UN To Ban ‘Unnecessary’ Languages

Redundant languages blamed for adding to climate change, terrorism and cultural division

CAMBRIDGE, UK (EnglishClub.com) Tuesday April 1, 2008 — The United Nations is to hold its first debate on language redundancy amid warnings that the problem is “a major contributor” to climate change, a “massive threat” to international security and the cause of “rifts and divisions” within society.

Andrew Steiner, UNEP head:
“French causing damage”

Next week’s meeting is the result of an improbable coalition of interests, and follows sustained pressure from the US Administration, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Program.

“We’re reacting to two very sobering reports about the impact on climate change of the huge number of languages in use worldwide,” Andrew Steiner, head of the United Nations Environment Program, told Reuters news service. At the same time White House spokesman Gordon Stanzel revealed serious translation challenges for the CIA caused by “an abundance of languages.” Pointing to the fact that terrorists typically use non-English languages amongst themselves, he suggested that only by making English the world’s “unique” language could security be assured. Asked why the world’s “unique” language should be English and not, say, Chinese or Spanish, he replied that English was already so dominant, especially on the Internet, that it was obviously the best language to choose and would cause the least disruption. The current plan is to begin phasing out all non-English languages, which are seen as redundant and “unnecessary” due to the overwhelming dominance of English in the world community.

Issues for debate
According to UN officials, unnecessary languages require enormous amounts of paper for translations, resulting in huge losses of forested areas, and these losses have become “a major factor” contributing to climate change. Furthermore, the eventual burning of this paper in incinerators has a direct effect upon global warming by boosting atmospheric temperatures “to an alarming degree”. On the security front, a plethora of obscure and redundant languages are used by terrorists to hamper security efforts, as they require time-consuming translation, and as a result these languages constitute a “massive threat” to Washington’s war on terror. And from a socio-cultural point of view, a multitude of unnecessary languages hampers international communication, with the inevitable misunderstandings resulting in “rifts and divisions within the global village”.

Camden Language Research Facility
CLRF headed by Dr. Wong. Fears
of multiple-personality disorder

Latest research
Studies indicate that second-language learning is one of the most stressful ordeals a student can face, and is known to cause a wide range of medical and psychological disorders, the treatment of which is a huge drain on health resources. In one study, it was found that learning a second language can facilitate the development of multiple-personality disorder. Dr. Adrian Wong of the Camden Language Research Facility notes that “this has been seen for example when teachers assign ‘second-language names’ from a foreign culture to learners in role-play exercises.”It has been theorized that the human brain is adapted to the learning of a single language only, as for tens of thousands of years this was all that human development required. Dr. Wong suggests that the unnatural imposition of a second language on the human brain can lead to a serious disruption of its development, and added: “We can only speculate as to the extent of the damage done. I submit that second-language learning and teaching should be prohibited until more is known about the effects of this activity on the human brain.”

Lingua Non Gratae” to be phased out
Under the plan, languages will be phased out according to a schedule based partly on a language’s number of speakers (Table 1). Languages spoken by fewer than one million people, such as Welsh or Maltese, will be deemed lingua non gratae by 2014. Languages with fewer than 25 million speakers (for example, Greek or Hmong) will be LNG in 2021, and below 50 million (say Romanian or Kurdish) in 2028. For languages, like Thai or Turkish, with fewer than 100 million speakers the date will be 2035. Next will come languages with up to 250 million speakers, in 2042, and a billion speakers in 2049. For technical reasons, French and Mandarin will be subject to an accelerated withdrawal process setting them outside the normal schedule. Citing the historical place of French as a language of diplomacy, Steiner said: “French in particular is causing enormous damage environmentally. By clinging to a past notion of French as a universal language, and trying to prop up its language through institutions like l’Académie française, France is thwarting the process of natural selection and adding disproportionately to the problems of global warming.”

LNG Date Native speakers Example languages
2014 Fewer than 1 million speakers Faroese, Tuvaluan, Welsh, Breton, Maltese, Icelandic
2021 Fewer than 25 million speakers Lao, Greek, Czech, Swedish, Hmong, Afrikaans
2028 Fewer than 50 million speakers Azerbaijani, Burmese, Romanian, Dutch, Kurdish
2035 Fewer than 100 million speakers Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Punjabi
2042 Fewer than 250 million speakers French*, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese,
2049 Fewer than 1 billion speakers Mandarin**, Spanish, Arabic
*accelerated withdrawal date 2028**accelerated withdrawal date 2042
Table 1 © EnglishClub.com 2008

l’Académie française - Paris
L’Académie française or the French
Academy meets in Paris. Now there
are questions over its future.

Further issues
By 2049, when all languages other than English will have been phased out, the only language that will have international sanction will be English. All other languages will be grouped under the heading of “Non-E” (non-English), and it will be an offence to use, teach or publish Non-E. Officials explain that a distinction will be made similar to that made between drug users and drug dealers. People found “using” Non-E (that is, speaking, listening to, reading or writing it) will be weaned off Non-E in rehabilitation camps. Anyone “dealing in” Non-E (for example, teaching or publishing it) will be subject to more serious penalties, including a mandatory prison sentence with no right of appeal. Lawyers are already working on the legal implications for such a framework, and a new department will be set up within Interpol to coordinate police activity internationally. “Any language school owners in currently English-speaking countries who imagine that the new laws will benefit their business do not understand the concept,” said Steiner. Since one of the motives for stamping out redundant languages is environmental, planners have already foreseen the environmental dangers inherent in hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of people travelling abroad for the sake of improving their English. They propose two measures to avoid such problems: the use of terms like “ESL” (English as a Second Language) will be replaced by EOL (English as the Only Language); and it will become illegal to travel abroad to learn EOL. Steiner says the bonanza will go to the “EOL” schools in what are currently non-English speaking countries. Among UN plans are massive retraining schemes for teachers in such countries. Ironically, one of the last issues that will have to be resolved is the thorny question of which variety of English to use. Interpreting the doctrine of language redundancy strictly, there is no room for more than one variety of English. Washington is likely to argue that American English is the modern, more vibrant variety that should be kept. The Australian and Canadian governments are thought to be commissioning studies intended to show why their varieties should prevail. But the most likely outcome is for all parties to accept the British argument that British English is not only a purer form of English, but the original language itself and thus not a variety at all. However, the Language Redundancy Panel, which will be steering the new plans through to fruition, will have ample time to resolve the issue and will not need to make a decision until the start of the second phase in 2021.

Ad: Word Up – The world’s most popular ESL board game

Govt. Health Warning: This article was published at 12:01 am GMT on April 1st, 2008. It is of course an April Fool’s Day hoax and should not be taken on an empty stomach.

  • JT says:

    Oh my god!?! What kind of Nazi-esque tactics are we dealing with here? I thought this was a joke until halfway into it. This is the most absurd notion I have ever heard, and I’m American so I’ve heard quite a few. Seriously, the fact that this is all planned out….. Damage to the brain? Are you kidding me? How much did they pay Dr. Wong to say such garbage? Did he cite his statements?

    So does this mean by 2049 we can catch all the terrorists?

  • Ann-Charlotte Stent says:

    This is surely an April Fools Day joke!

  • Stocker Brown says:

    If this isn’t a joke, it is one of the most harebrained ideas I’ve ever come across, and hardly surprising that it comes from the USA. I don’t see how this proposal has even a slight chance of being adopted. All it’s going to do is waste time.

    This report does not seem to have been confirmed in other media outlets, and until it is, I’m going to view it as a hoax.

  • Simon Hicken says:

    Yeah right, nice joke, now I’m waiting for the “April Fool!!!!” email to follow.

  • Michel Van Limbergen says:

    Once again the UN proves that they are busy with things other then what is needed. It would be better to change the things that are harmfull to the world like war, violence, hunger etc. In my view there are no unnecessary languages so …

    PS. Maybe the title should be ‘ban the UN because they became obsolete!’

  • Chris Krom says:

    Since this comes to me on April 1, I say, “April Fools”

  • maria says:

    Spanish is the language most spoken all over the world. Considering that English is the only language that could be spoken we can say that tyranny reigns nowadays. What would happen if people were not be able to learn a second language? Studying different languages help people to understand the world and cultures. I speak Spanish, English, French and Portuguese and it is important to me because my point of view is wider… Speaking English – as the world’s language – is a way of having only a point of view… and the other ones? Or we will live like the people in 1984 Orwell’s book?

  • Gerard Young says:

    April Fools!!!!!

  • Patricio says:

    I think the climate change is a huge and serious problem around the world because here in my city (Saltillo, Mexico) was a terrific climate it was very pleasant years ago but today the climate is very warm because of the climate change, so we have to care the enviroment, come on!

    Smile 4ever!


  • amefil says:

    I can’t believe this! They can’t just remove a language just like that. Just to make it more convenient for them? There are so many issues here. A language is not just about words. It’s an expression of a country’s culture and history. Is this really for real?

  • FJH says:

    Ah!!! My first April Fool’s joke for the year! Yippee!

  • Peter says:

    April Fools’ day.

  • Barbara says:

    I have trouble believing this. My family speak and read both English & French. We have not had any complications and nobody has either mental or physocological problems. Since I live in the province of Quebec in Canada, we are obliged to speak French or not be understood or served. Both my parents are English originally and have also learned French. Being in a business where we deal with other countries, I have the advantage of being understood. English is the international trade language, but in my case, I must also speak French. In my European countries, people speak 4 or 5 dialects and have no problems at all.
    As for other languages and the problems we think they cause, this is hogwash. As a child I remember pig latin and people will always find ways to have secret languages.
    The more we put these ideas forward, the more we will cause conflict amongst different nations. This could eventually destroy us all. What used to be called the religious wars, will become the language wars. Ouch

  • Colleen says:

    Can only assume this is someone’s idea of a joke. If this was the case maybe we should all be learning Chinese.

  • John says:

    A great idea! Can we ban American English too? Thank you for making me laugh on this special day……..

  • Liz Faulkner says:

    I think it is very apt that this article is dated the 1st of April.

  • T.Kastelanides says:

    What a load of baloney!!!!!

  • Denis McNurney says:

    April Fools Day!

  • kim walker says:

    good April fools, really made me smile…

    Pity I’m not in school tomorrow; my middleschoolers would have fallen for this big time.

    Hope this prompts lots of debate, I foresee an opportunity for irritated students to practise appropriate phrases for agreeing and disagreeing!

  • Jon L. says:

    Of course it’s a joke! It’s absurd. I love that it pokes fun at the French though. But I’m surprised that EnglishClub.com hasn’t labeled this “humor” because there are many people who will be gullible enough to run with it. This should really appear in ‘The Onion”.

  • Denise Cristina says:

    This is an April Fools’ Day very good joke, right man???


    See ya!

