This is a quote by Claude Levi-Strauss (1908-2009), a French anthropologist and ethnologist, member of the French Academy (Académie Française).
It is truly difficult if not impossible, to imagine a world in which only one single language would be spoken.
Some may dream of it and would like to to see one sole, easy-to-learn language being used all over the world. We may think of Esperanto as one such language, but Esperanto was not created to replace the already existing languages.
Zamenhof’s goal in constructing that language, was rather to offer an international language that would help people from various nationalities and mother tongues to communicate with ease in an easily learnt language.
“A world in which only one language would be spoken would be a world of terrible loneliness.”
In this quotation, Claude Levi-Strauss talks about something totally different: he tries to imagine the whole world speaking one unique language.
But if everyone in the whole world spoke the same language, then what about all that a language contains and conveys : ideas, concepts, culture, comprehension of our pairs and our environment?… Isn’t the diversity of languages a guarantee against loneliness?
If you are reading this post in The Language Nook, you are most probably interested in foreign languages. Can you picture a world without the diversity of languages we can enjoy throughout the world?
How would you feel about it? Share your thoughts!