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Babel No More

Author : Michael Erard
Publisher : Simon and Schuster
Page : 320 pages
File Size : 17,3 MB
Release : 2012-01-10
Category : History
ISBN : 1451628277

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A “fascinating” (The Economist) dive into the world of linguistics that is “part travelogue, part science lesson, part intellectual investigation…an entertaining, informative survey of some of the most fascinating polyglots of our time” (The New York Times Book Review). In Babel No More, Michael Erard, “a monolingual with benefits,” sets out on a quest to meet language superlearners and make sense of their mental powers. On the way he uncovers the secrets of historical figures like the nineteenth-century Italian cardinal Joseph Mezzofanti, who was said to speak seventy-two languages, as well as those of living language-superlearners such as Alexander Arguelles, a modern-day polyglot who knows dozens of languages and shows Erard the tricks of the trade to give him a dark glimpse into the life of obsessive language acquisition. With his ambitious examination of what language is, where it lives in the brain, and the cultural implications of polyglots’ pursuits, Erard explores the upper limits of our ability to learn and use languages and illuminates the intellectual potential in everyone. How do some people escape the curse of Babel—and what might the gods have demanded of them in return?

Babel

Author : Gaston Dorren
Publisher : Atlantic Monthly Press
Page : 408 pages
File Size : 43,7 MB
Release : 2018-12-04
Category : Language Arts & Disciplines
ISBN : 0802146724

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“Babel is an endlessly interesting book, and you don’t have to have any linguistic training to enjoy it . . . it’s just so much fun to read.” —NPR English is the world language, except that 80 percent of the world doesn’t speak it. Linguist Gaston Dorren calculates that to speak fluently with half of the world’s people in their mother tongues, you’d need to know no fewer than twenty languages. In Babel, he sets out to explore these top twenty world languages, which range from the familiar (French, Spanish) to the surprising (Malay, Javanese, Bengali). Whisking readers along on a delightful journey, he traces how these languages rose to greatness while others fell away, and shows how speakers today handle the foibles of their mother tongues. Whether showcasing tongue-tying phonetics, elegant but complicated writing scripts, or 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 outsiders. Babel reveals 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 also shares his experiences studying Vietnamese in Hanoi, debunks ten myths about Chinese characters, and discovers the region where Swahili became the lingua franca. Witty and utterly fascinating, Babel will change how you look at and listen to the world. “Word nerds of every strain will enjoy this wildly entertaining linguistic study.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Senlin Ascends

Author : Josiah Bancroft
Publisher : Orbit
Page : 384 pages
File Size : 49,88 MB
Release : 2017-08-22
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 0316517909

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The first book in the word-of-mouth phenomenon debut fantasy series about one man's dangerous journey through a labyrinthine world. "One of my favorite books of all time" - Mark Lawrence The Tower of Babel is the greatest marvel in the world. Immense as a mountain, the ancient Tower holds unnumbered ringdoms, warring and peaceful, stacked one on the other like the layers of a cake. It is a world of geniuses and tyrants, of luxury and menace, of unusual animals and mysterious machines. Soon after arriving for his honeymoon at the Tower, the mild-mannered headmaster of a small village school, Thomas Senlin, gets separated from his wife, Marya, in the overwhelming swarm of tourists, residents, and miscreants. Senlin is determined to find Marya, but to do so he'll have to navigate madhouses, ballrooms, and burlesque theaters. He must survive betrayal, assassins, and the illusions of the Tower. But if he hopes to find his wife, he will have to do more than just endure. This quiet man of letters must become a man of action. The Books of BabelSenlin AscendsArm of the Sphinx

Scientific Babel

Author : Michael D. Gordin
Publisher : University of Chicago Press
Page : 424 pages
File Size : 48,35 MB
Release : 2015-04-13
Category : History
ISBN : 022600032X

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English is the language of science today. No matter which languages you know, if you want your work seen, studied, and cited, you need to publish in English. But that hasn’t always been the case. Though there was a time when Latin dominated the field, for centuries science has been a polyglot enterprise, conducted in a number of languages whose importance waxed and waned over time—until the rise of English in the twentieth century. So how did we get from there to here? How did French, German, Latin, Russian, and even Esperanto give way to English? And what can we reconstruct of the experience of doing science in the polyglot past? With Scientific Babel, Michael D. Gordin resurrects that lost world, in part through an ingenious mechanism: the pages of his highly readable narrative account teem with footnotes—not offering background information, but presenting quoted material in its original language. The result is stunning: as we read about the rise and fall of languages, driven by politics, war, economics, and institutions, we actually see it happen in the ever-changing web of multilingual examples. The history of science, and of English as its dominant language, comes to life, and brings with it a new understanding not only of the frictions generated by a scientific community that spoke in many often mutually unintelligible voices, but also of the possibilities of the polyglot, and the losses that the dominance of English entails. Few historians of science write as well as Gordin, and Scientific Babel reveals his incredible command of the literature, language, and intellectual essence of science past and present. No reader who takes this linguistic journey with him will be disappointed.

Babel

Author : R. F. Kuang
Publisher : HarperCollins
Page : 814 pages
File Size : 11,90 MB
Release : 2022-08-23
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 0063021447

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Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller from the author of The Poppy War “Absolutely phenomenal. One of the most brilliant, razor-sharp books I've had the pleasure of reading that isn't just an alternative fantastical history, but an interrogative one; one that grabs colonial history and the Industrial Revolution, turns it over, and shakes it out.” -- Shannon Chakraborty, bestselling author of The City of Brass From award-winning author R. F. Kuang comes Babel, a thematic response to The Secret History and a tonal retort to Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell that grapples with student revolutions, colonial resistance, and the use of language and translation as the dominating tool of the British empire. Traduttore, traditore: An act of translation is always an act of betrayal. 1828. Robin Swift, orphaned by cholera in Canton, is brought to London by the mysterious Professor Lovell. There, he trains for years in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Chinese, all in preparation for the day he’ll enroll in Oxford University’s prestigious Royal Institute of Translation—also known as Babel. Babel is the world's center for translation and, more importantly, magic. Silver working—the art of manifesting the meaning lost in translation using enchanted silver bars—has made the British unparalleled in power, as its knowledge serves the Empire’s quest for colonization. For Robin, Oxford is a utopia dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. But knowledge obeys power, and as a Chinese boy raised in Britain, Robin realizes serving Babel means betraying his motherland. As his studies progress, Robin finds himself caught between Babel and the shadowy Hermes Society, an organization dedicated to stopping imperial expansion. When Britain pursues an unjust war with China over silver and opium, Robin must decide… Can powerful institutions be changed from within, or does revolution always require violence?

The Babel Message

Author : Keith Kahn-Harris
Publisher : Icon Books
Page : 329 pages
File Size : 44,73 MB
Release : 2021-11-04
Category : Language Arts & Disciplines
ISBN : 1785787381

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'Quite simply, and quite ridiculously, one of the funniest and most illuminating books I have ever read. I thought I was obsessive, but Keith Kahn-Harris is playing a very different sport. He really has discovered the whole world in an egg.' Simon Garfield A thrilling journey deep into the heart of language, from a rather unexpected starting point. Keith Kahn-Harris is a man obsessed with something seemingly trivial - the warning message found inside Kinder Surprise eggs: WARNING, read and keep: Toy not suitable for children under 3 years. Small parts might be swallowed or inhaled. On a tiny sheet of paper, this message is translated into dozens of languages - the world boiled down to a multilingual essence. Inspired by this, the author asks: what makes 'a language'? With the help of the international community of language geeks, he shows us what the message looks like in Ancient Sumerian, Zulu, Cornish, Klingon - and many more. Along the way he considers why Hungarian writing looks angry, how to make up your own language, and the meaning of the heavy metal umlaut. Overturning the Babel myth, he argues that the messy diversity of language shouldn't be a source of conflict, but of collective wonder. This is a book about hope, a love letter to language. 'This is a wonderful book. A treasure trove of mind-expanding insights into language and humanity encased in a deliciously quirky, quixotic quest. I loved it. Warning: this will keep you reading.' - Ann Morgan, author of Reading the World: Confessions of a Literary Explorer

