WORLD - Will All Languages Be Romanized?

Arno Froese

Tajiki Persian and the Altaic languages of Central Asia suffered from the U-turns of Soviet linguistic policy, and have been written with several different scripts in less than a century. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Turkey proposed a shared Roman alphabet, but each newly independent country followed its own path to affirm its identity and sovereignty. This April Kazakhstan’s president announced the adoption of the Roman alphabet by 2025.

India is unique in having two official writing systems at federal level—the Roman alphabet and Nagari—and 12 across its 36 states and territories. Anglo-Indian, using the Roman alphabet and viewed as more neutral than Hindi, is the shared language of the elite, but Nagari script, aggressively promoted by some Hindu nationalists, retains an important role as a marker of identity. Writing systems and religions do not necessarily coincide: the mostly Hindu Tamils of Sri Lanka differentiate themselves from the Buddhist Sinhalese, while Hindu West Bengal and Muslim Bangladesh use the same Bengali script. West Pakistan’s attempt to impose Arabic script was a cause of Bangladesh’s secession in 1971.

Arno's commentary

Will there be a unified language? Most likely not, because computer-based language recognition and translation are becoming more and more accurate. Nevertheless, the printed news media needs a more unified approach to more accurately report about events around the globe. There, Romanized alphabet is the leading.

Here we are reminded of when Rome requested a census of its population just before Jesus was born. Communicating with the Roman alphabet seems to cast a shadow for the second coming of the Lord. 

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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