German language and identity
In his early travelogues, Ross explores the essence of German identity, and begins to question the role of language in this context.
In San Geronimo, Argentina, the German colonists who arrived as children in the 19th century are now rich, old farmers. They are concerned that the younger generations will not remain German, which they seem to equate solely with the ability to speak the German language. As a result, the farmers have hired French nuns to teach the children lessons in German, and Ross finds it odd that their model of language could be this abstracted from cultural context. The question of language’s cultural purpose will later lead Ross to understand language as the bearer of Weltanschauung, and thus of identity itself.
Colin Ross. Deutsche Kolonien in Santa Fé. In: Südamerika, die aufsteigende Welt. 1. Aufl. Leipzig. F.A. Brockhaus; 1922; 66-72.