The Last Lingua Franca

Author : Nicholas Ostler
Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Page : 353 pages
File Size : 39,8 MB
Release : 2010-11-23
Category : Language Arts & Disciplines
ISBN : 0802717713

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Examines the rise and fall of English as the most widely spoken language in human history and discusses what language will overtake its dominance as English-speaking nations are challenged by the rising wealth of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

The Fall of Babel

Author : Josiah Bancroft
Publisher : Orbit
Page : 743 pages
File Size : 46,65 MB
Release : 2021-11-09
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 0316518182

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The incredible final book in the phenomenon fantasy series described as “future classics" follows one man's dangerous journey through a labyrinthine world and the mysteries he uncovers along the way. (Los Angeles Times). "Josiah Bancroft is a magician. His books are that rare alchemy: gracefully written, deliriously imaginative, action packed, warm, witty, and thought provoking." —Madeline Miller, New York Times bestselling author of Circe As Marat's siege engine bores through the Tower, erupting inside ringdoms and leaving chaos in its wake, Senlin can do nothing but observe the mayhem from inside the belly of the beast. Caught in a charade, Senlin desperately tries to sabotage the rampaging Hod King, even as Marat's objective grows increasingly clear. The leader of the zealots is bound for the Sphinx's lair and the unimaginable power it contains. In the city under glass at the Tower's summit, Adam discovers a utopia where everyone inexplicably knows the details of his past. As Adam unravels the mystery of his fame, he soon discovers the crowning ringdom conceals a much darker secret. Aboard the State of Art, Edith and her crew adjust to the reality that Voleta has awoken from death changed. She seems to share more in common with the Red Hand now than her former self. While Edith wars for the soul of the young woman, a greater crisis looms: They will have to face Marat on unequal footing and with Senlin caught in the crossfire. And when the Bridge of Babel is finally opened, and the Brick Layer's true ambition revealed, neither they nor the Tower will ever be the same again. Also by Josiah Bancroft: The Books of Babel Senlin Ascends Arm of the Sphinx The Hod King The Fall of Babel

Bible Babel

Author : Kristin Swenson
Publisher : Harper Collins
Page : 374 pages
File Size : 46,73 MB
Release : 2010-02-02
Category : Religion
ISBN : 0061728292

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“Kristin Swenson offers a confident, well-paced, well-informed, and accessible guide to Bible basics and biblical literacy.” — Walter Brueggemann, author of An Unsettling God: The Heart of the Hebrew Bible Bible Babel, from author and religious studies professor Kristin Swenson, is a lively, humorous, and very readable introduction to the Bible—what’s in it, where it comes from, and how it is used in our culture today. If you’ve ever wondered about the origin of the Christian fish symbol; the history of the Good Book; how the Bible weighs in on contemporary political issues; or even the biblical source of pop-culture references in WALL-E or Battlestar Galatica, then this is the book for you. Readers of A. J. Jacobs’s Year of Living Biblically and David Plotz’s Good Book will enjoy Bible Babel, a perfect primer for anyone interested in the Bible—secular and believing alike.

The Power of Babel

Author : John McWhorter
Publisher : Harper Collins
Page : 354 pages
File Size : 44,30 MB
Release : 2003-01-07
Category : Language Arts & Disciplines
ISBN : 006052085X

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There are approximately six thousand languages on Earth today, each a descendant of the tongue first spoken by Homo sapiens some 150,000 years ago. While laying out how languages mix and mutate over time, linguistics professor John McWhorter reminds us of the variety within the species that speaks them, and argues that, contrary to popular perception, language is not immutable and hidebound, but a living, dynamic entity that adapts itself to an ever-changing human environment. Full of humor and imaginative insight, The Power of Babel draws its illustrative examples from languages around the world, including pidgins, Creoles, and nonstandard dialects.