I was sorting through some old papers and came across a photocopy of this clipping from what I am pretty sure was The New York Times. I have not, however, been able to confirm that. If anyone can tell me the source, I’d appreciate it. Nonetheless, I think it’s a fitting follow up to my last post about translation:
David Tuckerman, who lives near the United Nations, is accustomed to hearing many languages. Recently, he heard a man speaking to his daughter, who appeared to be about 5 years old, in a language he couldn’t identify. He asked what it was and was told that it was Serbian and that naturally the little girl, living in New York, also spoke English.
Mr. Tuckerman complimented the girl on being bilingual and she corrected him. “I’m trilingual,” she said. “My mother is Greek, so I speak Greek to her.” He complimented her again, for knowing the definitions of bi- and trilingual, and then asked what people who spoke only one language were called.
“Americans,” she replied without hesitation.