globish
n. The simplified English spoken by many nonnative English speakers; a proposed form of English that uses a limited vocabulary and basic syntax to help nonnative English speakers communicate. Also: Globish.

Example Citations:
On a recent trip to Mumbai, India, Tom Russell, publisher of Random House's Living Language learning guides, ran across a commentary in a leading Indian publication that pointed out the hazards of the new "globish" language. It is a term used to describe the awkward English that is often spoken abroad "in fits and starts," he said. "It's just enough for a foreigner to get by in our tongue."
—Paul Burnham Finney, "Not Lost in Translation," The New York Times, February 20, 2007

Jean-Paul Nerriere, a retired vice president of I.B.M., calls his proposal Globish. It uses a limited vocabulary of 1,500 words, taken from the Voice of America, among other sources, which can be put together clumsily to express more complicated thoughts. Little concern is given to the complexities of grammar, and he proposes that speakers of Globish say the same thing in different ways to make up for difficulties in pronunciation.

The typical conversation in Globish could be grating to a native speaker, but get the job done between, say, a Kenyan and a Korean trying to navigate a business deal or asking for help at the airport check-in. For nephew, there is "son of my brother/sister"; kitchen is "room in which you cook your food"; chat is "speak casually to each other." Pizza is pizza, however, since Globish considers it to be an international term, like taxi or police.
—Noam Cohen, "So English Is Taking Over the Globe. So What.," The New York Times, August 6, 2006

Earliest Citation:
On the other hand, English is a notoriously fast and promiscuous mongrel; it absorbs worlds and phrases as fast as it grafts them onto others. Indeed, the "globish" of world youth culture is more and more interactive. Non-Western forms of English now are as creative and lively as Chaucerian or Shakespearean or Dickensian English once were. As a recent British Council report shows, the evolution of the language accelerates as it spreads beyond Anglo-Saxism.
—Nigel Young, "Cultural Imperialism Aside, English Spans Linguistic Gulfs," Christian Science Monitor, December 29, 1997

Related Words:

Category: