Around Europe in Sixty Languages

Book - 2015
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Whether you're a frequent visitor to Europe or just an armchair traveler, the surprising and extraordinary stories in Lingo will forever change the way you think about the continent, and may even make you want to learn a new language.

Lingo spins the reader on a whirlwind tour of sixty European languages and dialects, sharing quirky moments from their histories and exploring their commonalities and differences. Most European languages are descended from a single ancestor, a language not unlike Sanskrit known as Proto-Indo-European (or PIE for short), but the continent's ever-changing borders and cultures have given rise to a linguistic and cultural diversity that is too often forgotten in discussions of Europe as a political entity. Lingo takes us into today's remote mountain villages of Switzerland, where Romansh is still the lingua franca, to formerly Soviet Belarus, a country whose language was Russified by the Bolsheviks, to Sweden, where up until the 1960s polite speaking conventions required that one never use the word "you" in conversation, leading to tiptoeing questions of the form: "Would herr generaldirektör Rexed like a biscuit?"

Spanning six millenia and sixty languages in bite-size chapters, Lingo is a hilarious and highly edifying exploration of how Europe speaks.
Publisher: New York, NY : Atlantic Monthly Press, [2015]
ISBN: 9780802124074
Branch Call Number: 306.44094
Characteristics: 303 pages : illustrations, maps ; 22 cm


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Jan 17, 2016

This was a fun book about the languages of Europe, big and little, easy and hard, historic and modern. Short chapters made for a quick, entertaining read.

xaipe Dec 25, 2015

This is new book on the linguistics tidbits and trivia of the languages of Europe (including some that I'd never realized were still spoken: Ossetian, Galician, Frisian, Channel Islands Norman, Shelta, Sorbian and some that have been resurrected - Manx, Cornish). This is not a book for linguistics majors, although there are a few terms you may have to look up. For anyone with an even passing interest in languages and their astonishing varieties, this is a good and relatively fast read. The chapters are short and divided by language so no need to worry about getting bogged down with lengthy analyses.


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