  • FC says:

    I concur with JT – Dr Wong’s comments are a load of crap, as is the rest of it. By the way, who determines what a second language is? I’m Asian, and second language to me is English – so is Dr Wong saying that it was stupid of me to have studied English??? I know three languages – but I’m far from having multiple personalities, and my brain is very much alive and kicking, thank you very much. What sort of a doctor is he anyway, to suggest that the brain can only handle one language? I’m glad my brain is far more capable than his.

    Also, if all non-native English speakers stopped using the English language, does it mean that it might face a phase-out instead?

  • hh says:

    This article can’t be true – Totally ridicuous ! Who exactly is the top Capo? Sounds very strange! AS world gone mad !

  • Eric Roth says:

    Wow! This article on a controversial, misguided UN plan caught my attention. The sourcing could be better, and more details would be quite helpful.

    The headline, however, seems like an exaggeration. It seems like the UN is proposing cutting back on the number of languages it uses to provide essential human services. Languages will not be banned per se, but the study of English strongly encouraged and the number of UN publications published in diverse languages reduced.

    Of course, these sort of extreme social experiments have a long and tragic history. The claim that spreading English will reduce the threat of terrorism seems quite peculiar, especially given the number of violent attacks on English speaking schools by English speaking psychopaths. If the CIA needs to hire more translators – and it does, than they should just hire more translators.

    English has become the most influential language, partly because it is a practical language of choice for hundreds of millions of speakers. Let people choose to learn English and prosper. If they prefer to speak only other languages, let them speak their favorite languages. Live and let live. Speak and let speak.

    Doesn’t that sound better than forcing people to learn English from other countries?

  • Edward Ames says:

    One’s immediate reaction is too overwhelming to make much sense of this. I suppose translators will dance in the streets (if they know English). Is someone pulling my leg, hugely? The people perhaps best able to remark intelligently on this proposal–assuming it’s serious–is the South Koreans, many of whom were forced to learn Japanese before WW II. But how many of those folks are still alive? In short, I do not wish Dr. Wong good luck, and, to Anglicize a good naval observation, “He’s trying to piddle up a rope.”

  • German says:

    It is a nice April Fool’s Day hook. I read a good part and thought it was real; though if it is, then Dr. Strangelove is on his way to crashland.

  • Allen Kemp says:

    If this is not a joke, it is a hideous fascist plot. I am an American too and I agree totally with JT! I think Dr. (sic.)Wong has led himself astray and reached absurd conclusions.

  • J. Mullikin says:

    At first I thought, “Wait a minute. How ridiculous could the UN be to consider such a notion. Unnecessary languages? Unnecessary for whom? Global warming? What?–by speaking the language?” Then I thought, “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

    THEN I realized it IS almost April Fool’s Day. So, I am ernestly taking this as a great April Fool’s Day prank. I can’t wait to try this on my students tomorrow! Good job English Club!!

  • May King says:

    To whom it may concern:
    This article is sounding very rational at first. Next, I realize that this idea is too perfect to come true. Why?

    Compassion is the universal language. Everyone love it and enjoy it but none of the party leaders and their people practice it or implant it or reinforce it in the educational system.

    In the past many thousand years, the many most powerful dictators on this earth from all of the five continents have forced their ideals upon people to protect a peace and to against the war. However, we have already endured two World Wars up to now.

    Would you suggest the third One? Think about it carefully?
    Who will be the most Holy God of the power in order to get all Communist Leaders, Democratic Leaders, and all of the Religious Leaders to agree with your seemingly perfect suggestion?

    How much money do you budget to educate and to translate all “thousand and thousand Pali, Sankrit, Arabian and Chinese Cultural languages” into your only a few hundred years cultural Enghlish???

    Good luck with your idea!!! Respect, Responsibilities, unconditional Support, and Compassion within oneself and towards others shown from whatever language and whoever leader will be the very first stepping stone to surely convince people to learn and to fall in love with that unique language.

    Best regards,

    May King

  • USB says:

    Nice try, guys and hello to all the April Fools!

    Against all UN recommendations I’ll keep on communicating in ‘Platt-Deutsch’ in case I want to stay ‘under cover’. That is although I know it would make it extremely difficult to track me down if anyone wanted to. Catch me if you can 🙂

    Happy 1st of April to all of you.

    “April, April!!!”

  • GS says:

    Happy April fools day!

  • Victoria says:

    What the hell is this? The brain damage is not caused by learning English! The damage is done because of the methods used to teach it. I never thought Ernie and Bert would have ever given me or any children who learned Sesame Street English cancer of the brain. Has anyone done a research on how English is taught in South Korea? The teaching method needs re-evaluation not the content of the subject.

    For crying out loud! Will this move stop wars and end hunger in Africa? Will it cure aids. Cheese and Rice! I could think of sillier things.

    Diversity is inherent in human nature. Thus, diversity in language is expected. I agree with JT. This is language moving towards Nazism ideals.

  • Isabel says:

    This has to be a bad joke.

  • GW says:

    Happy April fools day everyone!

  • Ralph McGreevy says:

    JT, with lamentable Americentric bias, has failed to realize that it is April 1 – April Fool’s day in much of the world, although North America is still stuck in March.

    Well written article, following the pseudo-logical tradition of Jonathan Swift’s ‘A Modest Proposal’, which urged the eating of Irish babies as the most logical use for the little creatures.

    Seriously though, I think the article is far too close to truth for comfort. English is rapidly becoming the world language, even in places where it has little historical usage. A friend of mine is from Ghana, but speaks only English – no African language. She tells me that English is now the official language of more than 70 countries. I have heard that Chinese university students often prefer to write essays in English because it is easier to express yourself clearly. Chinese is great for classic poetry, but not very practical for an information age – too hard to learn, easy to misunderstand, and difficult to adapt to new concepts.

    In Canada we have almost lost our Native languages, although the Native people have their own way of talking and are often fine speakers of English, with a rich resonant tone. The distinctive imagery and expressions of the old languages are disappearing all over the world. In the future any person in the world may be able to speak to any other person, but the beauties of individual cultures will be lost.

  • Bridget says:

    This HAS to be an April Fool’s joke… right?

  • thu xuan .tran says:

    I think in private ideas that It is good if all people speak only one language, we can understand each other easily. We know that one nation wants to develop of economy should be based on the relation between him with others, how he can do it? It’s very simple if he can speak international language, English
    From Tran Xuan Thu/ Vietnam

  • Marie says:

    This is a langauge “genocide”.. How far will the americans go in this nonsesne?

  • Amanda says:

    This is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever read. I myself am a mechanical Engineer and speak, write and read 3 languages and there is nothing wrong with my brain. I also know more than one person who not only are college graduates but who also speak up to six diferent languages and their brains are perfect.
    The US has already a pretty bad image around the world .Can anyone imagine what they would think if you tell people from other countries that their language is less important than English?

  • Faceman says:

    You have to be kidding. Yes English is the language of the business world but there is still translators. It is our differences that got us this far. Ever see the movie “Wind Talkers”? Thats only one time where a small cultures saved us from terrorists and the persecution of humanity. All we have to do is try to understand.

  • Michele Ducasse says:

    I think (or at least fervently hope) that this is an April Fool’s joke. If it isn’t, all those “non-E’s”, myself being one of them (French is my second language) should unite efforts and start signing petitions and writing letters and faxes of protest and condemnation to certain governmental departments.

  • baysa says:

    oh yeah sure! let’s ban all the other languages! happy fool’s day!!!

  • vic rivera-lopez says:

    Is this a joke?. What about diversity?I am not sure about the science behind their findings.Since my first language is spanish.at this point I must be going crazy by learning English
    What an attack of arrogance!
    Victor Rivera-Lopez

  • alyssa says:

    The Immense Stupidity and Selfishness of some leaders. This obviously reflects their lack of BRAINS in handling this matter.

  • Daniel Smothers says:

    Talk about bad ideas. This ranks highly. There will be terrorist in any language. A lot of people will be losing their culture. What next? A single currency/newspaper/religion? I think that we should ready ourselves for the second coming.

  • vic rivera-lopez says:

    Well, why I am not surprised? Hegemony is the mantram at all levels. I guess they would point a gun to your head to impose a one language system. This is beyond reason

  • M.Yang says:

    Very well presented, and it even has the “research” to back it up.
    What a good April Fool’s joke!

  • Christine Lepine says:

    A rather unconvincing hoax!

  • anne spooner says:

    Are you kidding me??!! I thought this was a joke. Please tell me I this is a joke. What can we do about this? I just can’t believe this can be a serious consideration. We have to do something to get this plan off the table.

  • Budi says:

    That’s good idea. give more information about the new issues regarding to this topic

  • rod nadela says:

    i would say it is a stupid idea to say that the number of languages other than english contributes to global warming.

    we are already in the age of computers and translations may be stored in various ways like hard disks, memory sticks, rewritable discs, etc…. so why cut our trees just to make paper on which to print the translations?

    to say that english is the best language is almost like saying that the german people is the best race in the universe and it is alright to exterminate all other races.

    also, if english should be pushed down the throats of everyone, how much would it cost to educate all non-english speaking peoples? do you think these peoples could afford to buy computers for their education, instead of reading books made of paper?

  • PK says:

    Is this some kind of a joke for April Fool’s this year? That’s not really a good one though. It sounds like a third world war is coming up for this matter. I think every nation and every language is UNIQUE because every mankind is UNIQUE. Who do you think you are to have made such boastful and arrogant crap talk about “unnessary or redundant languages”, which I think, there’s an underlying implication of “unnessary or redundant cultures and human race”. That’s totally derisory and terrifying.

  • Becky Harchanko says:

    April Fool!

  • Bharat says:

    whilst I am a strong supporter & propagator of English myself & really encourage people to read/right English, this way of promoting English is most absurd. In the process of doing away with all the languages but English, you are going to cause an untellable damage to the human civilisation. The beauty of the human civilisation lies in its variety. in fact, the as it is, a lot many languages are on the brink of or have already been extinguished due to a careless approach towards preserving our old cultures.

    being a history student, I have grown up reading the immensely important role French has played in the international diplomacy, it is Heart-rending & unimaginable to think that within our lifetime, all this & much more would be only a part of the history books.

    I am from India & can say it for a fact that it’s not the variety of languages that we struggle with but the illiteracy which is extremely widespread & affects all the people no matter whether they speak a broader language like Hindi or a regional language like Panjabi.

    It is for this reason that I strongly criticise & condemn any effort at doing away with any other languages apart from English.

  • John Keithly says:

    I’m thinking it’s 1 April GMT, and will be here also in Seattle, WA in the next 6 hours as well. I’m also thinking a little brain teasing is healthy for us all during these unusually extra stress days just now of so much other doom and gloom reportage.

  • Nancy Meyer says:

    Today I was looking for a good practical joke online and didn’t find anything appropriate for my class. Then I clicked on my message from Englishclub.com and found the perfect lesson! Thanks so much.

