languages

I want to learn something new, or consolidate some older learning. I contemplated learning a new language today. But which to learn? Deciding which language to speak is not something we usually think of as a choice, but more and more it is becoming so. A political choice.

The old world domination of Russian intrigues me. Huge swaths of Central Asia speak this as a lingua franca. It is hard to tell if these emerging democracies are becoming new world powers, or fading. Chinese has always eluded me and is the second world language next to English. This could be the crucial language to learn. Although in the Western Hemisphere Spanish is becoming key. Japanese is so easy, and clean. But is it useful? And Arabic begins to seem more and more practical. Or perhaps I should just reawaken my French?

Am reading new book on this topic: Empires of the World: A Language History of the World, Nicholas Ostler.

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