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Alexander Gode

Alexander Gode
Born October 30, 1906
Bremen, Imperial Germany
Died August 10, 1970
Mount Kisco, New York, United States
Citizenship American
Fields Language
Institutions University of Chicago
Columbia University
Alma mater Columbia University

Alexander Gottfried Friedrich Gode-von Aesch, or simply Alexander Gode (October 30, 1906 – August 10, 1970), was a German-American linguist, translator and the driving force behind the creation of the auxiliary language Interlingua.


  • Biography 1
  • Interlingua 2
  • American Translators Association 3
  • Selected publications 4
    • Scholarly works 4.1
    • Translations 4.2
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Born to a German father and a Swiss mother, Gode studied at the University of Vienna and the University of Paris before leaving for the U.S. and becoming a citizen in 1927. He was an instructor at the University of Chicago as well as Columbia University, where he received his Ph.D. in Germanic Studies in 1939.

Alexander Gode died of cancer in hospital. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Johanna. Gode was survived by two daughters from his first marriage, his second wife Alison, and their two children.


Gode was involved with the International Auxiliary Language Association (IALA) from 1933 on, sporadically at first. In 1936 the IALA began development of a new international auxiliary language and in 1939 Gode was hired to assist in this work.

After André Martinet was brought in to head the research in 1946, the two men's views came into conflict as Gode thought that Martinet was trying to schematize the new language too much, conflating it with Occidental. Gode saw no need to invent a language, as a product of some a-priori design. Instead, he and the former director of research, Ezra Clark Stillman, wanted to record the international vocabulary that, in their view, already existed. This would be done – and was being done before Martinet – by systematically extracting and modifying words from the existing control languages in such a way that they could be seen as dialects of a common language, with their own specific peculiarities. When Martinet resigned in 1948 over a salary dispute, Gode took up leadership and got full reign in implementing this vision. The result was Interlingua, the dictionary and grammar of which were published in 1951.[1]

In 1953, the role of IALA was assumed by the Interlingua Division of Science Service, and Gode became the division director. He continued his involvement with Interlingua until his death by translating scientific and medical texts into it. He won awards for this from the American Medical Writers Association and the International Federation of Translators.[2]

American Translators Association

Gode was one of the founders and first president of the [3]

Selected publications

Scholarly works

Gode, Alexander (1941). Natural Science in German Romanticism. Columbia University Press. 

Gode, Alexander (1943). Portuguese at Sight. Thomas Y. Crowell Co. 

Gode, Alexander (1951). Interlingua English Dictionary. Storm Publishers. 

Gode, Alexander (1951). A Brief Grammar of Interlingua for Readers. Storm Publishers. 

Gode, Alexander (1954). Interlingua a Prime Vista. Storm Publishers. 

Gode, Alexander; Blair (1955). Interlingua: A Grammar of the International Language. Storm Publishers. 

Gode, Alexander (1962). French at Sight. Ungar Pub Co. Gode, Alexander (1972). Anthology of German Poetry Through the 19th Century. Ungar Pub Co. Gode, Alexander; Kraus, Wright (2000). Last Days of Mankind. Ungar Pub. Co. Szczesny, Gerhard (1969). The Case Against Bertold Brecht. Gode. Ungar Pub. Co.

  • Alexander Gode von Aesch Papers - Biographical information, photographs, and correspondence collected by the University Library at Albany State University, New York
  • Biographias - Alexander Gottfried Friedrich Gode-von Aesch - Biography in Interlingua
  • November 1970 newsletter from the American Medical Writers Association - Obituary (in PDF format)
  • Union Mundial pro Interlingua

External links

  1. ^ Gode's Interlingua Manifesto published in 1959
  2. ^ A history of Interlingua in Interlingua Union Mundial pro Interlingua
  3. ^ Alexander Gode Medal American Translators Association website


See also

Daim, Wilfried (1970). The Vatican and Eastern Europe. Gode. Frederick Ungar. .

Petersen, Caron (1969). Albert Camus. Gode. F. Ungar. 


Nettl, Paul (1952). National Anthems. Gode. Storm. 

Giedion-Welcker, Carola; Herder (1952). Paul Klee. Gode. Viking Press. 

Frankl, Oscar Benjamin (1949). Theodor Herzl, the Jew and the Man: A Portrait. Gode. Storm. 



Gode, Alexander (1983). Dece Contos. Beekbergen. 

Gode, Alexander (1980). Discussiones de Interlingua. Beekbergen. 

Gode, Alexander (1975). Un Dozena de Breve Contos. Beekbergen. 



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