  • eleanor says:

    And a Happy April Fools Day to you, too!

  • Marilou Syjueco says:

    You almost fooled me! This is an impossible thing to happen.

    It’s April Fool’s Day and sorry, we know about this pranks’ day even if we do not celebrate it in the Philippines!

  • Flaubert Desjardins says:

    It’s a terrible fiction.
    Banning languages will cause more problems than those we are actually dealing with.
    In my opinion the best way to fight terrorism and climate disorders is by encouraging worldwide, equity in the manner people are educated.

  • lora says:

    i don’t agree. in my opinion, any language is the precious legacy of the world. and if any language used by fewer people is considered to be elimited, it is to destroy the culture. and it is against nature. so i estamate it will not be easy to di this. however, if some groups are intended to, it is a kind of wrong act.

  • Mike says:

    100-to-1 it IS a joke. Check out the date – April Fool’s! 🙂

  • Ken says:

    Yes, I fully agree with the idea of making the English language
    mandatory throughout the planet. And why not, at the same
    time, make Islam the official religion (it’s the biggest), and make
    white colored skin the official skin color, and make democratic
    governments the official governments of the world. What a pile
    of unmitigated crap. Speak any bloody language that turns you
    on and don’t pay too much attention to people who have been
    too well educated (educated?).

  • Veronika Bee says:

    Great April FOOL’s joke!! It got me – for a few minutes.


  • Heidi Mathias says:

    I agree with JT! I´m a proud a N-English speaker (from Brazil, where we speak Portuguese, not Spanish – as many people use to say) and I just got my CPE from Cambridge.
    My next goal is to learn Italian, then French, Spanish and German. Learning new languages MAKES US MORE BROADMINDED, MORE HUMAN, for heaven´s sake!!
    This kind of behavior coming from “serious” thinking tanks from the UN seems like a Nazi´s new version. If Hitler was alive he would have aproved this attitude (of course, we would prefer German instead of English). But the attitude is the same : insane!!!!!
    When you ban a language you are also doing the samething to the culture that comes with it. Think about what happened to the Native Americans, or what the Portuguese did to the Native Brazilians. History has already proved what I wanna say….
    Environment threat, oh my lord!!! I think they are taking “Brave New World” very seriously. Or “1984″, perhaps. What do they think they are? The Big Brother????? It´s a shame… Well, they have to start to think how they would take out from the English language all the Latin , Greek , French , and other N-E words and terms that ARE currently part of the “Pure English Language”.And how about this Dr.Wong? Is he real or a joke???

  • ymberzal says:

    this is totally wrong and i go against this. then i feel proud to say that our india is great–it has got diversity in everything, in languages, culture, religion and traditions.
    what will be left then! its wrong. un can’t ‘ban’ a ‘language’.
    a language is gifted by ancestors to their children.
    it’s wrong!!! people will protest here–we won’t stop talking in hindi. my mother tongue is kashmeri and will not stop talking in kashmeri. and yes,i am trying to learn french and spanish. i have already learnt punjabi.



  • Phil Sturgess says:

    I think you’re pulling my leg.

  • Katalin Mátraházi says:

    This joke was offensive for the majority of the humankind.
    Next time I’d like to have better humour or no humour at all.
    Be serious, please if you speak about our nations’ most valuable inheritance, about our mother tongue.
    My language is the Hungarian, which is spoken by 15 million people only. All the world would be poorer without our poetry and ourselves. 🙂
    With the usual love and trust, Kacika.

  • Dale Battson says:

    Good April 1st joke!! At least, I hope it’s a joke!!

  • Cristina from Romania says:

    Yeah right, HAPPY FOOL’S DAY!!!! =)) Climate change? ;))

  • Leslie Tabarez says:

    I assume this was some kind of early April Fool’s joke. If not, I am seriously appalled.

  • Yan Han says:

    Very impressive joke! Language is not simply a waste of paper, but it reflects a country’s culture through history. You cannot ban a language because of that stupic reason! That’s the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard! Why didn’t you sign the contrast to pretect our environment? Literally reducing a few pieces of paper can improve the climate? I suspect you’re day-dreaming. Learning English is necessory, but other languages are as important as English too.

  • Luigi says:

    You have got to be kidding!! 1. It is quite offensive to anyone. How egotistical and self centered can you be !! To make One language a “universal language” after more than 2,000 + of so many diverse languages is preposterous, not to mention the fact that they claim learning a second language is “detrimental to your health” sorry but we are not THAT gullible !!!!





    Btw I speak perfect English, Spanish and Italian and I do NOT HAVE MULTIPLE PERSONALITES !!!!!

  • Rachael says:

    I thought “what in the world? no way, this can’t be real”, when my husband pointed out that in many parts of the world it is already April 1st. (we are in California, US, where its still 3-31).

    1. The UN would never, could never make such a proposal.
    2. Americans themselves would be very put out, as we can’t seem to decide on our own national language. Here in Southern California, any number of languages can be heard.
    3. The very speed suggested at phasing out “non-E” is amazing. The PRC has been promoting a standard Chinese for over 50 years now, it hasn’t caught on in all places.
    4. Come on, folks, laugh a little; yes, language is a deep issue, but there are times to let it go and hava a laugh. Its also April 1!

  • incredulous says:

    April Fool, I hope? This can’t be real.

  • Karen says:

    This is by far the most stupid waste of human resources, paper, electricity and internet space. I have studied many languages and am fluent in English and Thai.
    What about the self esteem that one gets from mastering a second language?

    Instead of blaming the translator for miscommunication, now we can blame only ourselves for misunderstanding or being misunderstood. Do all English speakers understand what they are listening to? Not no, but no way, Jose!

    Maybe the UN is superfluous. I mean, there are all ready lots of governing agencies in the world. Why do we need just one?????

  • hunghn says:

    oh! when I first read this paper, I was very angry about what it raised, and I will discuss to the end about it. I think the view of the writers is terrible, if it was taken place, we would become the real cultural terrorists. I hope it’s is not the truth. At the end, I realize today is April’s fool day. I was treated…….!!!!!!!!!!!!!! oh, god.

  • Erika says:

    The idea is totally unacceptable. The language of a country is the representative of its idiosyncracy. It is said that every day one language dies out. This makes me sad, because when a language dies out, the culture it represents also dies out.
    How would we know about the history of the world if so many people had not made every effort to learn and understand the cultures of all the ancient empires? Whenever we learn a new language, our knowledge grows. I speak three languages fluently and I enjoy reading and speaking them.
    I have the feeling that the whole article is a hoax.

  • Rafael Arreaza says:

    You guys can’t be taking this seriously. Nowhere else on the Internet is similar news to be found. What’s more, this sounds so utterly ridiculous -albeit written so as to make it seem serious- that it more closely resembles a piece of cultivated humor gone bad (a cultured practical joke) than a fact.

  • Sisimama says:

    I am really shocked and speechless! I do not believe that this can be a UN proposal. Who do they think they are? Now going to war against the oil rich countries is not enough they also want to eliminate every language but English?! What kind of evil thinking is that? Suggesting that English should be the only language taught and spoken is not only outrageous but goes against human nature itself! It shows disrespect and hatred toward every human being who is not American. I cannot believe that global warming was actually mentioned to justify their evil plan! They have to translate all languages into English so they have to use more paper which means more and more trees to cut. Who told them to translate other languages into English. I tell you why: So that they can spy on every possible country and if they discover that one country is thriving economically and politically they consider it a threat and they will do whatever it takes to destroy its stability;no need to give you examples on that.
    I am from Algeria, I speak perfect Arabic, French and English and I INTEND TO TEACH MY KIDS BOTH ENGLISH AND FRENCH AND NOT TO MENTION THE ARABIC LANGUAGE WHICH IS THE ESSENCE OF OUR CULTURE AND RELIGION. I have already started to do so and don’t you (Iam targeting the UN) B.S me by saying that teaching different languages will create multiple personalities. I believe that, on the contrary, it will create smarter and sharper thinkers that will threaten those idiots at the UN commitee who made the “anti non English languages” proposal!

  • ladislao piña says:


    Hey, mr bush and co., cia included, let me tell you how osama bin laden must be laughing at all your paranoia !!!!! I think u’d better go to a shrink, get some medical help, u people at the UN !!!
    u r telling me I’m not gonna speak spanish, my native language, never more ????
    jajajajajajajajaj!!!!!!! Before u attemp doing someth like that, UN peolpe, you are gona disappear from the world’s surface, I tell you!!!

  • Kamran says:

    UN is wasting his precious time and money on unnecessary things. My view is that only by giving incentives and preferences to English speakers/users we could get this task done, if really felt necessary, but planning to phase out by such and such date and penalties and, and, and so much debate on this minor issue is absolutely a rubbish work.

  • Tommy says:

    Hi guys, don’t take it seriously. It’s just a April fool’s day joke. I guess.

  • ladislao piña says:

    I think it’s time we dissolve the UN , BUT NOW!!!

    I think time has come for us, human beings, to have a new organization, with mentally healthy people on board, not these paranoids.
    And you, Northamericans, next time you choose your authorities, try not to elect mentally handicapped people, elect someone who is mentally healthy, ok????

  • vikas says:

    It seems to be a april fool to me …. wat do u say!!!

  • Marla says:

    Am I the only one who thinks this is satire? For example, when Jonathan Swift wrote “A Modest Proposal,” he did not really think that starvation and poverty could be solved by eating babies.

  • ladislao piña says:

    I guess that, as from now, this so named Dr wong will have to change his family name, won’g he?? hahahahhaahahhaah!!!!!!

  • Banning the socalled unnecessary languages will be a sheer violation of human rights, just as it would prove the deep-rooted politics of “rights” and “war on terrorism” the world over. I suspect banning languages would be just another new addition to the American design for dominating others through ‘language rights’.

  • Tehua says:

    Happy April’s Fool!!!

    I didn’t even took the time to read the articles. I knew it was a prank from the editors.
    Here in Mexico, on December 28th we have “El Día de los Inocentes” (The Day of the Innocents). Newspapers, radio stations, tv channels, etc. everyboby plays practical jokes and pranks on/to?–which is correct?– people. For example, if you lend money they tell you “Inocente palomita que te dejaste engañar…” (Innocent dove you let yourself be fooled..) and they don’t pay you back.
    Do you have a similar celebration/day in your country?

  • A. K. Bhatia says:

    Good joke for April Fools day!!

    It brought smile on my face – being the first email that I read in the morning today.

    Keep it up.

  • Emily says:

    It IS April Fool’s Day.
    A well-executed, though loathsome thought! April Fool’s joke.
    Thanks for the giggle, and the relief that we do have and will continue to have this diversity!

