34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Not just for the initiated,
This review is from: Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World's Undeciphered Scripts (Hardcover)
First of all donï¿½t be scarred by the subject of this book, wait no, the subject is scary but the way the book is written is not. It describes in detail, with lots of pictures, the way that long lost languages were found and understood again in a simple, enjoyable way. It then goes on to tell of the troubles ahead in deciphering other languages such as the fascinating ronogorongo language of Easter Island.
The book itself was a pleasure to read, easy flowing, informative and very well laid out. Infact I canï¿½t really find a fault with the book at all and easily give it 5 starsï¿½..
This book is not just for people who know the subject. I didnï¿½t know a thing about decipherment until I read this book, purely out of interest and I donï¿½t regret it.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 6 Feb 2012 10:09:17 GMT
Nicholas Ostler says:
This review and 3 others - all stressing how little the reviewer knew or was interested in the subject, and yet still liked the book - may discourage people who might really be interested.
In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jul 2013 11:34:37 BDT
Yes, Nicholas, but historical linguistics seems to be a rather taxing subject for some, judging by the number of supposedly academic people who insouciantly promote their own theories about the spread of Indo-European, or make claims about paleolithic relationships between language families based on superficial similarities in word lists. Don't you think it's good that there is a book dealing with old languages which is non-crackpot but at the same time entertaining to read, and accessible to the lay person? True, it only touches the edges of 'star-spangled grammar' but where an interest has been created other studies may follow. What a good Christmas present this would be for a clever child who was beginning to be interested in language roots and relationships.
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