Through the Language Glass: How Words Colour Your World

Through the Language Glass: How Words Colour Your World

Book rating: 05 Hardback

By (author) Guy Deutscher

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  • Publisher: William Heinemann Ltd
  • Format: Hardback | 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 162mm x 236mm x 34mm | 680g
  • Publication date: 3 June 2010
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 043401690X
  • ISBN 13: 9780434016907
  • Illustrations note: Illustrations
  • Sales rank: 116,193

Product description

Generalisations about language and culture are at best amusing and meaningless, but is there anything sensible left to be said about the relation between language, culture and thought? Does language reflect the culture of a society? Is our mother-tongue a lens through which we perceive the world? Can different languages lead their speakers to different thoughts? In "Through the Language Glass", acclaimed author Guy Deutscher will convince you that, contrary to the fashionable academic consensus of today, the answer to all these questions is - yes. On an odyssey that takes us from Homer to Darwin, from scientists to savages, from the corridors of Yale to the rivers of the Amazon, from how to name the rainbow to why Russian water - a 'she' - become a 'he' once you have dipped a tea bag into her, this book explores some of the most fascinating and controversial questions about language, culture and the human mind.

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Author information

Guy Deutscher is the author of The Unfolding of Language: The Evolution of Mankind's Greatest Invention. Formerly a Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge, and of the Department of Ancient Near Eastern Languages in the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, he is an honorary Research Fellow at the School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures in the University of Manchester. Through the Language Glass is his third book. He lives in Oxford with his wife and two daughters.

Customer reviews

By Judit Szabo 04 Aug 2010 5

This is a nice hardback edition. It's sturdy, with very good quality paper. The text and the colour illustrations are of excellent print quality.

As for the content, it's a really mind-blowing book! So far I've had a "wow!" moment on basically every page. He brings up several astonishing examples to prove his points and present researches from earlier times, and these are very exciting to learn about. Also, his style is very compelling, even the complex ideas are presented in a way that is easy to follow but definitely makes you thinking. It's great fun to read even if you are not a linguist. Best book I've come across this year!

Review quote

"Jaw-droppingly wonderful... A marvellous and surprising book which left me breathless and dizzy with delight. The ironic, playful tone at the beginning gradates into something serious that is never pompous, intellectually and historically complex and yet always pellucidly laid out. Plus I learned the word plaidoyer which I shall do my utmost to use every day..." Stephen Fry "This fabulously interesting book describes an area of intellectual history replete with brilliant leaps of intuition and crazy dead ends. Guy Deutscher, who combines enthusiasm with scholarly a vigorous and engaging guide to it...a remarkably rich, provocative and intelligent work of pop science." -- Sam Leith Sunday Times "brilliant... As befits a book about language, this inspiring amalgam of cultural history and science is beautifully written." -- Clive Cookson Financial Times "so robustly researched and wonderfully told that it is hard to put down...Deutscher...brings together more than a century's worth of captivating characters, incidents and experiments that illuminate the relationship between words and mind" New Scientist "A delight to read" Spectator