Globish (Nerrière)

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The Globish is a portmanteau of "global" and "English". The first attested reference to the term to refer to a set of dialects of English spoken outside of traditional English speaking areas was in an issue of The Christian Science Monitor in 1997:[1]

Indeed, the "globish" of world youth culture is more and more interactive. Non-Western forms of English now are as creative and lively as Chaucerian or Shakespearean or Dickensian English once were.[2]


As a controlled natural language

Madhukar Gogate used the term Globish to describe his proposed artificial dialect based on English that he presented in 1998 to improve English spelling. It was presented to the Simplified Spelling Society (now known as English Spelling Society) of Great Britain in 1998. According to its creator, it can be considered an artificial English dialect, as proof of the possibility of simplifying the orthography and pronunciation of standard English. For example, the word "colour/color" is in globish "kalar". Gogate says that his project is related to, but independent from, English.


  • hee is fain: (He is fine)
  • too kaats went tu siti... (Two cats went to city.)
  • eet it kwikli... (Eat it quickly!)
  • du yu no wear tha lybrari is? (Do you know where the library is?)
  • tha world wants pees and prosperiti... (The world wants peace and prosperity.)
  • e frend in need is e frend indeed... (A friend in need is a friend indeed.)
  • maay haart leeps ap wen I bihold e reinbo in tha sky... (My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky.)
  • sar, yuwar baggej did not kam by this flait... (Sir, your baggage did not come by this flight.)

As a subset of the English language

Logo owned by Globish Solutions Inc. to promote Nerrière's Globish instructional materials

Jean-Paul Nerrière uses the term Globish for his subset of the English grammar and vocabulary. He claim that the language described in his books is naturally occurring. He has marked his codification of that language by taking out trademark protection on the term, as did I.A. Richards who trademarked Basic English in order to prevent dilution and misrepresentation of his work.[3] Instances of attested prior usage, it can be seen, were incidental or not intended for the same purpose.

Jean-Paul Nerrière is a French computer engineer. Nerrière graduated with a master's degree in Mechanical Engineering from École Centrale de Paris in 1963. Then he entered the French Naval Academy, with further specialization in law, accounting and administrator while serving as Supply Officer in the French Navy. He graduated from the French Advanced Defence College and advancing to the rank of commander. He joined IBM France in 1965 in the Data Processing Division. In IBM, he spent almost three decades with responsibilities in sales, marketing, and management in France as well as in international headquarters.[4] He became an Assistant to Corporate President John Opel, later on the Operations General Manager of IBM France, then a Vice President at IBM Europe, and eventually the IBM USA Vice President in charge of International Marketing. In 1992, Nerriere moved to Automobiles Peugeot as their Commercial Director and as Senior Vice President of sales, marketing, and services and a member of Peugeot's Council of Directors Council. Then he was appointed CEO of Digital Equipment France (DEC), and soon thereafter was promoted to Vice President of Digital Equipment Europe. Jean-Paul Nerrière was knighted in Légion d'honneur, the highest official award available in France. He is also an elected member of the French Maritime Society.[4] He is also on the National Committee for the development of Grandes Écoles.[4]


As an IBM executive and as a result of his vast travels, Jean-Paul Nerrière realized that a new global language was becoming more and more important.[5] While serving as vice president of international marketing at IBM, Jean-Paul Nerriere first observed patterns of English that non-native English speakers used to communicate with each other in international conferences.[6][7] In 1989, he proposed Globish as an international language focussing most of his efforts to its promotion. He developed rules and training in the form of various publications to help non-native English speakers better communicate with each other by using Globish as a lingua franca.[8] He conducted dozens of interviews and wrote or co-authored 6 books about Globish in four different languages.[9][6]

Promotion and publications

Nerrière formulated his ideas in two books he authored, Decouvrez le globish (meaning Discover the Globish) and Do Not Speak English, Parlez Globish.[10] Both books have been translated into a number of international languages. In French, he has published Parlez globish!: l'anglais planétaire du troisième millénaire and co-authored with Philippe Dufresne and Jacques Bourgon, the instruction book Découvrez le globish: l'anglais allégé en 26 étapes.

Nerrière's 2004 codification work began to legitimize the language purpose to the extent it drew some press attention. Clearly, and with much subsequent reference, the term Globish has grown increasingly as a generic term since the date of his first publications. Nerrière trademarked Globish as a subset of the English language formalized by him.[5][11] He also launched the website to promote his ideas.

In 2009, intending to demonstrate that "Good Globish is correct English", Nerriere and David Hon published Globish the World Over, the first book written entirely in Globish-English. Robert McCrum, literary editor of The Observer, is quoted as supporting the efficacy of the language.[12] By 2011, Globish the World Over had been translated into 12 languages including French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Polish, Hungarian, Slovakian, Uzbek etc.[13] It was a best seller in Japan.

