Babel, Gaston Dorren
Books
Gaston Dorren

Babel

Read
587 printed pages
English is the world language, except that most of the world doesn’t speak it—only one in five people does. Dorren calculates that to speak fluently with half of the world’s 7.4 billion people in their mother tongues, you would need to know no fewer than twenty languages. He sets out to explore these top twenty world languages, which range from the familiar (French, Spanish) to the surprising (Malay, Javanese, Bengali). Babel whisks the reader on a delightful journey to every continent of the world, tracing how these world languages rose to greatness while others fell away and showing how speakers today handle the foibles of their mother tongues. Whether showcasing tongue-tying phonetics or elegant but complicated writing scripts, and mind-bending quirks of grammar, Babel vividly illustrates that mother tongues are like nations: each has its own customs and beliefs that seem as self-evident to those born into it as they are surprising to the outside world.
Among many other things, Babel will teach you why modern Turks can’t read books that are a mere 75 years old, what it means in practice for Russian and English to be relatives, and how Japanese developed separate “dialects” for men and women. Dorren lets you in on his personal trials and triumphs while studying Vietnamese in Hanoi, debunks ten widespread myths about Chinese characters, and discovers that Swahili became the lingua franca in a part of the world where people routinely speak three or more languages. Witty, fascinating and utterly compelling, Babel will change the way you look at and listen to the world and how it speaks.
Impression
Add to shelf
Read
8Bookshelves
0Impressions
10Quotes

One fee. Stacks of books

You don’t just buy a book, you buy an entire library… for the same price!

Always have something to read

Friends, editors, and experts can help you find new and interesting books.

Read whenever, wherever

Your phone is always with you, so your books are too – even when you’re offline.

Impressions

👍
👎
💧
🐼
💤
💩
💀
🙈
🔮
💡
🎯
💞
🌴
🚀
😄

How did you like the book?

Sign in or Register
Natalia
Nataliahas quoted2 months ago
But the primary creator and carrier of lingua francas has always been imperialism
Sofia
Sofiahas quoted2 months ago
6,000 is a common estimate for the number of languages spoken and signed in today’s world
Book of the week, Bookmate
Bookmate
Book of the week
  • 148
  • 897.1K
Picks of the week , Bookmate
Bookmate
Picks of the week
  • 102
  • 90
To read, Tana Chavez
Tana Chavez
To read
  • 21
English, Ertuğrul Özgün
Ertuğrul Özgün
English
  • 11
Linguistics, laurenrballew
laurenrballew
Linguistics
  • 4
fb2epub
Drag & drop your files (not more than 5 at once)