  • ladislao says:

    So, mr dr Won’t, u r telling me that Juan Pablo II, our Dearest Pope,( sorry I write it in Spanish, a language u probably will not attempt to study, much less to speak nor write, to avoid MORE mental problems than you already have, having had to study English….,) had mental or brain problems??? because, as far as I know, he spoke MORE THAN 50 LANGUAGES!!!!!! Any thing to say, mr dr won’t????

  • Michael George says:

    Happy April Fool’s Day

  • ladislao says:

    To my mind you UN and all the stuff of paranoids may go to hell with ur idea of banning me speak spanish. let’s see who r the terrorists here!

  • ladislao says:

    and all this stuff is plainly stupid and paranboid, just the so called MR” bush !!!! hahahahahahah so what????

  • Esther says:

    Is this is an April fools joke!?

  • Trang says:

    Are you joking? Is your interesting joke in April 1st? It is very silly but funny.

  • Mariana says:

    I am shocked.At first, while reading this text I was thinking , it was some invented story. I am really afraid of such a society with only one language, where anyone can control your thoughts and your every move.I am against it even though I am myself a teacher of English language. It is also said that people who know more languages dont suffer from sclerosis so like this we will have one language and many sick people. I think no one will accept this.We cannot take away somebody`s right to speak in his own language it is against all rules. And if terrorists want they can also invent some words that look like English and use them in their actions if they really want that.I think if UN do so there will be more riots and space for terrorists to act if that is the main point.I ask all people of free and good will to stop this before it is too late.I love English language I studied it but making it the only language it will loose a lot of its beauty as every nation add something or bad pronounciation or invent some words and what we get again a language we dont understand.WE can make English a second language worlwide but nothing else.We must respect the nations of the world.

  • Ivana says:

    Happy April Fool’s Day

  • Graeme Mulrooney says:

    It’s April 1st.

  • O.Franks says:

    Interesting idea, I heard a rumour once that the first day of April was traditionally set aside by the UN for the unveiling of its most important world revolutionising new laws. Well I can tell already that the 21st century is going to be barrel of laughs…. actually this e-mail is dark humour at its finest, i was reading in terror contemplating all the wars and problems this decision would unleash till i realised it was just a load of complete nonsense! WELL DONE whoever thought it up!

  • Lenin Reyes says:

    Hahahahahahaha, Sorry for that but what he stated was absolutely ridiculous (if that is true of course)

    First of all, Terrorism is growing because of different ideas, so even if they used the same language they would try to look for other ways so they wouldn’t be noticed (technology helps), so, that is not a solution for the problem, we should look for a better solution for that.

    Second, if you want to save the trees from cutting, you should stop selling books and use just digital technology (solar energy for electrical devices, etc….)

    Third, if you want to avoid people from having different personalities as per you said because they do role play, maybe the actors should be looking for another work.

    Finally, all he stated was really forced to say that English is the only language. It is very obvius that he is trying to look for any reason even though they don’t take any part on the subject.

    In conclusion, I suppose other countries love being different and having individuality as well as my country, I think all goverment must teach to their people its native language, which in generally were indian languages or others, in order to have idiosyncrasy, to know about their past and their culture.

    All of that arguments show that a group of people are starting another war (not with weapons), phycology and ideology war.

    That is my humble opinion, maybe I made mistakes, sorry for that, I am not an english speaker by the way. Thanks.

    Lenin from Peru

  • Rajal says:

    I think this is silly. World is more beautiful with many colours not only one colour. So, this is the outcome of golobalization. I think English IS important. However, many mother tongue is more important than it because it is the only language i use to express my feelings with my kids for instance. Some expressions are untranslatable. It is in my favour to see English is the only language in the sense that people will ask me to teach them English- I am an English teacher- but it is just silliness to ask all the people in the world to speak one language.

  • jenny516qing says:

    April Fools!!!!!!!!

  • ritakhanna says:

    i agree here english is king but other hand people different reigon so ty have to learn there language

  • Paul says:

    OK… thanks for the April Fools day joke. This is so funny, and so absurd as to border on the ridiculous. Then again we are talking about the UN and thier insanity may well have finally boiled over.! But thanks for the laugh !

  • Joe says:

    Who ever thought of this Idea is really just as stupid as the thought of trying to control the way people speak. It is the right of each country to have it’s own National language.I can speak a few languages and I will continue to study others. So I think it is a law that will never take!

  • Jeremy English says:

    I think ths an example of pure logic. My only concern is the redundancy dates are too late. The current global crises cannot be addressed by such a protracted withdrawal of these dangerous and sometimes seditious redundant langauges. Your compelling evidence is reason enough to contemplate a mono lingual global environment by 2010. That is to say, it won’t be possible to stop the continuation of all the useless langauges curently in operation. So the solution lies in a concerted effort by the English language nations to simply stop talking to them all until they get on the programme.
    Kind regards and Happy April 1.
    Jeremy English (really!)

  • léa says:

    is this a joke?

    i very much hope so!

  • Aj Dan says:

    I would expect to read this on Onion, not English Club. It’s sure to create a lot of confusion among naive students.

  • hitesh says:

    it is good to say that english is international language. it can be use everywhere, if your lisener is aware of it. it’s gate is always open for other languages. accordingly first of all every person should have command on his mother tongue in addition he also should know extra two languages one of them should be english

  • Ann English says:

    The BBC once broadcast a programme about fields of spaghetti growing in Italy. The simple folk of the countryside harvested it and hung it out to dry, singing all the time.

    Another year, I remember, the Common Market ruled that the clock would be decimalised. There would be ten hours in a day, ten days in a week, and so forth.

    It is strange, how these ideas come.

  • Jeremy English says:

    Hey guys I just read all the other responses and there’s distinct air of seriousness about so many responses. Many people sound genuinely upset! Please confess , this IS an April First joke …isnt it!

  • Lib says:

    April Fools!

  • Bill Luginbuhl says:

    Ha Hahahaha. That was a nice joke.

  • Bill Luginbuhl says:

    Joe, Joe, Joe:

    What day is today? Are you really and truly that gullible? Come on!!!

  • Hemu says:

    I hope this is an April Fool’s joke. The beauty of the world lies in its different cultures, of which language is integral. Otherwise, the world may wind up like that infamous “melting pot.” I shudder at the thought of everyone calling out “Yo bro” to each other, while hip-hopping down to place some bets on Wall Street, blow their credit on the latest “necessity,” and further “globalize” anyone who dares maintain their culture. Furthermore, English would lose the rich and diversified culture base it was formulated from. Pleas tell me April Fools!

  • Alex says:

    the idea of globalization is not so stupid but the attempts to unify the common language is too radical. it means that at least 100 years over languige speackers wil have limited chances of developement due to necessety of translations . and what about cultures, customs, traditional events and selebrations?.
    unambiguasly the obligatory transition to englishi will lead to conflicts and strengthen of board bariers.
    Let the peaple deside what language to speake and let market make the stakeholders to find ways to comunicate. its not bad for native english speakers to learn one or two more languages.

  • Jeff says:

    I am a Chinese.You are all wet.Forget what day it is?
    April Fools’ Day!!
    But it is also too serious and sensitive for such a day.
    Just forget it.Haha

  • Maxim says:

    Happy fool’s day!

  • Alina says:

    Who had written such a thing? Who can even think of such things? It is very wrong what is written in this article. I think that it is a mistake. We must fight against people with such bad ideas.
    Shame on you that you published that.

  • debbie says:

    Good one English Club. Just searched the web for info on April Fool’s Day and this is a great effort in competition with the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest…. Hope you get lots of shock like my first reaction.

  • Justin says:

    How many people actually fell for this one?! April Fools! 😉

  • Angela says:

    Nice April Fools message…

  • Kirsteen says:

    The French have a tradition involoving hanging little fish in colleagues’ backs. I am aware that this could also have an environmental impact, and wonder how this will live on once the language has been banned !

  • AMK says:

    Hi, the article will certainly have a lot of people up in arms against the idea of language uniformity. However, in a lot of ways this is already underway. E.g. in India, despite the several spoken languages, the language of the educated is more and more becoming English which offers a common platform for speakers of different languages to air their views and communicate. In major cities, a lot of kids don’t even speak their mother tongue as fluently (or at all) as they do English! I majored in Korean language and studies and I can say for sure it was no pleasure trip. Learning a language when one is a child is far easier than picking it up as an adult. But the mounting pressure of taking your business global and hence management having to learn additional languages is tantamount. Most MBA schools of repute offer essential Mandarin now! So just like everything else, I think there will be a natural progression to conform to the major languages or fade away

  • PRIETO says:

    I hope this is an April Fools day joke!
    English and English speaking countries imperialism are the one to blame for terrorris all around the world.

  • Jeff says:

    You can take a horse to the water but you cannot make him drink.Also,we cannot prevent such stupid nonsense but we can ignore these garbage.Be happy and happy Fools’ Day.

  • Cássio Rodrigues says:

    Incredible. Simply genius. I read all the text from the beggining to the end WITHOUT even seeing the date. I saw “They are kidding me. I will read this from the beggining”. Then I saw “April 1, 2008”. April fools… I am pretty stupid, aren’t I?

  • AWAD says:


  • Dana says:

    I can’t believe how many people took this seriously! Stop being paranoid and ready for a fight for Christ’s sake…

    Abslutely hilarious, congratulations!

  • musicmarilla says:

    Since I am from Serbia where such a repression is something we haven’t forgot yet – you kept me believing I was not an April fool all the way through until the third paragraph!

    Cheers! :)))

    P.S. Somebody did a good job writing this!

  • Jan D says:

    April Fools?

  • Jane Purchase says:

    Excellent. Happy April Fools Day.

  • thisisdoris says:

    Very good 1st of april joke !

  • Nancy says:

    If it weren’t April Fool’s Day, this article would be disturbing at the very least. Thank God this is a humourous attempt to get people talking. April Fool’s! Indeed.

  • Jolanta says:

    What variant of English? The one from New Zealand or South Africa would do? Why not start erasing different variants of English too? Or maybe Mr Stainer could stop driving his car or he could start wearing light clothes in summer instead of his dark suit (that would require less air-conditioning indoors) to do something against global warming.

  • jay says:

    Happy April Fools Day

  • Koi says:

    I totally disagree with the idea. I don’t believe that it will solve the problems – the issues of debate. Also, from the reseach, it says “second-language learning is one of the most stressful ordeals a student can face, and is known to cause a wide range of medical and psychological disorders”. Thai also studied English as second language it has not caused any stress or disorders to me like the research says at all.

    Moreover, it abuses one of the fundamental rights. i.e. right to the respect of private life (Article 8 of EU Convention on Human Rights). Having small numbers of speakers in one language does not mean that that language can be eliminated. Languages are the fruits of the nations and history. They also imply the Sovereignty of the nations as well. People of those nations shall have the rights to the enjoyment of having and speaking their own languages.

