Babel: Around the World in Twenty Languages

We rated this book:


Babel: Around the World in Twenty Languages by Gaston Dorren explores the twenty most spoken languages of the world detailing a few of their idiosyncrasies, grammar, history, and geography. Since each language, of itself, could have several books written about each aspect of language, it cannot possibly explore them all in its three hundred forty pages.

This is a book that gives the flavor of the languages. The precise use of pronouns that illustrates gender and/or status in the most languages, the unbelievable, (to an English speaker) variations in tone that make up tone-based native tongues, or the multiculturalism of some African speech are gist for the author’s mill. He also finds amusing parts of each language, those little facts that may not make much sense but are still important to the speakers. The author, not a native English speaker, speaks many of the languages listed, can understand others, and has attempted to learn still others which gives him a multi-lingual perspective. He speaks to why, geographically one language, such as Portuguese, is preferred over another or why modern Turks cannot read or understand the Turkish of just two hundred years ago. It is an entertaining book, especially if the reader likes communication and has an interest in the why and how peoples of the world speak to each other.

Reviewed By:

Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 320 pages
Publisher Atlantic Monthly Press
Publish Date 2018-Dec-04
ISBN 9780802128799 Buy this Book
Issue February 2019
Category Science & Nature


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Babel: Around the World in Twenty Languages”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.