The tower of Babel
Once upon a time all the world spoke a single language and used the same words. As men journeyed in the east, the came upon a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. They said to one another, ‘Come, let us make bricks and bake them hard’; they used bricks for stone and bitumen for mortar.
‘Come’, they said, ‘Let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and make a name for ourselves; or we shall be dispersed all over the earth’. Then the LORD came down to see the city and town which mortal men had built, and he said, ‘Here they are, one people with a single language, and now they have started to do this; henceforward nothing they have a mind to do will be beyond their reach. Come, let us go down there and confuse their speech, so that they will not understand what they say to one another’. So the LORD dispersed them from there all over the earth, and they left off building the city. That is why it is called Babel, because the LORD there made a babble of the language of all the world; from that place the LORD scattered men all over the face of the earth.
(Genesis II, New English Bible)
bitumen: black stuff, like tar, derived from petroleum.
mortar: the stuff used to stick bricks together.
henceforward: from now on.
babble: confused speech.
Apud: Kaleidoscope, an anthology of English varieties for upper-intermediate and more advanced students, by Michael Swan, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, Great Britain, Reprinted 1980 (First printed 1979).