John Le Carré (1931-2020)

Photograph: Rob Judges/Rex/Shutterstock

British writer, John le Carré died at the weekend. Looking at the many tributes he has received it is beyond doubt that Le Carré was one of the undisputed giants of English literature.

He said this about those who choose to learn, or to encourage their children to learn, another language:

The decision to learn a foreign language is an act of friendship; it is a holding out of the hand. It’s not just a route to negotiation, it’s also to get to know you better, to draw closer to you and your culture, your social manners and your way of thinking. And the decision to teach a foreign language is an act of commitment, generosity and mediation.

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