I was doing some investigation on whether there is an English word for Kniebeuge, the hollow behind the knee (see earlier entry on Ellenbeuge) when I came across a 2001 article by John Derbyshire in National Review Online on the topic of Anglo-Saxons and their inability to speak foreign languages.
The article was inspired by a reader’s comment, when Derbyshire recommended a German website:
bq. Read German, you say? You forget that I am an American. The Germans will damn well speak English, if they want to be understood. … We neither have the time, nor see the need, to learn languages that are destined to go the way of Latin and Sanskrit. We have people to do that for us, should the need arise…
Derbyshire has encountered, at school and later, French, German, Latin, Russian, Cantonese, Cambodian, and Mandarin.