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Babel: Around the World in 20 Languages (Hardback)
  • Babel: Around the World in 20 Languages (Hardback)
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Babel: Around the World in 20 Languages (Hardback)

(author)
£14.99
Hardback 368 Pages / Published: 01/11/2018
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If you were to master the twenty languages discussed in Babel, you could talk with three quarters of the world's population. But what makes these languages stand out amid the world's estimated 6,500 tongues? Gaston Dorren delves deep into the linguistic oddities and extraordinary stories of these diverse lingua francas, tracing their origins and their sometimes bloody rise to greatness. He deciphers their bewildering array of scripts, presents the gems and gaps in their vocabularies and charts their coinages and loans. He even explains how their grammars order their speakers' worldview. Combining linguistics and cultural history, Babel takes us on an intriguing tour of the world, addressing such questions as how tiny Portugal spawned a major world language and Holland didn't, why Japanese women talk differently from men, what it means for Russian to be 'related' to English, and how non-alphabetic scripts, such as those of India and China, do the same job as our 26 letters. Not to mention the conundrums of why Vietnamese has four forms for 'I', or how Tamil pronouns keep humans and deities apart. Babel will change the way you look at the world and how we all speak.

Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781781256404
Number of pages: 368
Weight: 564 g
Dimensions: 222 x 144 x 34 mm
Edition: Main


MEDIA REVIEWS
Hugely readable ... Dorren is both an intimidatingly gifted linguist and a wonderfully eloquent writer. You couldn't wish for a better guide to the wonders of the world's bewildering array of tongues. -- Simon Griffith * Mail on Sunday *
Gaston Dorren's punchy book gives us a fascinating insight into what we're missing out on in the linguistic jungle ... I loved this book * Irish Independent *
Praise for Lingo: The depth and breadth of Dorren's understanding and knowledge are awesome. * The Times *
Dorren's tour of the continent is a richly diverting exercise. He has something interesting to point out about nearly every topic ... brilliant. * Guardian *
A new approach to understanding the world ... ideal for any cunning linguist * Wanderlust *
Full of odd linguistic facts ... fascinating * Times Literary Supplement *

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