If you have an interest in languages, then this may well be the book for you. It deals with over 400 languages in greater or lesser detail, often giving intriguing insights into the language or people discussed. It is not a great reference work, it is not an educational text, you won't even learn any useful phrases (although you may learn to count to ten in hundreds of tongues!). But this is an excellent introduction to the variety of languages and alphabets in the world today (along with important extinct languages), and their geographical distribution. Taken for what it is, the only real criticisms of the book are the maps, which are not as clearly defined as they might be (perhaps in the interest of cost?), and the physical dimensions of the book. The hardback version is about 9 inches tall, and 5 inches thick. You need a table to read this for any length of time. Alphabetically ordered, this book is suitable for dipping in and out of as necessary, and you will find some golden nuggets of information. I bet I know of a Western European Language spoken by over 10 million people that you don't!!!