1637. Among the wonderful things in the other life is the fact that the speech of spirits with a man is in his native tongue, which they speak as readily and skillfully as if they had been born in the same land, and had been brought up with the same language; and this whether they are from Europe, from Asia, or from any other part of the globe. The case is the same with those who lived thousands of years ago, before the language in question had come into existence. The spirits indeed know no otherwise than that the language in which they speak with a man is their own, and that of their native land. The case is the same with other languages in which the man is skilled; but beyond these languages, the spirits cannot utter a syllable of any language, unless to do this is given them by the Lord immediately. Even little children who had died before they had been taught any language, speak in the same way.
 But the reason is that the language with which spirits are familiar is not a language of words, but is a language of ideas of thought; and this language is the universal of all languages; and when they are with a man, their ideas of thought fall into the words that are in the man, and this in a manner so correspondent and fitting that the spirits know no otherwise than that the words themselves are theirs, and that they are speaking in their own language; when yet they are speaking in that of the man. I have occasionally spoken with spirits concerning these matters. All souls, as soon as they enter into the other life, are endowed with the gift of being able to understand the speech of all who are in the whole world, precisely as if it were their native tongue, for they perceive whatever a man thinks. They are endowed with other faculties also that are still more excellent. Hence it is that souls, after the death of the body, can converse and associate with all, of whatever region or language they may have been.