away from the one, toward the other. The guide-word beckons us away from the current notions about language, to the experience of language as Saying.
Hints hint in many ways. A hint can give its hint so simply and at the same time so fully that we release ourselves in its direction without equivocation. But it can also give its hint in such a manner that it refers us, from the first and persistently, back to the dubiousness against which it warns us, and lets us only suspect at first the memorable thing toward which it beckons us, as a thought-worthy matter for which the fitting mode of thinking is still lacking. The hint that our guide-word gives is of this kind, for the nature of language is so well known to us through a variety of determinations that we detach ourselves from these only with difficulty. But such detachment must not be forced, because the tradition remains rich in truth. Thus it behooves us first to give thought to our usual notions of language, even if only in their broad outlines, but to do so with forethought to what is indicated by the neighborhood of the two kinds of saying, poetry and thinking: in nearness as Saying. If we take language directly in the sense of something that is present, we encounter it as the act of speaking, the activation of the organs of speech, mouth, lips, tongue. Language manifests itself in speaking, as a phenomenon that occurs in man. The fact that language has long since been experienced, conceived, defined in these terms is attested by the names that the Western languages have given to themselves: glossa, lingua, langue , language. Language is the tongue. The second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, which tells of the miracle of Pentecost, says in verses 3 and 4:
καί ώφθησαν αύτοΐς διαμεριζόμεναι γλώσσαι ώς εί πυρός . . . καί ήρξαντο λαλεΐν ετέραις γλώσσαις.
The Vulgate translates: Et apparuerunt illis dispertitae linguae tamquam ignis ... et coeperunt loqui variis linguis . In the Revised Standard Version, the passage runs as follows: "And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and