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on 23 February 2008
I can only repeat what I wrote on the first book: "Based on the fact that most expressions from my own language, German, were either very rare or completely new to me, and often inexplicably misspelled, I suspect similar problems in the entries for other languages. After all, the German entries suggest that the author is either careless, or inept, or simply misinformed. And why should he be so only when it comes to one language? In any case, should you want a book that gives you expressions actually used in other countries, this is probably not it." In that respect, the second book is really more of thesame, it seems.
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VINE VOICEon 19 January 2008
I heard the author of this on the radio and the few snippets he quoted made the book sound interesting so I promptly ordered a copy. It is not as good as I had hoped, there are a lot of gaps in the text, there is no flow to the book and having checked some of the words used with native speakers of the respective languages some of the translations seem incorrect. Still, it's a fun read and some of the words and phrases are real gems: I especially like the chatup line "Do you kiss strangers? No? Then let me introduce myself..." This is more of a book to dip in and out of rather than to spend any length of time reading, its not well organised and has no index but it's fun all the same.
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on 31 May 2009
I have bought this book twice already and may yet purchase another for my own. I have given them both as presents, one recipient made no further mention of it and the other found it fun and fascinating. Other reviewers have said all there is to say except perhaps that it is another example of the English love of things exotic, obscure and eccentric. I saw the author in a television interview and loved the idea of it. Not being a linguist myself I did not detect the flaws which so bothered some others although to be told of such technical failures caused me a little disappointment. However it delights in our cultural differences which makes for an interesting world and perhaps should not be taken too seriously.
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on 1 November 2007
This is a fascinating collection of weird and wonderful words from around the globe - my favourites have to be 'rhwe' from Tsonga, South Africa, 'to sleep on the floor without a mat, and ususally drunk and naked' and the Japanese 'nittoonna', 'a woman so dedicated to her career that she has no time to iron blouses and so resorts to dressing only in knitted tops'. Opens your eyes to a whole new world!
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on 30 October 2010
I am very happy with this amusing book. It arrived in good time and in good condition.
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on 18 November 2007
Buy a dozen copies, and dispense them as Christmas presents to loved ones who have a linguistic bent. This really is just about the best book ever for paging through and chuckling at what you never knew. Truly a delightful book for everyone from ten to 100.
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on 13 December 2007
The author seems to have no knowledge of foreign languages. I spotted thirty mistakes in just the entries linked to French, German and Dutch.
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on 5 February 2008
If you have any interest at all in the world outside your own and you're intrigued by language and languages, you'll enjoy these books (The Meaning of Tingo and Toujours Tingo) as much as I did. But, for goodness' sake, don't think of them as phrase books to use in conversation should you visit any of the countries mentioned. I'm sure the author never intended them to be used that way. As for the reviewers who take issue with linguistic accuracy, I can think of many English words and phrases that would be alien to most English speakers yet nevertheless exist and are used by the natives! Just because I've never heard the words or phrases doesn't mean they don't exist somewhere in the broader lexicon.
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