Loading Salons

« All Salons

  • This salon has passed.

A Multitude of Tongues: Exploring Linguistic Diversity

February 19, 2021 at 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm EST

Start time where you are: Your time zone couldn't be detected

Étienne Fortier-Dubois explores the diversity of the world’s languages — where it comes from, where it’s going, and how it influences us

This Interintellect Salon will be conducted in English. Why English? Because it is the indisputably dominant language of the internet and, to a large extent, of the world. A lingua franca that facilitates communication between people from faraway cultures.

But English is only one out of 6,000 to 7,000 living languages. Human civilization contains enormous linguistic diversity, from the 820 indigenous languages of Papua New Guinea — the most diverse country — to the Indo-European languages, which have spread in much of the world. A lot of the world’s languages are endangered. Many are extinct already. Almost all are constantly changing, due to both societal progress and to contact with other powerful languages.

In this Salon, we’ll talk about the dynamics of linguistic diversity. What makes people choose to learn a language and perhaps, after a generation or two, forget the language of their ancestors? Why are some languages and dialects more prestigious than others? Is linguistic diversity important? Should we protect endangered languages? Will English remain the global language forever? Will it split into new languages over time? Is bilingualism good? Is linguistic purity worthwhile? How do languages influence culture and geopolitics?

And of course, how does linguistic diversity impact us at the personal level? Being monolingual, bilingual, or polyglot greatly affects our experiences. Many of us wish we could speak more languages. All of us know English, but we may have a special relationship with it.

Bring all the languages you know — even if it’s just a year of Spanish in high school — and let’s discuss! – Salon Host Étienne Fortier-Dubois


Good to read and watch pre-Salon:


Time zones:

  • 1 pm in San Francisco
  • 4 pm in New York
  • 9 pm in London
  • 10 pm in Berlin

Why not add the ii Calendar to your calendar?


You will be sent a Zoom link before the event, when bookings close.

Free entry for all Interintellect Hosts (with option of being a patron – see here).

Apply for a student discount at hello@interintellect.com.

Community forum acceptance is currently referral based, but we have a public waiting list – see here.

Find our online code of conduct here.

We have many more cool Interintellect events coming up – see here.