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Du Ponceau, Pierre Étienne (03 June 1760–01 April 1844), scholar and lawyer, was born in St. Martin, Isle of Ré, France, the son of a French army officer. He was trained first for the military, which he had to abandon because of poor eyesight, and then for the Roman Catholic priesthood by Benedictine monks at St. Jean Angely and at the Episcopal College in Poitou. After 1775 Du Ponceau served as a secretary and assistant to minor government officials in Paris and to the philologist Count de Gebelin. He came to the United States in 1777 as secretary and nominal military aide to Prussian army officer Baron ...

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Wiener, Leo (28 July 1862–12 December 1939), philologist, translator, and educator, was born in Bialystok, Russia (now part of Poland), the son of Salomon Wiener, a scholar and teacher, and Frederika Rabinowitch, who was descended from a distinguished rabbinic family. Wiener grew up in a multilingual environment congenial to his stunning linguistic abilities. Although Wiener had a French governess, his father insisted that German be spoken at home. Hebrew was cultivated as the traditional language of prayer, study, and Jewish intellectual discourse, while Yiddish, Russian, and Polish were the vernaculars most commonly used in Bialystok....