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Mao Zedong never learned to speak standard Chinese (Putonghua, alias Mandarin); he could only speak Hunan dialect, which Chinese people in other provinces find incomprehensible. This did not prevent him from becoming China's absolute leader.


Fortunately for Napoleon, not speaking French well was still very common in France in this period. In 1794, only one tenth of the population were fluent in French. The pre-Napoleonic revolutionary government made strides to rectify this by banning all non-Parisian French dialects for official business, but they didn't devote the resources to educate the ...


The Latin alphabet, as it has been mentioned so far, derives from a Greek alphabet. That is, the Chalcidic alphabet. It was widely used in the areas of Chalkida and Eretria, in the island of Euboea and found its way to cities of Southern Italy through settlers of Cumae (also see this passage). From there, it went on to become the basis for Latin. In ...

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