Multilingualism Is a Humanism

As its title indicates, Francois Ost’s book is a defence plea. Yet it is not just another of the increasingly common and controversial treatises against “global English” on behalf of minority languages. It is a detailed consideration of the language(s) that should be spoken in the world in order to respond to our desire for the universal whilst feeding on our diversity. François Ost painstakingly traces the genealogy of this translation paradigm almost step by step: from Babel to the question of Law, from linguistic utopias to examples of multilingual states, and from the reinvention of Hebrew to the difference between languages that have disappeared and those that are dead.

Leyla Dakhli

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