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Jacques Barzun writes:
It is a noteworthy feature of 20th century culture that for the first time in over a thousand years its educated class is not expected to be at least bilingual.
Dean Briggs of Harvard College (c. 1900) noted that
The new degree of Bachelor of Science does not guarantee that the holder knows any science. It does guarantee that he does not know any latin.
In Los Angeles many people speak [or read] at least two languages often times three or more. Not through intentional education really but through the happy side benefits of immigration. Immense global migration patterns and economic forces are moving Asians east and Latin Americans north. Only those from “back east” [i.e. the Midwest] did not benefit linguistically from migration to the City of Angels.
How much did we lose when we as a culture lost language? Are we Babel revisited? How important is it to add Spanish or Mandarin or Hebrew to our menu of self education? What do you think?
So many universes to explore. So little time. God I love this planet.
Welcome to the future.