Against Uniform Thinking Publication date : January 12, 2012
Claude Hagège is the author of such immensely successful works as Le Français et les Siècles, Le Souffle de la langue, Halte à la mort des langues and Combat pour le français. This titles have been translated in many languages. He is a professor at the Collège de France.
Faced with the difficulty of communicating between speakers of different languages, human societies have often promoted vehicular languages such as Sanskrit or Latin.
But the rapid spread of the English language in the contemporary world is a new phenomenon. And because English reflects the way of thinking of native English speakers, its widespread use puts pressure on the speakers of other languages to conform to these ways of thinking. Besides, argues the author, English is the language of the world’s most powerful nations, those with the greatest capacity to spread their products and models worldwide.
Language conveys mindsets that have the power to impose themselves extensively and thus threaten to become monolithic. This very real threat must be examined in the name of linguistic diversity and of the intellectual schema conveyed by each language.
• An eminent linguist and popular media personality who has mastered more than 50 languages, Claude Hagège is the sole figure with the authority to defend linguistic diversity and to make his voice heard.
• The re-appropriation of the French language by its speakers is a crucial issue. The author offers an astounding demonstration of how English has taken over how speakers of other languages think.