A.'s Reviews > Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages

Through the Language Glass by Guy Deutscher
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Nov 11, 2010

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bookshelves: language
Read in November, 2010

I heard about this book through an article I read in the New York Times and checked it out based on the excerpt I read there. I am a TESOL by profession so this subject is near and dear to my heart. However, this book is aimed at the lay reader; if you've taken language acquisition or psycholinguistics courses, much of the information presented here will be very familiar and may or may not be worth your time.

On the other hand, I found the chapters about Gladstone's analysis of Homer, color and the scientific thought about how and why the ancients perceived color as they did fascinating. Deutscher also provides a number of interesting linguistic examples for various concepts that I was not previously aware of.

In conclusion, I would recommend it for the lay reader (especially for the ethnocentric monolingual Anglophone lay reader for some perspective), but there isn't enough substance for folks who work in linguistics-related fields and who are quite familiar with much of this material.
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