Two Presidents: Obama -I admire- and Zapatero -from Spain, I despise- have visited Pittsburgh, Pa. these last few days, and neither -just my luck- speak languages. I mention this because Pittsburgh homes my Alma Mater, Duquesne University, and the University of Pittsburgh, where I was taught English, Spanish anbd French, among other things. What a travesty of an international meeting!In the XIX Century educated people spoke languages as a matter of course. Peruse Mann's Death in Venice where at the hotel von Aschenbach hears all the educated European languages.
Today more than ever the mastery of languages is a must, as I have written in my El laberinto del idioma inglés, which I recommend, of course.
And while we are at it, I also recommend Duquesne University and the University of Pittsburgh, to all those who wish to pursue a serious - a no-nonsense- education.