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Lingo A Language Spotter's Guide to Europe by Gaston Dorren

Lingo A Language Spotter's Guide to Europe

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An examination of Europe through its languages and dialects, how, living so close together have we developed so many languages? These and other linguistic questions are answered in Gaston Dorren’s Lingo, a book to make any fan of etymology very happy indeed. ~ Sue Baker

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Lingo A Language Spotter's Guide to Europe by Gaston Dorren

Welcome to Europe as you've never known it before, seen through the peculiarities of its languages and dialects. Combining linguistics and cultural history, Gaston Dorren takes us on an intriguing tour of the continent, from Proto-Indo-European (the common ancestor of most European languages) to the rise and rise of English, via the complexities of Welsh plurals and Czech pronunciation. Along the way we learn why Esperanto will never catch on, how the language of William the Conqueror lives on in the Channel Islands and why Finnish is the easiest European language. Surprising, witty and full of extraordinary facts, this book will change the way you think about the languages around you. Polyglot Gaston Dorren might even persuade you that English is like Chinese.


'Through sixty compelling stories about European linguistics, it tells us an impressive amount about Europe ... An entertaining, accessible guide.' FT

'Dorren's tour of the continent is a richly diverting exercise. He has something interesting to point out about nearly every topic ... brilliant.' The Guardian

'The depth and breadth of Dorren's understanding and knowledge are awesome.' The Times

'A new approach to understanding the world ... ideal for any cunning linguist.' Wanderlust

'Gaston Dorren offers an excellent overview of Europe's languages ... It's very enlightening, and very well done' NRC Handelsblad

'Joyful ... Lingo is that rare thing: a book about language the manages to be both genuinely interesting and enormous fun. Particularly impressive is Dorren's ability to flip with ease from jokes and surprising facts to the discussion of complex linguistic ideas ... For the sadly monoglot, Lingo is a wake-up call: a book that brims with joy at linguistic variety and invention, and reminds us what he - and we - are missing' -- John Gallagher Sunday Telegraph

About the Author

Gaston Dorren has written two Dutch books on language and contributes regularly to Onze Taal, a popular linguistics magazine. A true polyglot, Gaston speaks Dutch, Limburgish, English, German and Spanish, and reads French, Afrikaans, Frisian, Portuguese, Italian, Catalan, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Luxembourgish and Esperanto.

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Book Info

Publication date

5th November 2015


Gaston Dorren

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Profile Books Ltd


304 pages


The Real World
eBook Favourites

Slang & dialect humour
Language: history & general works



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