  • Juan Castaño says:

    It’s a bloody good joke. Actually, choosing the name Dr. Wong is the funniest bit. Anyway, I’ll try and use this with my students.I don’t think they´’ll remember April Fool’s Day

  • Klaus says:

    How about Esperanto ?

  • paul says:

    Morning ok
    you had my full attention with your increasingly jaw dropping article. Although breath taking and gripping you blew it when starting to not only mention the French (you are joking their volatile reacitions so easily brought about – their farmers will have you !!) and then the Spanish (they have come off the beach now! they are takning over everything of late!) but the Welsh !! That sheep loving lot would not let you get passed the first meeting…..and no mention of Scotland’s impenatrable tongue !!!
    So it is an April Fool………………………………..
    Please tell me it is so…………………

  • Samuel says:

    If it’s not April fool indeed, then lets discuss.

  • Ann Chisholm says:


  • Linda says:

    Oh my goodness,

    When I read this I was just so shocked and horrified! The words “holocaust” and “1984” immediately came to mind. “EOL: English as the only language”, hahaha that is just too wild!

    I have to admit I almost believed it, with all the craziness the Americans have been up to the past years it almost sounded plausible! Thank heavens that it is an April fool´s joke. And a good one!


  • peromato95 says:

    It seems obiuosly an amusing April Fools Day story. Happy April Fools Day to you all.

  • Kasim Varli says:

    This is in no way acceptable. And the discussions in your news sound utterly nonsensical.

    It is clear from the article that the US wants to ban other languages in the Internet in order to reduce the costs of watching the world. As a teacher of English, I must say that this is ridiculous. This is nothing but for the security of the US. How about the security of countries other than the US? Instead of banning languages of the world in the Internet, the US may try to employ more peaceful international policies and therefore guarantee a much more secure US.

    One thing is clear. The US is offensive. This offensiveness is the result of a strong desire to control all energy sources and natural resources in the world. In order to do this, the US does everything including unjust wars and occupations under the guise of “war on terror”. Afghanistan and Irak are the latest examples. The “war on terror” motto is nothing but a bluff. This being the case, some people who do not want to be governed by the US, that is, those who want to live in their independent states, rightly oppose this. There is nothing wrong in this. Or is there?

    Everybody would agree that today English is the lingua franca, that is, it is the international language. This never ever means that English is better than my language (Turkish). I believe that my language is better than English and I love my language. It is my identity. Besides, my language is easier to learn than English. It would not be just to ban other languages in the Internet just for the sake of such nonsense and illogical excuses.

    Best wishes

  • Annie Saunders says:

    Is this serious? Appalling considering loss of cultural richness that will ensue if minority languages are not welcome in higher international levels of government

  • reh says:

    I am in favour of having English as the predominant international language. I am not so sure whether ‘a ban’ is such a good idea. However, I strongly believe that it would be most advantages if all people were able to speak English and ideally if English would be like everybody’s mothertongue.

    People seem to think all traditions etc will be lost if they gave up the language they learnt from birth. This is not so! A language is a means of communication and we are able to understand each other most accurately if we speak the same language and are familiar with all its connotations.

  • Kasim Varli says:

    Oh s.it! That’s April 1st. Therefore I’m an April’s fool. 🙁

  • Muhammed says:

    As we all know Arab is the fastest nation in birth range and due to the wide spread of Islam which basically relies on the ARABIC Language the number of people who speaks Arabic will be more than the expected one.

  • Carmelo says:

    Happy April Fool’s Day. This must be a joke. But I admit it was written in a reasonably convincing way. Certain lack of detail and of appropriate documentation give it away. Right?

  • Patricia says:

    This can’t be serious! this must be an awful joke! variety is what makes our world interesting! and those theories about the human brain not being design to learn more than one language, my Goodness! there are lots of linguistics professionals who think exactly the opposite! there is no serious reason for that crazy idea!

  • JC says:

    Terrific joke! Got to say I’m loving it!

  • pierre corso says:

    I love you !
    thanks so much and happy April Fools Day !

  • Alice says:

    This seems to be an April Fool’s joke

  • angelines says:

    I hope it’s a joke

  • Ian Brophy says:

    I think this is one of the better April Fool jokes I have seen. It is right up there with metric time and the re usable tea bag.

    Metric time was all the rage in South Australia about 25 years ago, when the Premier of the state appeared on TV with his metric clock and talked about mili days, decidays and decadays.

    The re usable tea bag followed a week of real news about a visiting Twinings representative. He was a dapper British gentleman in a pin striped suit who appeared on TV on April 1, extolling the virtues of his re usable tea bag, which never got wet.

  • maggie says:

    sounds like an April Fools prank to me!

  • Ana Perez says:

    Loved it! It’s about time…

    And a fun April’s Fools Day to you too!!!!!


  • Ian Braddock says:

    Very good… The best April Fool’s joke I’ve seen this year!

  • Giselle says:

    I believe that this intersting April Fool’s hoax should be a red flag. What if there are some leaders who eventually worship the idea and implement it in order to gain and exert more power over their followers and oppress them more than they already do?

  • Dave says:

    This all seems so ridiculous. Isnt the current common language of the UN English? Isnt it already in place?
    Why the push to do away with the other languages?
    Saying that learning a second language causes brain damage and multiple personality disorders seems very far fetched.

  • Jane says:

    “are you having a laugh” – it is the 1st April though !!!

  • Ruggerio says:

    With the craziness going on in the world today regarding the homogenization push of globalization, I could almost believe this story.

  • Lydia says:

    I must admit that this is a good one!:-)
    Those who really believed that things could go as far as this are really naive!
    Has anyone really checked what`s the name of the UNEP Head (executive director)?!

    The man is called ACHIM STEINER
    Any idea who`s the man in the picture above?:-)

  • Ginés says:

    It is not the first time that i read of motions pointing at creating a single whatever, or destroying the rest. If this scenario is for real I believe it is a giant step in favor of fascism, it is a macabre joke.

  • Julie says:

    Nice april fools joke!!!!!!!!! 🙂

  • Marcello says:

    Is this a joke?

  • Regina Arruda says:

    It’s nonsensical. We all have our culture and of course, language is part of it. I know it’s a crazy idea but then I remember it’s April 1st. Happy one for everybody

  • Marie says:

    Check out the date on this alert.

  • Jeffrey says:

    And now CNN just issued a legislative aler declaring that Nanci Pelosi, of California, Speaker of the House, United States Senate, has agreed to co-sponsor a law requiring all students in the US to achieve a minimum level proficiency in a second language before entering any University program. She argues that before the UN Resolution can be successfully implemented, there will be a great need to have speakers of other languages available to educate the public about the EOL laws. There is some support for her bill, SB101, but also some outcry mostly by Southern Congressional Representatives, Reed, Marks, and Farrell, who refuse to believe that anything announced on April the first could be taken seriously, however, some people have already begun writing letters to the local TV stations decrying the new bill. One such letter posted on the Internet states, that having to learn a second language prior to attending Uninversities is unfair to immigrant children who have already had to endure the difficulty of forgetting their first language.

  • Lawrence Corwin says:

    It’s a great April Fools joke. My compliments to the writer(s). 🙂

  • Dr. Patricia Killian says:

    Has anyone checked to see if this Reaserch Center exists or if there is a Dr. Adrian WOng? I couldn’t find either; in addition, I doubt the veracity of the entire article. Was this article ever vetted?

    April Fools anyone?

  • Betty says:

    so hilarious..!

  • gwknowlton says:

    Happy April Fool’s Day!

  • Rafael Guares Quadros says:

    Good April 1st joke….hahahahaha

  • Eastbound n Down says:

    I knew the SPLIT-SECOND I saw this that this was an April Fool joke. Let’s see how many people it ticks off!

  • Janet de Vigne says:

    What a fabulous newsletter. I so wish I’d received it during term-time – but I think I’ll find space to teach with it anyway…

    Yours (in a hard hat)

  • Rich says:

    Good joke. Well developed. Should have had BUSH as the author and would have been more believable. Only he is stupid enough to come up with an idea like this.

  • Fe says:

    The first absurdity of the century.

    An incredible joke on April Fool’s Day. This is the best April Fool’s Day ecard to send to every friends and enemies, too.

  • amefil says:

    So…this is a joke right? Argh, a victim of april fools. Bothered me the whole day, this article.

  • Daniel says:

    This is one of the most outrageous and fascist thing I have ever read in my life. A massive rejection is what this idea must receive immediately. Further comments will be sent as soon as possible. I hope this is only a joke.

  • Jan Bozman says:

    I get it. April Fool!

  • Carol Hauss says:

    Okay, you almost got me. April Fool’s….Frightening that in our current climate, this was almost believable.

  • Jason says:

    I can’t believe any of you actually thought that this was serious. Probably most of you got half way through and then start yelling in your comments, not noticing that it was posted at 12:01am on April Fools Day, April 1st. This is a joke people. A JOKE!

  • Celia says:

    This must be April fool’s… it is so bothersome to think of such situation! Very well written though… very clever (ah! ah!)

  • Arianna says:

    Very good joke! I forgot about April’s fool… :))

  • sergii says:

    cool! very coll! I’m agree! ))

  • liliana says:

    The global warming is definitely a problem for everybody but yet i don’t think the restriction to only one language is the best solution. I think we should rely more on education and anti-pollution strategies than trying to eliminate people’s native culture and identity. I agree that “variety makes our world so beautiful and interesting”.
    I hope too that this is only a 1st April joke.

  • hemraj says:

    One world one language and one goal, as a global people or as the humankind on this blue planet to live and reach and remain on this huge universe for long and forever.

    Though we will lose many thing individually (or as a nation or society etc) like our culture and my be religion also at one time but the we people are from this only one planet called so I think we should be more integreated to reach to the universe and beyound with our many possibilities for future.

    I myself would find it difficult to change to only one language as a common usable language but I welcome it and would like to practice it for the better future of the world and entire humankind.

    We have just started to open our mind and sky is the limit for our mind and humankind.
    Its a changing world and changing mother nature. So, we people also need to change.
    Lets just not stick to there….

  • hemraj says:

    Ow! April Fool.

  • Ichabod Crane says:

    Get the fuck out of here! And this is pure English.

  • Cármina Freitas says:

    Actually rather “insane”!

  • nino says:

    Thank you for this joke!!! I really have a hearty laugh at this!

  • $@ry says:

    Its a April Fool joke!!

  • Alexander Ruiz says:

    I think the English language is going to be more dominant in the future, and it will be taught widely to non-speakers all around the world, but at the same time there are some languages that grow fast in speakers due to population increase, and such is the case with Spanish, my mother tongue.
    I think the arguments of Dr. wong are stupid and I can witness that. I don’t have any mental or relational disability because I learned a language other than Spanish, in this case English.
    The variety of languages is something really fantastic, and I think some of them will fade away but some another will grow stronger. Besides, to suppress the right of people to have their own language infringes the basic human tenets.
    Finally, if this is an April’s fool joke, it is stunning and very creative.
    I love English but it doesn’t mean there aren’t nice features in other languages as well.

