In Other Words

In Other Words : A Language Lover's Guide to the Most Intriguing Words Around the World

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Why do we say bete noire and not 'black beast', doppelganger and not 'double goer'? When is it that meanings become lost in translation and it is simply more satisfying to use the original? This wonderfully accessible book gives unique insights into different cultures and languages by looking at the distinctive words they use as well as giving you a whole new vocabulary for those elusive things you never had a word for. Where would we be without saudade, the Portuguese wistful nostalgia which makes their fado music unlike any other in the world? What other word is there for the barefaced gutsy presumption encapsulated by the Yiddish word chutzpah? And wouldn't you like to have a word for that irritating person who buttonholes you to tell you their long stories of woe? They are truly an attaccabottoni (lit. = a person who attacks your buttons). Or what about the Japanese yokomeshi, which means 'horizontal rice', in other words a meal eaten sideways, and describes the difficulty of learning a foreign language - particularly appropriate for Japanese learners, where mastering the written language involves the shift from 'vertical' to 'horizontal' writing.
Meticulously researched with dozens of specialist language consultants, and accessibly written by a linguist in the field, this book will appeal to anyone interested in language and world cultures. Exploring the words of different languages by chapter, the volume is lavishly illustrated in colour and extremely browsable. The foreword is written by Simon Winchester. This book is for anyone who has ever travelled and been fascinated by the culture they were visiting. In Other Words is a guide to the linguistic gems that capture a notion, defy translation, and define the cultures of the world.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 128 pages
  • 130 x 191 x 22mm | 324g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • line drawings throughout
  • 0192806246
  • 9780192806246
  • 2,124,093

Table of contents

Acknowledgements; Foreword; Introduction; 1. European Languages; 2. Eastern European Languages; 3. Yiddish Language; 4. Nordic Languages; 5. Middle Eastern Languages; 6. African Languages; 7. Asian Languages; 8. Ancient and Classical Languages; 9. Indigenous Languages; 10. Creole and Pidgin Languages; Word Finder [Index]
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254 ratings
3.68 out of 5 stars
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3 36% (92)
2 7% (18)
1 1% (3)
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