Gaston Dorren’s Babel it is neither a linguistic treatise nor a dull textbook filled with even duller tables. This is a really interesting book written by a polyglot and linguist, full of anecdotes and history of twenty of the world’s most-spoken languages.
Some of you may wonder why this book ended up in Tajfuny? That’s because there are many Asian languages in the featured 20 – Vietnamese, Korean, Tamil, Javanese, Persian, Punjabi, Japanese, Malay, Bengali, Hindi-Urdu and Mandarin.
Dorren talks about languages in an engaging and funny way (he even personifies them to some extent, writing at the beginning of each chapter that language “declares itself as…”) There are many anecdotes from his travels to the countries of the languages he describes. If you have doubts about which language to learn or you want to broaden your knowledge and read about different writing systems or linguistic and cultural nuances, this is a must read.
The book is also availabe in Polish: Babel. W dwadzieścia języków dookoła świata.