There are about 1,500 different languages spoken in the world today.
In the early 1940’s when it was first being organized, officials (ONU) proposed that all diplomats be required to speak a single language, a restriction that would both facilitate negotiations and symbolize global harmony.
Over the years, there have been no fewer than 300 attempts to invent and promulgate a global language, the most famous being made in 1887 by the polish oculist L.L. Zamenhof. The artificial language he created is called Esperanto, and today more than 100,000 people in twenty-two countries speak it.
United Nations ambassadors are now allowed to speak any one of five languages: Mandarin Chinese, English, Russian, Spanish, or French.
Today who speak mathematics fluently, as measured by the millions and by the historic consequences of their unified efforts, is arguably the most successful global language even spoken.
Though it has not enabled us to build a tower of Babel, it has made possible achievements that once seemed no less impossible: electricity, airplanes, the nuclear bomb, landing a man on the moon, and understanding the nature of life and death.
Matthe Arnold said: “ Poetry is simply the most beautiful, impressive, and widely effective mode of saying things.”
In the language of mathematics, equations are like poetry: They state truths with a unique precision, convey volumes of information in rather brief terms, and often are difficult for the initiated to comprehend. And just as conventional poetry helps us to see deep within ourselves, mathematical poetry helps us to see far beyond ourselves – if not all the way up to heaven, then at leapt out to the brink of the visible universe.
In attempting to distinguish between prose and poetry, Robert Frost once suggested that a poem, by definition, is a pithy form of expression that can never be accurately translated. The same can be said about mathematics: It is impossible to understand the true meaning of an equation, or to appreciate its beauty, unless it is read in the delightfully quirky language in which it was penned.
· Summarized and adapted of “Mathematical Poetry” of Dr. Michael Guillen