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One Thousand Languages: Living, Endangered, and Lost
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One Thousand Languages: Living, Endangered, and Lost

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  35 ratings  ·  5 reviews
There are more than six thousand languages used around the world today, although linguists now estimate that by the year 2050 as many as half of those will be extinct. This beautifully designed, engagingly written reference takes us on a panoramic tour of the globe to explore this unique and endangered human gift. Generously illustrated throughout with color photographs, i ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by University of California Press
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Heather Shaw
While the two books featured above could be printed in any medium without disrupting the message, this one needs heavy paper, lots of color, and sturdy boards. Open it up and it smells like wall-to-wall ink. After all, this is a book about language.

Divided into sections like “World Languages” (considerably spoken beyond its point of origin), then regionally, then by absence, One Thousand Languages is illustrated with the written shapes of the letters, the landscapes that produced the sounds, and
1000 Languages gives the reader an interesting introduction not only to the major languages spoken today (Chinese, English, Spanish, Hindi, etc.) but also important regional languages for each continent. Most languages have an introduction about its history, literature, and speakers; though unfortunately grammar and syntax are often not discussed.

Aside from major global languages, numerous lesser known languages are covered, though some languages are missed out (Indonesian being a notable one).
Jake Baker
This book is a merely acceptable overview of world languages. My biggest complaint about it is that most languages receive short shrift; while this is understandable, those are the languages I'd be interested in learning more about. I already know how to count to ten in French. My other complaint is that the book covers each language's history, demographics and literary history, but not much attention is paid to syntax and grammar. There are sections detailing loan words and family word comparis ...more
A handy book if you're looking for a quick introduction to a language and its history. I felt that these introductions were almost too brief at some points though, varying from 2 pages to just a few sentences per language. I also missed certain languages that I would have expected to be featured in this book. For example, Indonesian is collectively mentioned with other Austronesian languages, but there is no page, not even a sentence specifically dedicated to this language.
Nov 10, 2014 Ahk marked it as to-read-first
[apparently has a number of factual errors]
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