What is “Globish”?

Globish is this idea: We can all communicate better if we stick to simple rules. These include a limited set of words, short and simple sentences which result in a simple English grammar, and a pronunciation which is understandable. Most importantly, the language responsibility falls on the person who is trying to communicate. There is a need for everyone, certainly including the native English speakers, to adapt to using Globish at that level. Operating on this common ground provides everyone a better understanding of one’s own professional ability.  But it also creates a higher level of respect for persons who must be valued for their skills, if not for their English quite yet.  A number of distinct practices can improve the strength and quality of such communication within just a few minutes, as soon as they are understood, but they would be too long to describe in this document (short summary under “The Ten Basic Rules of Globish” in Exhibit).

There have been many questions and arguments surrounding Globish since my first book [1] on that was a best seller in Europe, and these continue through our second (recent) best seller [2]  in Japan. Most objections come from professors and other English language teachers who have secure professional areas they wish to protect against new ideas.  But “Globish” is not a language, as a language is the vehicle of a culture. If you want to enjoy William Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, or Mark Twain, study English. However, if you want to close business deals in Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Moscow, Istanbul, or Beijing, Globish is what you need.  Globish is enough English, and more than that would usually be too much. Speak Globish; you will be speaking like the people you will be meeting with. What else is needed?

Perhaps a standards-setting group, to make sure Globish remains consistent across various cultures. Currently, the Globish Foundation, a non-profit voluntary organization in Australia, provides the international Globish standards and testing. 

Exhibit. The Ten Basic Rules of Globish
1. Whoever speaks or writes is responsible for being understood, the other person is never guilty.
2. Use only words in the Globish glossary (1500 words).
3. Use mostly active voice.
4. Keep sentences short (15 words or fewer).
5. Repeat yourself.
6. Avoid metaphors, colorful expressions, and idioms.
7. Avoid negative questions.
8. Avoid all humor.
9. Avoid acronyms.