Ozanam the polyglot #AnecdotesVF

by | Jun 10, 2016 | Formation

Ozanam the polyglot fb

Frederic did not need modern audiovisual media (now apparently essential) to learn languages. He, at age 17, already knew Latin, Greek, began studying Sanskrit and Hebrew — to be able to translate from the original sources —, and studied German and Italian. By the time the graduated from college in Letters, he knew enough English and a little Spanish. He was also good at drawing, and had studied Astronomy and Geology.

While a bachelor, he was already translating books on Eastern mythologies and on the origins of language. For example: on the “Hindu philosophical systems,” on “religious beliefs in China,” on “religious doctrines of India at the time of the Laws of Manu,” on Grammar, on Philosophy of Language…

In a revealing letter is that he wrote, at 19, to his relative Falconett: “I finished translating from German a curious pamphlet Bergmann wrote about religion in Tibet.” He also says he has begun the French version of a Tibetan book, from its German version: “It is a genesis, a cosmogonic system where all traces of revelation are strongly imprinted.” I think he refers to a book by Benjamin Bergmann, his contemporary, entitled “An exhibition of Tibetan-Mongolian religious system.”

Author: Juan Manuel Gómez,
vice president, SSVP in Spain.

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