I was thinking about the conversation I am going to have with the person responsible of a University Department of Classical Languages. And all of a sudden the most obvious question I could face arose: why? A simple question deserves a simple and clear answer, and I wanted it written down here, too; so I came to the main implicit
reasons hypothesis under which we work:
- The uprising and fall of civilizations is a random event, which depends on too many factors to be completely ascertained by any academic discipline.
- The more powerful a country is (and the richer its citizens), the greater its scientific and cultural investments and achievements.
- At any given time and community, the language used as lingua franca is the one spoken by the most powerful (or influential) Nation, as others struggle to catch up with its knowledge.
You may believe that English is accepted as the main lingua franca today because it is easier or prettier than other important languages (say Chinese or German). You may also be one of those who think that it was because of some important values the Brittish Empire had and exported (say Constitution or liberalism) that English-speaking countries (especially the US) were to lead today, while others – as Latin or Arab countries – lack those values; such values would have been related, then, not only to wealth and modernization, but also to some English underlying democratic substrate.
Now, think about the same past role of languages like Greek, Latin or French – or even Chinese, Persian, Arabian, Russian or German in its surrounding territories -; if you still believe that, then you probably won’t see the point in adopting Europaio as our common language in the EU and Indo-European as the world’s main language – I certainly wouldn’t.