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Babel: Around the World in 20 Languages

Babel: Around the World in 20 Languages
 

If you were to master the 20 languages discussed in Babel you could chat to more than half the world's population. Actually, you could talk to another quarter of the world, who speak them as second languages. As he did in Lingo, Gaston Dorren delves deep into the linguistic oddit... read full description below.

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Quick Reference

ISBN 9781781256404
Barcode 9781781256404
Published 28 November 2018 by Profile Books Ltd
Format Hardback, Main
Alternate Format(s) View All (1 other possible title(s) available)
Author(s) By Dorren, Gaston
Availability Out of print

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Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9781781256404
ISBN-10 1781256403
Stock Out of stock
Status Out of print
Publisher Profile Books Ltd
Imprint Profile Books Ltd
Publication Date 28 November 2018
International Publication Date 1 November 2018
Publication Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Format Hardback, Main
Edition Main
Author(s) By Dorren, Gaston
Category Language & Linguistics
Literary & Linguistic Reference Works
Humour
Number of Pages 368
Dimensions Width: 144mm
Height: 222mm
Spine: 34mm
Weight 564g
Interest Age General Audience
Reading Age General Audience
Library of Congress Historical linguistics
NBS Text Linguistics
ONIX Text General/trade
Dewey Code 417.7
Catalogue Code 956175

Description of this Book

If you were to master the 20 languages discussed in Babel you could chat to more than half the world's population. Actually, you could talk to another quarter of the world, who speak them as second languages. As he did in Lingo, Gaston Dorren delves deep into the linguistic oddities and extraordinary stories of these global tongues, tracing their origins and tracking their sometimes bloody rise to greatness. He listens to their distinctly un-English sounds and deciphers their bewildering array of scripts, presents the gems and gaps in their vocabularies and charts their inventive coinages and surprising loans. He explains the oddities of their grammars, which order their speakers' worldview but often appear bafflingly complex to outsiders. Learn why Russian has no word for blue, how Turkish stopped borrowing word, and why Arabic is possibly the hardest global language to learn. Look into the future of Chinese script and re-examine the Latin alphabet's gory past. Consider the difficulties of having four forms for 'I' as in Vietnamese, and the questions that arise from the way Tamil pronouns keep humans and deities apart. Witty, fascinating and utterly compelling, Babel will change the way you look at the world and how it speaks.

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Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings

NZ Review Praise for Lingo Joyful ... Lingo is that rare thing: a book about language the manages to be both genuinely interesting and enormous fun. Particularly impressive is Dorren's ability to flip with ease from jokes and surprising facts to the discussion of complex linguistic ideas ... -- John Gallagher * Sunday Telegraph Seven * Learned and pleasantly ironic ... [an] entertaining exercise in language tourism ... [Dorren's] tour of the continent is a richly diverting exercise ... He has something interesting to point out about nearly every topic ... brilliant -- Steven Poole * Guardian * A new approach to understanding the world ... ideal for any cunning linguist * Wanderlust * The depth and breadth of [Dorren's] understanding and knowledge are awesome ... this charming, funny and fascinating gem of a book has persuaded me of the richness we are in danger of losing. -- Rose Wild * The Times *
UK Review Bertrams Star Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)

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Author's Bio

Gaston Dorren is author of the bestselling Lingo (Profile, 2014) and contributes regularly to Onze Taal, the popular linguistics magazine. A true polyglot, he speaks Dutch, Limburgish, English, German and Spanish, and reads French, Afrikaans, Frisian, Portuguese, Italian, Catalan, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Luxembourgish and Esperanto. For this book, he also learnt to speak Thai.

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