Native Tongues (book)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Native Tongues is a book by the linguist Charles Berlitz.

It is a list of words in different languages, etymology and questions with speculations far and wide about words.

It mentions how many thousands of languages exist, and explores whether animals have language.

It tries to explain how languages started and how they spread and decline, how similar many languages like English and German are, how gender-dependent language can be.

It explains the origins of words and what they really mean to people, examining words of love and of insults in different countries, languages and cultures.

Much of the book is taken up by listings of good and bad translations. Differences between British and American English are listed.

To Berlitz, a language is much more than simply words, grammar, syntax and phonology. It is connected to culture, and a part of what makes a person and a way of thinking.

ISBN 0-7858-1827-8