The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.
Try to imagine it: one universal language, spoken, written and understood by everyone everywhere on Earth.
To facilitate international commerce, communication, understanding and peace, the Baha’i Faith advocates the adoption of an international auxiliary language.
As the Baha’i teachings envision the process, such a language would be chosen through international consultation and agreement, thereby making the process itself an important bulwark of international harmony.
The intent is not to suppress, supplant or replace any existing languages, nor is it to allow any one cultural or linguistic approach to dominate others—the idea is to support international peace. Baha’u’llah explained:
Among the things which are conducive to unity and concord and will cause the whole earth to be regarded as one country is that the divers languages be reduced to one language and in like manner the scripts used in the world be confined to a single script. It is incumbent upon all nations to appoint some men of understanding and erudition to convene a gathering and through joint consultation choose one language from among the varied existing languages, or create a new one, to be taught to the children in all the schools of the world.
The day is approaching when all the peoples of the world will have adopted one universal language and one common script. When this is achieved, to whatsoever city a man may journey, it shall be as if he were entering his own home. These things are obligatory and absolutely essential. It is incumbent upon every man of insight and understanding to strive to translate that which hath been written into reality and action. – Tablets of Baha’u’llah, pp. 165-166.
Actually, the Baha’i teachings describe the adoption of this universal auxiliary language as one of the necessary precursors to planetary peace:
Today the greatest need of the world of humanity is discontinuance of the existing misunderstandings among nations. This can be accomplished through the unity of language. Unless the unity of languages is realized, the Most Great Peace and the oneness of the human world cannot be effectively organized and established because the function of language is to portray the mysteries and secrets of human hearts. The heart is like a box, and language is the key. Only by using the key can we open the box and observe the gems it contains. Therefore, the question of an auxiliary international tongue has the utmost importance. Through this means international education and training become possible; the evidence and history of the past can be acquired. The spread of the known facts of the human world depends upon language. The explanation of divine teachings can only be through this medium. As long as diversity of tongues and lack of comprehension of other languages continue, these glorious aims cannot be realized. Therefore, the very first service to the world of man is to establish this auxiliary international means of communication. It will become the cause of the tranquillity of the human commonwealth. Through it sciences and arts will be spread among the nations, and it will prove to be the means of the progress and development of all races. We must endeavor with all our powers to establish this international auxiliary language throughout the world. It is my hope that it may be perfected through the bounties of God and that intelligent men may be selected from the various countries of the world to organize an international congress whose chief aim will be the promotion of this universal medium of speech. – Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp. 60-61.
We say “this man is a German, the other an Italian, a Frenchman, an Englishman,” etc. All belong to the great human family yet language is the barrier between them. The greatest working basis for bringing about unity and harmony amongst the nations is the teaching of a universal tongue. Writing on this subject fifty years ago, His Holiness Baha’u’llah declared that complete union between the various nations of the world would remain an unrealized dream until an international language was established. – Abdu’l-Baha, Divine Philosophy, p. 142.
Elsewhere the Baha’i writings envisage the adoption of a universal currency and a universal system of weights and measures. Again, the motivation is to facilitate harmony among all peoples.