A few years ago I heard Columbia University professor, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (http://www.columbia.edu/cu/english/fac_profiles.htm), give a keynote at a conference on the Humanities I was attending. The modern world needs a
Common tongue, she said, and it might as well be English. The trick, she cautioned, is to have everyone learn English without losing the mother tongue. There is deep meaning in words and the structure of languages. They each reveal a different and important view of the human experience. We all lose when a language dies.