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January 4, 1896

The International Scientific Language.

JAMA. 1896;XXVI(1):41. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430530059011

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Chicago, Dec. 23, 1895.

To the Editor:  —I was very much pleased with your article in the last number of the Journal on "The International Scientific Language," and I think that in the main I agree with you. But I feel sure that you did not lay sufficient stress upon the unfortunate fact that the ability to speak French is quite a different thing from the translating knowledge. The former is rarely acquired after a certain age and almost never outside of a French school or a French-speaking locality. For instance, the only French that I heard spoken by Americans at the Pan-American Medical Congress—with one or two notable exceptions—was of that variety which Chaucer designated as of " Stratford-atte-Bow," and it was excessively painful to listen to. When the time comes that a man will commence to prepare himself for the study and practice of medicine at 12 years of

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