In 2011, the Globish Foundation was formed as a non-profit organization in Australia, for the purpose of maintaining and promulgating the standards of Globish. By 2013, the Globish Foundation had 8 national affiliates and an online Globish Communications Test available 24/7.[14]

Barbara Cassin claims that Globish is not a language of culture, but a language of service.[15] Robert McCrum wrote the book Globish: How the English Language Became the World's Language (ISBN 9780393062557), describing Globish as an economic phenomenon, unlike "global English" whose uses are much more diverse than just business.[16]

Related systems

Special English is also a controlled subset of the English language with about 1500 words, short sentences, and slower delivery than traditional English. Special English was first used on October 19, 1959, and is still presented daily by the United States broadcasting service Voice of America.

Specialized English is a controlled subset of the English language derived from Special English by Feba Radio. It also has about 1500 words, with some differences in the word list from Special English.


Critics of Globish either feel that its codifications are not sufficiently clearly rendered, or that an artificial language is preferable to any natural one.[citation needed]

  • Although Nerrière claims that the Globish described in his book is a natural language, he has never published any statistical evidence of his observations. Joachim Grzega, a German linguist, has even gone as far as to state "Obviously, it is not based on any empirical observations, neither on native-nonnative nor on nonnative-nonnative discourse."[17]
  • Globish is suspected of cultural imperialism, because it spreads only one language from which the subset of words is taken: this criticism is often by the speakers of other "neutral" languages, meant as languages not spoken in any nation. Clearly, derivative forms which have "English" in their titles are doubly suspect. According to CIA's The World Factbook, native English speakers represent only 4.68% of the world population,[18] including native and non-native speakers the total proportion of all English speakers is estimated to be 10-15%.[19]
  • Globish is criticized for having an ulterior economic motive. It is a registered trademark and some marketing is done with it, since its owner did not renounce his rights to it (as for example L.L. Zamenhof did for Esperanto; on the other hand, I.A. Richards discussed why he trademarked Basic English, in order to prevent dilution and misrepresentation[3]).
  • The Globish Text Scanner accepts some 2000 extra words.[20]

See also


  1. ^ Among the New Words, 2007, American Speech 82.1 Georgia College & State University.
  2. ^ 'Cultural Imperialism Aside, English Spans Linguistic Gulfs', Nigel Young, professor of sociology, Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y., Christian Science Monitor, 29 December 1997
  3. ^ a b Basic English and Its Uses, W.W. Norton, 1943
  4. ^ a b c Jean-Paul Nerrière Biography of Jean-Paul Nerrière
  5. ^ a b Frederick E. Allen (March 1, 2012). "A New International Business Language: Globish". Forbes. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Parlez vous Globish? Probably, even if you don't know it", Toronto Star, March 7, 2009.
  7. ^ McCrum, Robert: "So, what's this Globish revolution?" The Observer, December 3, 2006.
  8. ^ "New lingua franca upsets French" BBC News, January 23, 2009.
  9. ^ "Globish now the lingua franca of world travellers" Archived 2009-04-14 at the Wayback Machine The Australian, December 12, 2006.
  10. ^ Oxford English Dictionary: The rise of global English
  11. ^ "Globish now the lingua franca of world travellers" Archived 2009-04-14 at the Wayback Machine The Australian, December 12, 2006.
  12. ^
  13. ^ Globish official website
  14. ^
  15. ^ "The power of bilingualism: Interview with Barbara Cassin,". Retrieved March 20, 2017.
  16. ^ Isaac Chotiner (2010-05-31). "Globish for Beginners". The New Yorker.
  17. ^ Globish and Basic Global English (BGE): Two Alternatives for a Rapid Acquisition of Communicative Competence in a Globalized World? by Dr Joaquin Grzega, a German linguist.
  18. ^ english version reported by the International Liaison Committee of Atheists and Freethinkers and the original French version of the same article, with sources
  19. ^ "English". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2017-11-17.

External links

  • Official international Globish site
  • Official ebook about Globish: "Globish The World Over"- free sample chapters
  • Interview with Jean-Paul Nerrière (creator of Globish)
  • Nerrière's Globish site
  • BASIC GLOBISH (Text) (Globish Word Listing 1,500 words)
  • Globish vocabulary (PDF) (1500 words; from Nerrière's site)
  • Globish words explained in English (PDF)
  • Yvan Baptiste's site about Nerrière's Globish (in French; gives pronunciations for the 1500 words)
  • Critical comments on Globish by Joachim Grzega in the article Globish and Basic Global English (BGE), published in the Journal for EuroLinguistiX
  • So, what's this Globish revolution? Guardian Unlimited 3 December 2006
  • Nerrière on Globish (Video)
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