The Growing Ubiquity of English

Yesterday I came across a tidbit of information which made me slightly puzzled. In France, certain university courses, at least Master’s courses, are taught in English rather than French. That is, English is used in Master’s physics classes in Paris rather than French. I’m not sure yet how widespread this is, but it struck me as very odd: The English language has become so widespread and commonplace that it is now being used in our neighbour’s institutions. If I was French, I think I would probably find that quite galling: I know how proud the French can be of their language and culture; to see it slowly being taken over by your old adversary, so that their language rather than yours was being used to access academic courses, would be quite upsetting. Can you imagine the uproar if the reverse happened here? Of course, there will be several reasons for this, not least the ubiquity of American English and it’s use in academic and scientific papers, but nonetheless, to see one language rise over all others like this is pretty weird.

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