Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Fall Reading 2013 Chitchat: Celebrating the World's Languages

Jude Isabella's book is packed with information about language. There are explanations of how humans differ from animals in the way we communicate, how languages become extinct, and how new words are added. The activities are a fun way to explore the concepts - I liked matching old words like betwixt and forsooth to their definitions. Comparisons are made between languages to show how they differ. For example, the Yu'pik language has 70 words to describe ice and Guugu Yimithirr has no words for left or right. The origins of new languages like Esperanto, Klingon (Star Trek), or Na'vi (Avatar) are also explored and so are new words like "muggle" or "woot." The impact of modern communication tools like the Internet is mentioned, but the author also explains the Rosetta Stone and how it made reading Egyptian hieroglyphics possible.

If you enjoy learning about language and communication, then this book is a good choice for you. Whether you are interested in how many languages are spoken across the world, or wonder which language is spoken by more people - you will find the answer here. The activities are a great way to test your own knowledge or check out what your family and friends know.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley. The book was published September 1, 2013.


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