'Excursion into a foreign tongue': Frederic Manning and Ford Madox Ford

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter juxtaposes the novels of two non-standard First World War combatants: two literary men who were somewhat older than their fellow soldiers when they joined up. It looks at the presentation of foreign languages in Manning's Her Privates We (primarily French, but also Hindi and Arabic elements in soldiers' slang) and Ford's Parade's End (French, German, Italian and Latin). For the educated protagonists of these novels, the war was not so much an opportunity to learn other languages as to use languages they had already learned. For the other ranks, a smattering of French is picked up in relation to their reduced needs. The main linguistic impact of the war experience, however, is the range of loan words (from various languages) deriving from war experiences that enter common usage.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLanguages and the First World War
Subtitle of host publicationRepresentation and Memory
EditorsChristophe Declercq, Julian Walker
Place of PublicationBasingstoke
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-1-137-55035-4
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2016
EventLanguages and the First World War - British Library, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Jun 201412 Jun 2015


ConferenceLanguages and the First World War
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Ford Madox Ford
  • Frederic Manning
  • foreign languages
  • French
  • Latin
  • German
  • soldiers' slang

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