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THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE.

Under the auspices of the Christchurch branch of the Australasian Society for Social Ethics a meeting was held in Christchurch recently, when SameuhorFs (of Rodno, in Russia) scheme of a universal language for all civilised nations was discussed and the following resolutions were carried :—"Thab in the opinion of this Conference the adoption of an international language will conduce to the realisation of universal brotherhood, and will tend to the development of literature, science, and the best possibilities of humanity, by providing a single medium of communication." " That this Conference consider that the English language, both from its composite nature and widespread use, is better fitted to supply an international language than any other, modern, ancient, or artificial." In supporting the second resolution the Secretary said : I think the English ia of such a character fot the following reasons : Its use is widely spread over the world, ao widely that shipmasters say that, knowing no other tongue than English, they can carry on their business in any port; for it is spoken more or less perfectly wherever they go, be it to the far east of Asia, the coasts of South America, Africa, or the islands of the Pacific. English is now in the schools of other countries. As an instance some years ago a German of my acquaintance was reading Carlyle's «Life of hrodenck the Great.' I asked him how he could read and understand it when he could only speak broken English. He replied that in the schoolß of Berlin they were taught to read and write English, but were not taught to speak it. I read in a recent number of 'Harper's Magazine' that in the btate schools of Mexico " English is compul- ! or J-. Possibly the ruler of that country looked forward to a lime when Mexico would be absorbed by its great English-speaking neighbor, and so prepared the way by making the learning of that language compulsory. In Siam schools are established for the teaching of English. A school somewhat like our Girls' High School is in existence in biam, under the management of English women. The sons of the wealthier classes are sent to Europe to be educated, more, than half of whom go to England, bo Japan sends her sons and daughters to the United States and England for their training in the language and learning of the West. In the Argentine Republic there are 51,000 persons of British origin, with their own churches ; and in the neighboring Republics we find English mercantile houses, whose official staff are British In the beginning of this century French waß more widely spoken than the language of any other civilised nation; but what is it now? In 1801 French was used bv 31,000,000, English by 20,000,000; in 1890 French was spoken by 51,000,000, English hy 111,000,000; in 1895 by 124,000,000 or more than one - twelfth of the estimated population of the globe. MulhalPs 'Dictionary of Statistics' is my authority for most of these figures.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18970918.2.49.26

Bibliographic details

THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE., Issue 10423, 18 September 1897, Supplement

Word Count
501

THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE. Issue 10423, 18 September 1897, Supplement

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