Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Languages of the world by Kenneth Katzner

This is possibly my most useful language book of early 80s Beware  that my interest in languages started from ca 6 years of age when I successfully decoded  Japanese language characters  from lyrics mentioned in the documentation of several  vinyl records. Later I have  used small methods  of other languages  from our region (Serban , Turkish , Arabic etc )  and next due to my interest in Asian languages i was  slightly involved with methods of Chinese Cantonese Hindi (via German ) Punjabi etc

This book has been used for very many times so far and still seems as untouched !

Its structure is relatively simple:

First part discusses languages by families : Indo-European Uralic Altaic Caucasian Dravidian  and so on

Second part discusses  languages  by region individually mainly in 3 parts: foit wirg an example of the language , most times  with its native  script , then with translation to English then a small introductory  text for area is spoken ,  speakers , special  letters (in case Latin or Cyrillic is used ) and words  borrowed into English  (as for example amuk is borrowed  from Malay ). More  than  200 languages are referred with also some more exotic , as eg for Europe  Frisian , Faroese , Lappish as mentioned  Coptic and Aramaic  are analyzed for  M East , or Burushaski Miao YI Sibo for Asia  etc

Third part analyses most significant languages by country . There are many cases languages not referred in the  second part to be noticed there .

IN result this book is a must have for a script and language student (better say linguist) though more introductory

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