Languages for War and Peace

Languages for War and Peace

Languages for War and Peace

Languages for War and Peace

Excerpt

The man who speaks another language besides his own has "another string to his bow".

In war, if he knows the language of the enemy, he may be able to avoid capture, or, if taken prisoner, to make his escape far more easily; he can question prisoners and obtain from them valuable information, or glean such information from their notebooks and letters; he may even derive it from a military sign-post in the enemy's language. He can communicate directly with the allies whose language he knows, make things infinitely more comfortable for himself and his unit when billeted in an allied or enemy country, give and receive directions, speak the language of friendship, of command, of common everyday needs. Striking examples of the way in which linguistic training can be put to military uses appeared in the early days of the war, when German parachutists came down in Holland equipped not only with Dutch uniforms, but also with a command of the Dutch tongue, and German motorcyclists, disguised as French soldiers, swept across Belgium and northern France spreading disorder and panic in excellent French.

When peace is restored to a war-weary world, the benefits of linguistic training will be equally vast and far more enduring. American soldiers, scattered throughout the four corners of the globe in the post-war days while the preliminaries of a permanent peace are being worked out, will need languages. Later, when world economy is put on a far more stable footing and commercial exchanges become far more intense than ever before, men and women with linguistic training will be at a premium. The demand for diplomatic and consular representatives, for government employes, for commercial . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.