“But when this language [English], with all its products and acquisitions, matured by ages on its own mother soil, is carried into foreign lands, which have their own separate history and their own life-growth, it must constantly hamper the indigenous growth of culture and destroy individuality of judgement and the perfect freedom of self-expression. The inherited wealth of the English language, with all its splendour, becomes an impediment when taken into different surroundings, just as when lungs are given to the whale in the sea.” 
This quote made me think about the Imperialism of language on the Internet, and the very limited computer-based language support available. As Tagore points out, this clearly has implications for the particular ways in which knowledge, society, art, culture, etc. are described and understood. Just a quick peek…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_used_on_the_Internet (no Indian languages)
http://translate.google.com/ (a few Indian languages)
I was wondering what Tagore would think of the more contemporary form of language Imperialism — which seems to be largely driven by the market for computer software. Colonialism looks a bit different now — people aren’t necessarily forced to speak the language of the colonizer in the same way that they were, say, 100…or even 50 years ago — but perhaps the consolidation of language has nonetheless accelerated? Any bilingual folks in the class have any thoughts on the influence of language on cultural expression? How do contemporary forms of computer-mediated expression limit how you can communicate?