  • ale says:

    Is it serious? well, where I come from fools day is In November but I do hope this is a Joke!!

  • Ann Jeanette Patton says:

    I hope to heaven that this is an April’s Fool joke.

    If not…I am appalled, terrified, and enraged.

  • Melissa says:

    Good One…!

  • Sam Johnson says:

    Is that an April Fool’s joke? Totally weird!

  • Ann Jeanette Patton says:

    Now seeing other comments, I’m presuming the April Fool’s joke idea is correct. I am not amused.

    Some jokes strike too close to home, appear to be substantiated, are presented as fact, are presented by a reputable source…….. and are thereby cruel.

    I resent the fact that you presented this to your readers.
    Instead of feeling the joyful release of hearing the punch line of good joke, I felt that I had been treated as a fool.

    Right now, my sense of feeling appalled and enraged is directed at you.

  • Adriana says:

    Great excuse for having students speak only English in class. We could also have a MEMO from our Institution informing students on our adherence to the UNEP resolutions to ban Non-English in our classes. We could even do it as part of our activites on Earth Day, as a contribution to our environment.

  • !ndiced says:

    Prima Aprilis:D

  • Aras says:

    Thanks for that great research but i think now under 30 000 000 people can speak kurdish cause evry country which ocuppied kurdstan dont let kurdish become second language

  • R.Kanagaraj says:

    There is no one who does not love his mother tongue. Mother tongue is the identity.I am Tamilmand love my language like my mother. What I have read is utter nonsense R.Kanagaraj Anaimalai Tamilnadu India

  • Michelle says:

    April Fool!

  • Michelle says:

    Lighten Up! I find this kind of April Fool joke to be the most fun. Although I get the concern that some people have expressed, as language is a key component of a person’s identity, as is evidenced by the change in personality some people have in different languages!!

  • Robert L Weir says:

    HAPPY APRIL FOOLS DAY, ONE AND ALL! . . . . . and don’t take everything so seriously, lest you have a heart attack.

  • Marina says:

    Bad April Fool’s joke! I am not amused.

  • Dana-Maria Onica says:

    April Fools’ Day, of course. Kudos for the vivid imagination, but is a horror script.

  • Joe says:

    “I felt that I had been treated as a fool”
    er, that’s the point.

  • ELLA says:

    This is sooo foolish
    You want make people dummer.
    Not going to wark.
    You are fooling yourselfs(if it is April fools).
    Go people learn more and more its good for your brain.
    Hello wake up.
    Its 21 Century

  • Joe says:

    Excellent gag by the way. Can’t believe it got so many bites!

  • Barbara Lupton says:

    Is this April Fool’s????????? I can’t begin to understand how such regulation could happen!

  • vincent marin says:

    This is definitely unfair. Those people who agree to such crap ought to be treated like Hitler. There are other ways of resolving the issues they have presented and it is not by making certain peoples lose their identity, lose their languages. If the UN will push through with this nonsense, they should be expecting themselves to be UNnecessary.

    FYI: English is my second language. I have worked as a travel agent and I am proud to know two languages, including my mother tongue. I know people who know more than three. Speaking more than one language does not make us terrorists nor better than anyone else. We just have an advantage. :-p

  • Anna says:

    April Fool’s! I had a good laugh. Thanks!

  • Alexandre says:

    Completely nonsense. What a hell UN or wathever think they are to stablish English as an universal language. Nobody has the right to make decisions like this. Different countries has the natural right to communicate in their own languages. That English is very important nowadays in the global community, no one doubts, but forcefully make plans to abolish other languages and set dates to achieve this, completely nonsense. And worst, stablish penalties in the future for those who speak, write or read in other language beside English as if they were outlaws, completely insane. What really could have behind this “plan”?

  • Paulette Paquette says:

    OMG! If this was not so scary, one would almost think it to be a “spoof” of some kind. Where are they finding these so-called experts? I speak English fluently, and enough German, French and Spanish to get by … I do not suffer from MPD or any other brain disorder!! My grandchildren are currently in Mandarin immersion and my husband’s family speak an aboriginal language. Language is beautiful and reflective of culture … whatever happened to celebrating difference and finding joy in that? I am quite certain that the solution to misunderstanding … even terrorism … is NOT to homogenize the world, but to understand it from the vantage point of diverse language!

  • Alan Mendoza says:

    Nunca pensé que la gente de habla ingesa pudiera llegar a ser tan arrogante como para pensar que su lengua natal fuera más importante que la de otros seres humanos. Por eso quiero expresar mi molestia ante este tipo de atropello a la libertad de expresión en mi propio idioma.

  • Crissy says:

    Totally assinine!! I am an American, and I am shocked to think that our leaders are actually spending time on this. I guess all the people we will force to learn English as a second language won’t suffer the ills as mentioned in your report…and zero trees will be cut down while teaching them.

    Why don’t you wake up and realize our country needs to learn more languages so we can fit in. Our Hispanic citizens have acquired English and all of our ancestors acquired English. What will happen to our ethic-ancestor day celebrations all over the USA?

    It seems our modern day politicians and governmental leaders don’t understand how vital it is to really connect other cultures, and that this is done through language. You meet people 50-50, we tend to want it 90-10. No wonder the world is screaming at us! It’s our own fault that we do not have enough interpretors

    Did you bother to reread what you actually said? It is so embarrassing.

  • Bruce says:

    Without question, an April Fool’s joke.

  • sundar says:

    We have to ask UN to propose for a no language motion so we don’t need a English club.

  • PE Foster says:

    What do I think? I think it’s a huge, hilarious April Fools’ spoof!

  • Paulette Paquette says:

    A-h-h-h-h! April 1st! Still … I think there are enough wackos out there to actually grab hold of an idea like this and run with it!!

  • hieubk49 says:

    i agree that the development will affect to all languages which aren’t English, but i don’t think they will disappear in the future, in every country which people live in, they have communicate with others, I don’t think English will be the their choice, except communicate with foreigners, they will have speak and writing by their languages.

  • Baylie says:

    I really hope this is a joke otherwise it’s just a little scary. What next chips in our heads so they know where we are all the time and telling us where we can and can’t live. This sounds like something out of “1984” I’m offended by it and my first language is English i can’t imagine what it would do to the moral and cultures of those whom English isn’t their first language

  • George Hernandez says:

    You guys have got to be kidding! Even as a joke I found your email, “UN To Ban ‘Unnecessary Languages” extremely offensive! Therefore, I plan on cancelling my subscription to your website. No JOKE! George Hernandez

  • Kate Selwood says:

    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

  • Kate Selwood says:

    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

  • GImStunned says:

    Of course it’s a joke. Come on people, surely you can’t be that gullible, just do your research.

    The UN (quite concerned) pointed out earlier this year that we lose a language every two weeks, they are in fact celebrating the International Year of Languages. The head of UNEP is Klaus Töpfer, the White House spokesman Tony Snow has stepped down due to illness and has been replaced by Dana Perino, and although the Camden Language Research facility is real, there is no Dr. Adrian Wong and the English always make fun of the French.

    Oh yes,… and the article does not name an author. Happy April Fool!!!

  • Jane says:

    Thanks for the laugh. I sent this to all of my colleagues and many of them believed that it was a true story. This is the first time I have played a prank on anyone on April 1st. It has been fun.

  • John says:

    This is hilarious! I wonder how many serious replies you have had. Personally I think that in the interests of fairness a randomly selected twelve year old should toss a dart at a linguistic map to select the language. We might have Urdu or Dinka as our world languge. Thanks for the laugh.

  • Yolanda Zaragozà says:

    April Fool’s Day!!
    Today we speak all day about multilanguages and multicultural societies. It’s a European reality. We think every language is a richness that should be preserved. The more languages we know, the better our understanding of the world. The Babel Tower is not a punishment any more. Peace comes from sharing languages and understanding their cultures. Language comes with culture.

  • James Smith says:

    Thank goodness someone is finally taking action!


  • Cristy says:

    Is this for real?

    A “policy” of controlling language would seem to be a carbon copy of repressive methods used among those who attempted to control and obliterate other nations and peoples, over hundreds if not millions of years of history.

    Have “governments” not learned anything from past history? I hardly think the UN would plan such policy…maybe the EU…

    Remember the Anglos dominating Celts?, remember the English settlers dominating native cultures in North-America? does anyone remember Nazy Germany?. is this ever going to stop from repeating itself?

    It has never worked, on the contrary, it always created more rebellious activities and generated independancy movements from the oppressed peoples.

    There are no “un-necessary languages”. All language represent a culture, and a distinctive society. And all peoples, regardless of their surviving number deserve full acknowledgement and appreciation.

  • Heidi Riggenbach says:

    Dear English Club…the only thing this could be is a very well written April Fool’s joke…I hope!
    thanks for a good scare!

  • A.F. Epple says:

    I think this is a lovely April hoax that is both funny and intelligent. I enjoyed reading it and I even discoverd the odd grain of truth that might well be worth thinking about. Well done!

  • Mariana says:

    this is too much even for the joke. But you never know what will future bring to us.It is good to prevent craziness before it start. He he. Have a nice time folks!Long live all the languages of the world!!!Don`t play this game again, next I will sue you I almost died….April`s Fool joke! But maybe it isn`t, you never know.Bye, bye

  • daiva says:

    ….arn’t we celebrating the Fools Day?

    Hi to all fools of the world!…smiling

  • Prib says:

    Happy Fools’ Day.

  • Miguel Angel says:

    Go April fool’s day!! Sadly I still believe there are some who would gladly see this news believing it’s true.

    Someday, somewhere we’ll see.

  • Anne says:

    Absolutely shocking!And to think someone took time to sit down and write it.That’s frightening.Long live us.Us April fools!

  • Pauline says:

    Ah well, no cause for alarm this is just an April Fool’s joke.

  • Egilson says:

    That’s the most ridiculous new crazy thing ever heard or seen by humankind since men started do walk in two legs. That is: another AAM – American Absurd Matter!!!

  • elvira acuna says:

    Of course this is a nice piece of news-fiction
    I enjoyed it but it is food for thought

  • Verena says:

    I think this article is for the april’s fool day, but even though, this isn’t funny. The USA always want to dominate the world, it wouldn’t be that surprising if they wanted to dominate the language around the world as well. This is a real threat, not this absurd about climate, security and social-cultural demages issued in the article.

  • Natalia says:

    I hope this is an April’s fools joke….(and a bad one)!!! I fell quite outraged with this idea, I hope we never speak one language. I love the idea of having a wide diversity of languages…especially because i adore my mother toungue (Spanish), which I wish to pass on to future generations. So far the world has managed without a single common language and I consider that we will, hopefully, always will.

