Full of charm and pleasing detail

The title is not about me – although I, too, am full of charm and pleasing detail – but about Gaston Dorren‘s book Lingo. At least according to one reviewer.

I translated the book a few years back and am pleased to report that under Profile Books in the UK it’s going swimmingly. Gaston now also has an app out called the Language Lover’s Guide to Europe. It’s pretty nifty.

Here’s what other reviewers say about Lingo (from Amazon):

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 Seven 2014-11-09)

Full of charm and pleasing detail … [an] amusing tour of Europe’s linguistic landscape (Spectator 2014-11-13)

Learned and pleasantly ironic … [an] entertaining exercise in “language tourism” … [Dorren’s] tour of the continent is a richly diverting exercise … He has something interesting to point out about nearly every topic … brilliant (Steven Poole Guardian 2014-11-28)

The depth and breadth of [Dorren’s] understanding and knowledge are awesome … this charming, funny and fascinating gem of a book has persuaded me of the richness we are in danger of losing. (Rose Wild The Times 2014-11-29)

I love this book. It’s witty and informative, with a wealth of engaging comments on all things language-related on our continent … highly amusing … the book’s mine of information, make[s] this a great seasonal stocking filler – whether you’re a lingophile or not. (Gwyn Griffiths Morning Star 2014-12-02)

A new approach to understanding the world … ideal for any cunning linguist (Wanderlust 2014-12-01)

This year’s sleeper Christmas hit … an amiable and entertaining examination of European languages in all their idiosyncratic glory (Michael Conaghan Belfast Telegraph 2014-12-09)

Full of odd linguistic facts … fascinating (Tom Chivers Times Literary Supplement 2014-12-12)

I can’t praise it enough. If you ever wanted to know how exactly Finnish and Hungarian are related and how Turkish fits in, it is clearly explained here in two to three pages. And so is everything else you ever wanted to learn about European languages but were afraid to ask. Brilliant, witty, excellent! (Alan Sked Times Higher Education 2014-12-17)

Through 60 compelling stories about European linguistics, it tells us an impressive amount about Europe … An entertaining, accessible guide (Stephanie Boland Financial Times 2015-01-03)

A pleasurable read (The Linguist 2015-03-27)


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