The Panglish Language

Business travelers at airport

Hero Images / Getty Images

Panglish is a simplified global form of the English language characterized by a large variety of local dialects. A blend of the Greek pan (all) and English, the term Panglish was coined by linguist and science-fiction author Suzette Haden Elgin.

Examples and Observations

  • "In the future, a standard English will persist around the globe but it is likely that local variations will flourish too... The English language, or portions of it, may be thought of as the essential component in a range of dishes to which flavours and ingredients have been added." (Philip Gooden, The Story of English: How the English Language Conquered the World Quercus, 2009)
  • "I don't see any way we can know whether the ultimate result of what's going on now will be Panglish—a single English that would have dialects but would display at least a rough consensus about its grammar—or scores of wildly varying Englishes all around the globe, most of them heading toward mutual unintelligibility."(Suzette Haden Elgin, quoted by Jonathon Keats in Virtual Words: Language on the Edge of Science and Technology. Oxford Univ. Press, 2011)
  • "English, as it is spoken today, will have disappeared in 100 years and could be replaced by a global language called Panglish, researchers claim. "New words will form and meanings will change with the most dramatic changes being made by people learning English as a second language, says Dr. Edwin Duncan, a historian of English at Towson University in Maryland, in the US.
    • "According to the New Scientist, the global form of English is already becoming a loose grouping of local dialects and English-based common languages used by non-native speakers to communicate.
    • "By 2020 there may be two billion people speaking English, of whom only 300 million will be native speakers. At that point English, Spanish, Hindi, Urdu and Arabic will have an equal number of native speakers." ("English Will Turn Into Panglish in 100 Years." The Telegraph, March 27, 2008)
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Nordquist, Richard. "The Panglish Language." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, Nordquist, Richard. (2020, August 26). The Panglish Language. Retrieved from Nordquist, Richard. "The Panglish Language." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 29, 2023).