless restrict my comments to what I've read about two latin online dictionaries. The Whitaker's "Words" program has about 8, headword entries nisi fallor. This does not count the additional inflected forms that it is capable of generating.
Once again, nisi fallor, the program contains about all of the words that would have been current in the golden and silver ages of latin letters. The other big trove that I know of is on the French site that I cited recently.
It supposedly has 40, headwords and would include most accretions from the middle ages and renaissance but not from perhaps the last two centuries. Beyond these putative factoids, there is a huge project at the Vatican which is called something like "Lexicon recentioris latinitatis". I would be surprised if this doesn't contain at least , but can't recall having read anything.
I don't know though what became of this, I guess they couldn't find any sponsor.
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