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From the Publisher“Spoken Here is a splendid, original work, written with a combination of the scholarly and the personal, the anecdotal and the researched, in voices that celebrate words and create pictures.... Abley’s point, persuasively and vibrantly made, is that we are all weakened by threads dropped from the tapestry of international languages and cultures.”
—The Globe and Mail
“This generous, sorrow-tinged book is an informative and eloquent reminder of a richness that may not exist much longer.”
“In showing us the joys of linguistic diversity, Abley scatters irresistible diamonds.”
“Gracefully written, funny and frequently heartbreaking.”
—New York Times Book Review
"A fascinating and at times moving account of how languages die... [a] brilliantly illuminating and unique language-travel book."
“A powerful and important book... His celebration of linguistic diversity is compelling, his diagnosis of its demise devastating.”
“A cri de coeur, passionately and convincingly argued... Vivid and often funny...well-written and lively. Spoken Here should help to extricate this subject from the academic circles to which it has mostly been confined, and get it out into the wider world.”
“Timely... Spoken Here is a mix of travelogue, history, linguistics, journalism and finally agitprop on behalf of Babel... Books may be almost routinely described as ‘important’, but Mark Abley’s Spoken Here truly is.”
“Abley does not put forward a formula for saving endangered languages. He does, however, present his case in dramatic fashion. He argues with passion that they are as deserving of preservation as are biological species.”
—Winnipeg Free Press
“The Montreal author’s new book, Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages...chronicles his journey to Australia and the Isle of Man, to France, Oklahoma and around our country, in rich, elegiac detail, asking all along: What do we lose when the world loses another language?”
—The National Post, Star Phoenix (Saskatoon)
"Abley’s enthusiasm is infectious; he is a passionate amateur, not a professional linguist, and his book may be the better for it."
"The resounding humanity and poignancy of his writing is deeply affecting and ensures that he has created something much more powerful than an exercise in semantic analysis."
"Abley…makes us appreciate the richness that we’re all losing, and, even more keenly, the plight of the people who lose their cultural heritage, their independence, and in some cases their political rights, along with their language."
—Independent on Sunday
"Brilliant and enjoyable…a corrective to the arid tedium of most writing on linguistics"
"A fine book about linguistic globalisation"
"Abley conducts his study of languages as disparate as Inuktitut and Manx with great sensitivity"