Claude Hagège

The Breath of Language Publication date : February 7, 2008

“The Europe of languages has its own destiny, and it cannot take its inspiration from foreign models. The domination of a single tongue, such as English, does not address that destiny. Only permanent openness and multiplicity can address it. Europeans must raise their sons and daughters in the multiplicity, not in the unity, of languages. Such is the call both of the past and of the future.”

“It is a known fact: the final hurdle that faces the new Europe is language. Opposed to an Anglophile unanimity, Claude Hagège reviews the state of health of European languages, and finds it reasonably satisfactory; he concludes that English is not necessarily the victor, that French is not all that handicapped, and that German is the most promising challenger. For this polyglot, the European language will be a plural one.” L'Express

Claude Hagège is a professor at the Collège de France and the recipient of the 1995 gold medal awarded by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). He is the author of Le Français et les siècles (1987), L'Enfant aux deux langues (1996; Poches Odile Jacob, 2005), Halte à la mort des langues (2000; Poches Odile Jacob, 2002) and Combat pour le français (2006).