Education: Let's Learn Algerian

Henry Lee Smith Jr.'s secretary can ask her way to the ladies' room in 26 languages. Her boss is one of the world's top linguists. Small, fast-talking, Baltimore-born Henry Lee Smith Jr., Ph.D. (Princeton), used to awe nationwide radio audiences by interviewing people and telling, by their dialects and inflections, what parts of the U.S. they were from. Often he was able to detect not only Philadelphia, for example, but also what part of Philadelphia. Today Lieut. Smith has a full-time job teaching soldiers, via phonograph records, a smattering of the odd dialects they are meeting from Tunis to Burma. He...

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