Ideas of Panglobish

Principles of Panglobish

Panglobish is fair. Everybody has an equal chance of learning and speaking Panglobish well. It is supposed to be the great equalizer — a way of communicating that everybody can use on the same level.

Panglobish is evenly global. It borrows words from from all regions and all cultures of the world. It is the world language that stands for the whole world!

Panglobish is practical. It re-uses things that have already become international, including the basic Latin alphabet, basic words from English, and international words from Greek, Latin, Sanskrit, Chinese and Arabic, among others. That way Panglobish can be used in real international communication right from the start.

Panglobish is simple. In international situations it is best to use plain words, short sentences and simple language because they are much more effective than specialized words, long sentences and complex language. So, let's keep it simple!

Panglobish feels real. It is like a lost relative of English that seems to be of the same kind as English but that is at the same time distinctly its own kind. In this regard it is similar to the real relatives of English (like German, Dutch, Afrikaans and the Scandinavian languages) and the children of English (like Jamaican, Singaporean and Nigerian versions of English).

Evenly global

Why all languages are not included?

The figure below shows cumulative distribution of the 50 most spoken native languages. The figure tells that:

  • 25 percent of the world population speaks the top-3 languages
  • 50 percent of the world speaks the top-13 languages
  • 75 percent of the world speaks the top-50 languages

The remaining languages – there are over 6000 of them! – are outside the picture. The curve, which is steep at the beginning, turns virtually into a flat line when it approaches the last language, which is spoken only by a handful of people.

The figure indicates that beyond a certain point including one more language to the mix wouldn't make the interlanguage significantly more international. For example, if the top-50 languages were already included, adding the 51st language wouldn't make much of a difference, ecause it would increase the coverage from 75.07% to 75.43%.

One can also question the practical implications of including 51 languages versus 50. The increase in coverage would be marginal, only 0.36%, and it would not help the remaining 24.24% of the world who speak other, smaller languages!

Figure. Percentage of world population by language by number of native speakers.

The vocabulary of Panglobish is based on the most spoken languages. They cover all continents and all major modern cultures of the world. They also have a lot of international words in common with less spoken languages. That's why Panglobish-like words can be found also in smaller languages.

Useful in real life

Panglobish is meant to be a useful language in real life. What does it mean? It means that you can speak it immediately in hotels, shops, taxis, airports, train stations, etc... It means that you can understand road signs and signboards of hotels, bars and restaurants. It means that you can make yourself understood.

Panglobish is open. You are allowed to use words from other languages in Panglobish. Use whatever is necessary to make yourself understood! You may say, for example, mi wan gow do "fan dien" in China, even though restoran is the normal word for restaurant in Panglobish. It's more important to get to the restaurant than to speak perfect Panglobish, isn't it?

Panglobish is not a secret language for a small club or a cult. It's more important to be able to communicate with everybody in practice than to protect "the purity of our language" on paper.

What Panglobish should sound like?

Panglobish is spoken in the "continental" manner. It means that the Germanic part of Panglobish sounds rather like German, Dutch and the Scandinavian languages, and the Romance part sounds like Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and French.

English: nation /neɪʃən/ German: Nation /natsio:n/ Dutch: natie /na:tsi/ Russian: нация /natsiya/ French: nation /nasyõ/ Spanish: nación /nasyon/ Portuguese: nação /nasãũ/

University Word List


One of the goals of Panglobish is to have less words to be memorized than English and other natural languages, but it's not meant to be minimal.