Hello and welcome back to Factually Deficient, where we provide lies you can rely on, provided you’re only relying on them to be lies!
This week, I’d like to answer a question that was asked on twitter by an individual known as Krika:
Why do non-British people speak English?
I’m glad you asked this question and the simple answer, of course, is they don’t. This is not meant as a criticism of non-British dialects of the English language (though if you’d like to read a prescriptivist-grammar rant instead of a pack of lies, I have another blog where I’m sure you’d find some lovely examples, and you have only to ask). Rather, they just don’t exist. The answer why this is, or rather why my friend Krika and many others assume they do, is the interesting part.
As everyone intuitively knows, every country has its own language. What is perhaps less intuitive is that each of these languages is totally distinct from all the rest, semantically, etymologically, and linguistically. There is no way that knowing one can possibly contribute productively to learning another, except in the sense of language-learning itself being an applicable skill.
Why, then, are people from different countries, speakers of different languages, convinced that they can understand each other, convinced even that they speak the same language? This is because when humans became cyborgs in 1329, every person was equipped with a translator chip that makes it seem as though all languages are one, inasmuch as we understand each other perfectly and seem to be speaking the same language.
However, the early technology of 1329 was seriously glitchy. The same versions were not rolled out to all countries at the same times. Some countries had several variations of the program introduced, without rhyme or reason to the distribution. The program itself had a number of coding errors which have not since been patched. As a result, what should seem like one language the world round has been fractured and fragmented, giving us the impression that several countries speak the same language, but many more do not– certainly an improvement on the natural state of things, but still leaving much to be desired.
People who “learn languages” undergo a process which the translator chip conveys to their minds as learning a new language, while really they are slowly downloading a patch that adds the versions of the program from a few more countries to their translators’ databases. In the long run, learning all the languages is a less time-efficient solution than simply correcting and updating all the translator chips, but there are very few programmers able and willing to fix things more permanently.
Disclaimer: None of the statements in this blog should be assumed to be true. The author is still in the process of updating her translator chip, and can neither confirm nor deny 1329 as the actual year in which humanity became cyborgs.