  • Natalia says:

    que viva la diversidad de idiomas, lenguas, dialectos y demas!!!

  • calydia says:

    Is this a joke???!!!!

  • Sergio Llorens says:

    Les llengües, patrimoni de la humanitat.

  • Wild T says:

    A well thought out April Fools Joke. Bravo! Bene! Ole! et al.

  • Sandra Peterson says:

    This is an April Fools joke, right??!!

  • Chris Blackburn says:

    Obviously an April Fool’s Day joke, but a very good one. I thought the comparison of teachers of other languages to drug dealers was hilarious.

  • ab12 says:

    Absolutely right! One language,one world with out more troubles.who would be the president?

  • Klara says:

    It’s a wonderful 1st April joke!!!

    Thank you, guys!

  • Louise Richardson says:

    Aside from the revoltingly cavalier attitude toward wiping out culture and history, the argument for abolishing all but one language doesn’t even make sense in the digital age. Translation from one language to another might take time, but it doesn’t any longer have to take trees for paper, nor pollute with carbon by burning paper. It might not even have to take human time in the future.

    Is this proposal real???

  • Sr. Elena C.Factor says:

    One language should really be used for international transaction to avoid confusion, defection, and miscommunication. English is probably recommendable, because it is widely used all over the world.

  • sergii says:

    Why not? Can’t you see – the world going crazy… day by day… multiculturals… languages…. black-white, yellow-blue… who knows? – is that joke or our tarrible future… Will see… take care….

  • feri says:

    I think this is surely your main idea in an “April Fools Day joke!” form . It is really a great offense to other cultures !!!!!!

  • Allen Van Halle says:

    Re UN ban “Unnecessary” Languages.
    Interesting idea but unlikely to be accepted by the masses particularly the Chinese ! There are 1.3 billion Chinese in China itself and most of them speak Mandarin, especially the young, but they also use regional dialects in their everyday lives. Additionally, there are millions of Chinese who live abroad who also speak Mandarin. Even the UN could not enforce this concept in China and they would be very unlikely to be able to do so worldwide ! Good for English teachers wanting to go abroad to teach !

  • behnam says:

    This looks like a joke to me, as I am aware of its underlying hegemonism: to marginialize the whole world with their varying cultural backgrounds and to establish the foundation of an absolute imperialistic world. I feel strong pity, in advance, for the residents of a world with a single “unique” language, whatever it is. America’s insatiable desire to “eat up” the world seems not to come to an end, unfortunately. This plan is not the only power-oriented one and will not be the last either. Now I, as a professor of TESOL, feel ashamed of myself to have taught English for decades! If this is to be real, I am sure that the world will be changed to a real hell, where there will only be a single langauge, a single culture, a single social identity with which langauge is interwoven.

  • seyyed ali says:

    this is difficult for me to accept that the idea of the prof,Wong. if it is so all teacher of second language shoud go home and finish. but i wan to discuse the this matter please give me the fullwriting of that
    about the american’s idea it is better not to interfer in the others affairs

  • nguyen quoc chuong says:

    I like English but i do not understand all your masagges. I want you help me progress my English.

  • Paul says:

    What a shame so many people who have posted here have
    a) Not realised it was an April Fool joke.
    b) Have no sense of humour.
    c) with a combination of the above two, are involved in education (otherwise why are they on this site?)

  • Vesna says:

    The most offensive April’s Fool’s joke. I am from Macedonia, Skopje, and now, after reding the text I am seriously thinking of giving up my job – teacher of English. Actually I am ashamed of being a human. Even ” animals won’t do such an embarrising step” . Nobody is going to make me speak just English or maybe there is someone who is of greek origin and now is trying to do something “globaly” ? ???????(not only to Macedonia and its name).

  • koorosh says:

    I think language is something not only for communication but for making people closer to each other.
    Therefore the best language is the one that is spoken among the largest number of people and also easy to learn with adequate learning materials and resourses.
    I believe English meets these criteria.

  • Raquel Standish says:

    Very funny. It is a pity that I read it today instead of yesterday.

  • Alex Case says:

    At last, someone has got the right idea! Isn’t it time to relieve the burdened masses forced to speak terribly flawed non-E languages around the world? Hasn’t the clear supremacy of the English language already been adequately demonstrated? Away with the time wasting, the victory is inevitable. E-speakers of the world unite!

  • mandy says:

    It is a joke, isn’t it?
    Quite ridiculous, hard to believe!

  • maura thaler says:

    Even though it is an april’s fool joke, it is of very poor taste.
    Languages are a very sensitive issue.Perhaps you could do better next year.


  • Lorie says:

    Could you imagine such a thing?? I know English is great, but really!!! Accolades to the creator(s) of such a well written farce!!! Thanks for the laugh!

  • Annika says:

    This has to be a an April Fool’s joke, because only a fool could think of this!!!!!!

  • Paul says:

    Not funny!!! You guys are in BIG trouble!!!

  • Natalia says:

    Hola, ciao, olá, salut, ni hao,……………….

    El artículo que acabo de leer acerca de eliminar las lenguas excepto el inglés, es la cosa más ridícula que se les ha ocurrido a estos señores, quienes tal vez tengan la frustración de no saber hablar otros idiomas solo el inglés. Lo más tonto de todo es que sostienen que es la diversidad de lenguas lo que causa el calentamiento global, jajja, eso es nuevo para mi, yo pensé que eran las grandes industrias transnacionales que explotan y destruyen todo a su paso y cuyos dueños hablan en su mayoría inglés. I know that this webpage is for learning english but I just wanted express the way that I feel and I feel in spanish because that is me and it will be the heritance of my children and their future generations. ¡Spanish live forever!

    Come on give me a break UN

  • james says:

    Very funny; I’m blocking you

  • janet says:

    I really hope that this is an April Fool’s prank, if not, the Catalans will go mad here in Catalonia.

  • Hugo says:

    I simply fell as I din’t know about the April fool’s day that you celebrate there. Fortunately, it is customary for me to look for a second source to confirm the veracity of an information before spreading the word.

    Anyway, I FELL, and that is what it counts.

  • jusef el-masry says:

    all the paragraphes full of vocublaries & grammars to ease
    learning english language

  • ohio browns says:

    This has got to be an April Fool’s joke!!!!

  • Harry Krishna Samboo says:

    This May Be of Interest to You All

    The prime news item announced today is the conclusion following the completion of the work of Professor Bryan BURBAGE regarding the extensive research project undertaken by him on the growth of the human behaviour pattern in the Human Male. (Dr. Burbage will be remembered for his work on iceberg structure during the Second World War).
    After more than ten years of concentrated studies on all the continents and Small Islands including MAURITIUS and RODRIGUES, a summary of his findings has been compiled for the enlightenment of his colleagues, associates and the world population at large.
    One of the most interesting discoveries, which have been made public is the fact that the man is born with an inherent and keen sense of curiosity that continues to grow with his physical stature.
    In fact, man’s sense of curiosity sometimes reaches such proportions that he is compelled to start reading any article, regardless of how ridiculous it is, and continue to read it to the very end;

    Continue on next page

    As you are doing now !!!


  • Harry Krishna Samboo says:

    Evidently all of you who have gone through the whole article have proven Human Sense of Curiosity!

  • oumou ba says:

    very interesting

  • Giselle Pineda says:

    I can’t believe what I just read!!!!

    I have been an ESL teacher for many years and I truly believe that a Second language contributes to Professional and Personal development but it is so wrong to believe that English has to be the ONLY language. Spanish which happens to be my Native Language is just as important and powerful as English in fact it a delight to Read , write and speak Spanish.

    There are so many issues that must be addressed in the world that trying to impose English as the only language seems to be so irrelevant and foolish.

    QUE VIVA EL Español !!!!!

  • Mary says:

    I feel that this is a major problem. The world needs different languages. Why, can’t the CIA use computers instead of using so much paper. When computers first came out it was said that they would elliminate so much paper. It hasn’t it just made us use more paper to back up the computers. I am seeing English being used more and more, but I would never think of illiminating other languages. Can you imagine if they elliminated Aramaic Langauage, which was used by Jesus. I can go to a town in Syria and they still only speak that language. It gives us meaning to our history. It is a grave mistake to even debate over this issue, that time take it own course and see what happens. Don’t make a problem where there is no problem.

  • Bob Shand says:

    Be very,very careful who this gets sent to. Some people, particularly some Americans, may not see the satire intended and begin to promote this plan for real. The Americans have a lame-duck president who has never been honored for his intellegence. He may find that this idea could be something to promote as his legacy issue, taking the focus off his war-mongering and disastrous economic failures.

    Very funny and too scary to imagine. Thanks for sharing.

  • yash bhati gurjar says:

    well i m from delhi india, according to me future cannot be predicted.so plz stop predicting english language future

  • Adam Warren says:

    At first blush, it seems like an April fool. I think such pundits ought to get out of their pigskin-lined gas-guzzlers, poke around the linguistic scene and starting thinking for themselves – and about others. A language is a strong element in the identity of a people; as an expatriate, I am strongly sensitive to this. I suppose there is about as much environmental sense in telling people to wear suits made of recycled blotting paper! Neo-Soviet nonsense: such fat cats ought to have their emoluments curtailed!


  • luet says:

    that’s kind of weird joke, isn’t it? or do they think to exterminate all people who will be about fifty, sixty or more in 2049 and not able to speak, read, write, understand “pure English” by that date? Luckily I won’t face the problem being, by that time, peacefully as a former english (but not schizophrenic) teacher DEAD.
    p.s. I’m sure you can do better next year’s april’s fool, but this wasn’t bad

  • makri says:

    This is absolutely ridiculous!!! Are these changes being planned by mature intelligent people? 1. Anything forbidden becomes more liked and wanted! 2. Even though English becomes the only language in the universe, terrorists will find another way of communicating. Remember all secret communities we have read about – they all had a secret language of communication. 3. Dr Wong is wrong, I’m afraid! Learning languages is not such a stress for the brain if you are motivated enough. Besides, the companies giving advice for keeping your memory young and fresh say you should tickle your brain all your life learning. I’ve read about people speaking more than 10 languages. I haven’t spoken to such a person, neither have I assessed their communicative competence but I don’t think it is impossible.
    What the wise men are planning to do sounds like the end of the world!

  • Telma Luís says:

    Happy April Fool’s to all ‘EnglishClubers’!!

  • Luci says:

    This may sound farfetched to us, but Representative Randy Terrill of Oklahoma is presently trying to pass a house bill to establish English as the ‘Official’ Language of Oklahoma, but in some passages it is termed ‘English Only’. I believe Arizona has this, as well, and maybe other states.
    So don’t laugh. Today, Oklahoma–Tomorrow, the world!

