Customer Reviews for

Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted July 23, 2009

    A Research Paper Worth Reading

    I got this from Bargain Books, since I like this kind of thing, and I was pleasantly surprised with how delightful a read it was. Yes, it is research; yes, it is long, and yes, the print is really tiny. But I am not about to become a linguist (or whatever in the world you have to be to be interested in this) and I read it! I actually enjoyed it and learned a great deal.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2006

    a book that needed to be written

    The rise and fall of major languages is something I've often thought about, but never been able to read about until 'Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World'. You can find the history of particular languages (Greek, Chinese, Latin ...) but Ostler's overview of ALL the world's major speach communities and his contrasting of their growth and decline is something I'd never seen, anywhere, previously. Highly readable, well documented - with plenty of maps - the book also has excerpts for all the languages covered (which is very enjoyable for those that are unfamiliar, giving a 'feeling' of how each sounds). Although I have a background in linguistics and am a translator by trade, I'm sure 'Empires of the Word' is accessible to anyone with an interest in history and language. It's a book I would have been proud and happy to have written myself, but Nicholas Ostler beat me to it, and undoubtedly did a far better job!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2013

    Anonymoua

    An excellent book I've read it many times. If you love languages you will love this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2009

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