Given that a rather popular language learning application exists with a name similar to ours, we are often asked the reason for calling ourselves Babel School of Languages.
Is the name Babel an attempt at imitation? Does it have to do with Babel, the football player? Is it a reference to the biblical Tower of Babel? Or maybe it is an allusion to the forgotten Babel Fish- the translator software from Alta Vista in the early days of the internet ?
Well. To tell you the truth, the name Babel School of Languages takes its inspiration from all this and a little more.One of the biggest influences was this amazing short story by Jorge Luis Borges called the Library of Babel. In this story, La biblioteca de Babel , the Argentine author and librarian, describes a fictional universe in the form of a vast library containing all possible 410-page books of a certain form.
The story was first published in the 40s in his collection El Jardín de senderos que se bifurcan (The Garden of Forking Paths). It is also featured in his well known collection of stories- Ficciones. In this vast and seemingly infinite library of Babel, a great majority of the books in the collection are pure gibberish. But, given the nature of this library, it also must contain, somewhere, every coherent book ever written, or that might ever be written, and every possible version or slightly erroneous version of every one of those books.
Thus the library of Babel must contain all useful information, including predictions of the future, biographies of any person, and translations of every book in all languages. Also, for the books considered gibberish, maybe, some language could be devised that would make them readable. If there exists a librarian for this library of Babel, then he must certainly known of, or maybe even read, all these books. This omniscient holder of the index would be the God of this Babel universe.
The Babel School of Languages was dreamed up one day when we were hotly discussing how a real library with books of ever language would look like. How many languages will this real library of Babel hold? What themes and topics would each language cover ? Will the Babel version only hold the same book but translated in every language possible? Who would be the Babel librarian who would verify if every translation is error free? Would he help us judge these translations to make sure that there in no added nuances in the language he finds the translation to be in? Or would the Babel library abandon all translation and only collect books written in that language , so that each school of thought gets its own expression in its own unique language.
Would this Babel Library belong to a School? How would such a school us the library? Or maybe there would be a School of Languages that dreams of this Babel sized project? We answered the last question and named it the Babel school of Languages.