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Created by Jean-Paul Nerriere
Date founded 1998
Setting and usage international auxiliary language
Total speakers
Category (purpose) constructed language
Category (sources) vocabulary from a list of 1500 English words, and grammar based on a subset of standard English grammar
Language codes
ISO 639-1 None
ISO 639-2 art
ISO 639-3

Globish is a subset of the English language formalized by Jean-Paul Nerriere.[1] It uses a subset of standard English grammar, and a list of 1500 English words. According to Nerriere it is "not a language" in and of itself,[2] but rather it is the common ground that non-native English speakers adopt in the context of international business.


Origin and development of Globish

Globish is a "natural" language as opposed to an "artificial" or "constructed" language such as Esperanto. As a demonstration that "Good Globish is correct English" the 2009 book Globish The World Over is written entirely in Globish. Its efficacy as a "natural language" in that new book was testified to by London Observer literary editor, Robert McCrum. [3] Rather than being any artificial construction, Globish is a useful codification of limitations in the English usage of a broad range of non-native English speakers.[4]

The term Globish was first used by M. N. Gogate in 1998.[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.[2][5] He later developed rules and training in the form of two books to help non-native English speakers better communicate with each other by using Globish as a lingua franca.[6]


In ways different from artificial, "constructed languages" like Esperanto, Globish too has its critics.

  • It is suspected of cultural imperialism, because it spreads only one culture and 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. According to the International Liaison Committee of Atheists and Freethinkers, English speakers represent only a small proportion of the world population[7].
  • Globish 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). On the other hand, I.A. Richards discussed why he trademarked Basic English, in order to prevent dilution and misrepresentation. [3]Also, often it is said to be easier than it really is E.g. it is said that to speak Globish one needs to learn a well defined set of words and rules, but it is also said that anyone who has a basic level English does unconsciously speak a kind of Globish (so to that even Yasser Arafat was claimed to have been an "excellent exponent" of this language), without knowing about the level or the number of words and rules that one knows.[2][6]
  • As simplification of English it is criticized for its pronunciation, which is unclear for non-English speakers. English has 38 phonemes: 12 vowels and 24 consonants, and a further 10 diphthongs should be added[8] often audible, understood and well pronounced only by native English speakers (with important differences according to the place where the each speaker was born).

See also


  1. ^ "Globish now the lingua franca of world travellers" The Australian, December 12, 2006.
  2. ^ a b c "Parlez vous Globish? Probably, even if you don't know it", Toronto Star, March 7, 2009.
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ Globish The World Over,Nerriere and Hon,IGI,2009
  5. ^ a b McCrum, Robert: "So, what's this Globish revolution?" The Observer, December 3, 2006.
  6. ^ a b "New lingua franca upsets French" BBC News, January 23, 2009.
  7. ^
  8. ^

External links



Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Wikipedia has an article on:





Blend of global and English

Proper noun




  1. A simplified version of the English language, not created but consisting of the most common English words and phrases, enabling non-English-speakers to communicate.

See also


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