MORE THAN TWO THOUSAND WORDS
HAVING A LIKE SOUND AND LIKE SIGNIFICATION IN TEN
LANGUAGES, TO WIT:
ENGLISH, FRENCH, SPANISH, PORTUGUESE, ITALIAN, GERMAN,
DUTCH, DANISH-NORWEGIAN, SWEDISH,
COMPILED BY CHARLES B. WAITE, A. M.
“Thoughts Concerning a Common Language;” Translated into each of the foregoing Languages, with a more extended Article on the same subject, in English.
C. V. WAITE & CO.
Charles B. Waite, A. M.
The question of a common language is of the greatest importance to the human race, and is now more than ever engaging the attention of the civilized world.
In any attempt that may be made to solve this great problem, the first thing to be done is to preserve and use what we already have in common. The words or modes of expression which are the same or nearly the same in various languages, should be made the basis on which to build.
If a new language is to be formed, it must be constructed from these materials.
The object of this Vocabulary is to show that a vast body of words are common to nearly all of the Indo-Germanic languages. It is scarcely necessary to say that many of these words have somewhat different meanings in the different languages. Even if the meaning were at first the same, it would soon be changed or modified in accordance with the manners and customs and modes of thought of the people by whom the words are used. Yet, notwithstanding all the diversities and variations, there is still a substantial similarity both of sound and of signification.
These are the words from which should be taken the root words for a language common to the Indo-Germanic peoples. In what manner the language itself should be constructed, would be determined by eminent philologists and linguists selected and chosen for that purpose.
In the article following the Vocabulary the compiler has fully explained his views in regard to the initiatory steps to be taken in the inauguration of such a reform. An abridgment of that article has been translated into the other nine languages.
The author wishes to acknowledge his obligations to Mr. Sigvard Sörenson, Assistant Librarian of the Newberry Library of Chicago, an accomplished linguist, who has rendered valuable assistance in the prosecution of this work. Also to Prof. G. Mantellini, Director of the Chicago School of Languages, for the intelligent interest manifested; also to Messrs. C Martin and Jacob A. Meislisch, of the Newberry Library, and J. N. Söderholm, of Chicago.
If the author of this work has succeeded in furnishing suggestions which shall prove to be of any value as to the mode of commencing a work the importance of which is conceded by all, he will feel well repaid for his time and labor.