  • MILBACH says:

    What is the part in relation with stupidity … and what is the one in relation with provocation in this text ? I really ask myself !..
    Diversity is a powerful concept which garantees life and security !! (that includes languages as well as biodiversity !).. If the author of this report has not understand this fundamental notion, he is a stupid and very dangerous man…

  • Jalal says:

    It is very interesting Article, and what is the most interesting is that it came out on April fool’s day.
    Good Luck EOL!

  • baby says:

    That is very nice!

  • Ivonne says:

    Good joke to celebrate April Fool’s! There’s no other reason to write such a number of stupid, intolerant, twisted and disgusting ideas, I hope.

  • Lilian says:

    Is this a joke? A very good one!

  • Richard Benham says:

    Ian Brophy wrote: “Metric time was all the rage in South Australia about 25 years ago, when the Premier of the state appeared on TV with his metric clock and talked about mili days, decidays and decadays.”

    Not quite: I was in high school when this happened, which means that it must have been closer to 35 years ago. My sister’s science teacher was fooled: in fact, he hadn’t even seen the TV spot about it, but had believed the account of a colleague who had also been fooled. Of course the kids had a good laugh at his expense.

    The minister who played along with the joke was Des Corcoran, Minister for Works at the time (although he later did a brief stint as Premier when Don Dunstan had to retire due to illness). I think it was even Des who produced a stick-on clock dial, which was supposed to be placed over existing clocks to convert them to “metric time”.

  • Paul says:


    # Paul Says:
    April 2nd, 2008 at 8:03 am

    What a shame so many people who have posted here have
    a) Not realised it was an April Fool joke.
    b) Have no sense of humour.
    c) with a combination of the above two, are involved in education (otherwise why are they on this site?)

  • Alex Case says:

    One of the funniest things I’ve read in a long time. The Alex Case above is not me, btw, maybe English teaching runs in the Case family genes.

  • Marti says:

    “Mu bien, María”. So Spanish has more speakers than Hindi and Chinese, right? I’m impressed so much rubbish and naivety fit in a single blog… The one good thing is humour, that is right. As for a lost cause: tha Gàidhlig glè mhàt!

  • raafat says:

    iwant learn english

  • Ian says:

    To Paul (April 3rd, 2008 at 6:34 am):

    Totally concur with a and b.

    Regarding c, in fairness many people on this site are not “involved in education” in the real sense of the phrase, as they may be students learning rather than teaching E.

    On another note, I note that a majority of the a’s and b’s who reveal their first language seem to be Spanish speakers. Strange, I always thought of Spanish speakers as a fun-loving, intelligent bunch.

  • Wanda says:

    If the joke was so obviously an April Fool, it is surpassed by the comments written in response to it. I laughed just as much reading them as reading the original article ! Teachers so outraged as to want to give up teaching English. What a shame that learning a language, and moreover setting oneself up as a teacher and therefore perpetrator of that language, obviously includes no understanding of the cultural dimension of its native speakers. Or is it simply that only the British have the ability to laugh at themselves ? Thank heavens for our sense of humour. Giggle, giggle.

  • Mr.Happiness says:

    Sakya Muni Buddha said

    “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

    Sakya Muni Buddha
    (The Anguttara Nikaya/The “Further-factored” . Please discuss this topic. Thanks so much. Mr.Happiness.

  • sinister says:

    English can be one of the superior language powers around the world, and it will also be in future. However, it does not mean that other languages are unnecessary.If they were so, why are they spoken today? Nobody has a right to use a language (e.g.English) as a means of ruling the world!!!!!! (or at least)

  • didi says:

    i think it’s a april fool’s jock, but what about the futire of languges isn’t further than what it is expeted in this rapport

  • Farsane says:

    I think this is a wiered idea, because of its selfish 1 st of april dreaming joke, which no one would consider as an inter nations togetherness human dream. The fact of being multilingual confirms the willingness for human contact and share of ideas for reaching a better comprehension between nations. Hope we forget about such idea

  • tida mcintyre says:

    you got me there, dude..

  • yangting says:

    First, I would like to say that I’m lucky because my mother tongue is Chinese, which is spoken by more than 1 billion people in the world, and it would not be phased out imediately.Giggle!
    However,the idea of phasing out “Non-E”is really absurd. We’d better treat it as an April fool joke, or the third world war will surely be aroused.
    In order to keep the earth peaceful, please be more rational!

  • Carol Cameron says:

    I have shared the content of your article:
    UN To Ban “Unnecessary” Languages
    Everyone seems to think it is an April Fools joke.

    Is it?

  • ESL Blogs says:

    To Carol Cameron: Please read the line in red at the end of the article above.

    Or stand by for an announcement in the next issue of the ESL Progress newsletter next week.

  • aap says:

    April Fool’s Day hoax . It was in bad taste has anyone in English Club read 1984?
    It’s as if someone called you up and told you your son/daughter has been in an accident but you must come to ER and speak to the physician.
    Shame on you, you should open up a subscription to the George W. Bush 1984 fan club.
    I think that if you are a “serious” company you should apologize, that’s why everyone hates, yes strong word, the anglo world because of people like you

  • Ian says:

    aap: Does that mean you BELIEVED it? I can’t believe that someone so evidently cultured as you would fall for such an absurdity. And doesn’t that fact alone speak volumes about the dangers of the world we live in? The UN is composed of more than one country you know. Come on, get a life!! I don’t know anything about the 1984 Bush Fan Club, but to my mind the whole article was written to caricature that very arrogance that you seem to suggest – yes, the anglo arrogance that you suggest (“obviously the best language to choose”) – as well as the arrogance of large organizations that want to control us. Maybe you don’t have the ability to laugh at yourself, but laughing at oneself is an essential anglo characteristic. Surely you can see that?

  • lacio aka ahmed says:

    in twenty five years time ENGLISH will be only language in the world that means the world will be small village due to techonolgy today in the ideas of being spoken other languages such Arabic and so on will vanish totally out of side in use no matter what .

  • peter says:


  • Frederic says:

    Is this a joke or a serious piece of news ?

  • Laros Frank says:

    I think who has decide on this should be sentenced to death.

  • gabriela paoletti says:

    If learning a second language is harming for a person’s health how are the millions of people who don’t speak

  • Wannax says:

    Even though it is a April Fools hoax, it still hurt people who speak other languages. If this article is translated and published in those languages, what will happen if people who read the article do not know what “April Fools” is?

    The author of this article, you should apologize to the world. Please think about what you will say before you say it out loud.

  • Shpresa says:

    Languages are never to be faded away. They tell the identity, culture and education of certain people.

  • Language Hub says:


    I hope this will not come true. Languages are means of communication. Every language has its own beauty and speaking any language will truly not harm anyone.

  • javed says:

    A nice, ingenious joke.

  • Benny says:

    It must be crazy idea that I have not heard before. What is in your head ????

  • EL says:

    เกลียดจริงๆเลยคนที่พูดได้แต่ภาษาอังกฤษเนี่ย 我真讨厌只会说英语的人!Odio personas que puede solamente Inglés.

  • Awad says:

    this is completely rubbish. Language diversity and linguistic rights are the core of UN charters. This false supremacy given to the English of the BANA contries(Britain Australia and North America) is highly reflecting ignorance of the facts that there are alot of new Englishes have emerged around the world and they are not neceassary resemble the English those groups dream of its supremacy. Language selection and which language is suitable to what role is not a decision to be taken by UN or those pressure and interest groups.Who gave those people the right to classify world languages in this nonsensical way they did.

  • chuka says:

    I guess the piece was published on April 1.

  • molefe rakhothule says:

    Interesting enough, there is still a long way to go, however this will restrict the free movement of different people in terms of their origin, I hereby refer to the fact that If I know Sotho (one of the South African Languages) as my own language I will be restricted to stay in Lesotho in fear of sounding foreign in other countries.

    This in itself will promote more seclution (Africans will remain in Africa) cause it means I will only prefer to be in a place where I can freely express my self in my original Language.

    It can also be discouraging to those who are always trying to preserve the culture and langauge origins and does it mean Anthropology as a study will be faced out , how about all the scrolls written in different languages other than English still to be discovered, who will interprete them.
    My concern is also in regard to human rights issues in example freedom of expression in this case.
    I must also say it is quite interesting to be multingual, as you got to know more about other cultures.
    I have learned a lot through the English as my Second language therefore it is both beneficial to be multilingual.

    As a means of expression it is quite important to learn different languages , of wich I can speak Zulu , Sotho , Afrikaans , Tswana and English.

    I therefore think only the future will tell.

    Best Regards

  • aizek says:

    so do they mean that people not speaking english are cosidered terrorists???!!! and that using languages other than english harms the environment??!!!

    wow…what a really nice way to RULE the world…they found a way to become a terrorist without actually being called one…

    if this would push through… Britain, USA, Australia, Canada..are you ready to fight the rest of the world??

  • Esther says:

    This definitely has to be a joke. The Spanish speakers know that English is almost an imposition for all cultures. When you read the article for first time it seems an insult, no country on this Earth will permit such a ridiculous approach.

  • said elkaoukaji says:

    Nonesense, all what you have said, Maybe things will change for the benefit of Spanish even in America or any other language such as Chinese. Let’s wait and see, not all what has been redicted, occuredin the end.
    Said ELKAOUKAJI Casablanca

  • Rosie says:

    It must be a trick :)) hahah. Anyway, it’s very interesting.
    No comment 😀

  • Rose says:

    “It has been theorized that the human brain is adapted to the learning of a single language only, as for tens of thousands of years this was all that human development required.” Ummm hello, aside from people in Australia, England, America (and other English speaking nations) the majority of people in the world speak 2, 3 or even more languages fluently. Studies have shown that learning a second language helps to keep the brain more flexible. And if learning a second language is so stressful then why did I chose to study both Japanese and Chinese at university for 4 years (with out any idea of what kind of job it might lead to)?

    This article is totally insane… its either a joke or written by someone really stupid. It is really scary to think that anyone would think that this is a good idea.

  • hanh says:

    it’s strange idea but not necessery!keep the differenties of languanges!

  • faliza says:

    get lost!by the end of the day …it’s April’s fool day …..hahahahaha

  • Andrea says:

    It must be a joke!! Language is a distinctive cultural characteristic of countries and communities throughout the world. That would be too much globalization and a tendency to stop individuality and independence. Besides, it’s a lie to say that global warming is getting worse because they have to burn more paper due to translations!!! We all know that the 1st world countries are the more industrialized and hence cause more damage to the environment!!! Wow, give me a break….

  • muminsenturk says:

    i have another joke. englishclub.com is just nothing for english learners.

  • Ameer says:

    What about people’s culture and religion which tightly connected to their lnguage? Can you change or ban them. It’s a foooooooooooooooooool idea.

  • Pedro Rodriguez says:


  • RennyBA says:

    So Norwegian won’t stand any chance then – I hope you understand my English though 😆 One of the best I’ve red and I’ve updated my post where I collect jokes from all over the world of course – thanks for your contribution: terella.no

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