The USA has the same number of English speakers as India and, if
one was to count English learners as English speakers, the same number
as China too. The United Kingdom has as many English speakers as
Nigeria and as the Philippines. Given English’s redeployment as the
world’s most commonly used cross-border language, the native English
speaker may soon disappear and a language of non-standards may emerge,
the expressive abundance of which is worth exploring.
In her first piece on the subject, produced for the 4th Bucharest
Biennial in 2010, Nicoline van Harskamp interviewed linguists,
artists, politicians, language teachers and NGO workers in Romania
about the way the English language has influenced their particular
field. From the transcribed conversations, she created the script for
a discussion between a curator and an artist, subsequently performed
by Romanian actor Daniel Popa and herself. The English script was
translated to Romanian and van Harskamp memorized her text line by
line in preparation of its unique staging, for a mixed-language
audience, on the opening night of the Biennial.
Together with European English Exercise, New Latin is part of a
larger project in progress about the future of the English language.