Why are other languages so threatening to us monolingual Americans? I think it is a testament to the power of language. I lived in South Africa for a while in the early 1980’s and saw first-hand how languages can be used to control parts of the population. It is not a pretty site.
But if language is so powerful, why don’t we tap in to that resource? It takes effort, especially in a country that can be rather insular. Kelly suggests: “Accepting that we are a multilingual nation is a challenge, because it requires looking beyond our borders and outside our comfort zone.” She follows with: “The only solution? Know thy enemy.”
I submit that if we study our enemy’s language, we may find a friend. Or at least someone we can live peacefully beside.