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Marek Kohn talks to Daniel Hahn

Four Words for Friend

Hay Festival 2019, 

In a world that has English as its global language and rapidly advancing translation technology, it’s easy to assume that the need to use more than one language will diminish. Kohn argues that plural language use is more important than ever. It helps us to understand ourselves and others better, to live together better, and to make the most of our various cultures. Kohn explores how people acquire languages; how they lose them; how different languages may affect people’s perceptions, their senses of self, and their relationships with each other; and how to resolve the fundamental contradiction of languages – that they exist as much to prevent communication as to make it happen.