In the Land of Invented Languages by Arika Okrent The Unfolding of Language by Guy Deutscher Babel No More by Michael Erard Talking Hands by Margalit. In the Land of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rock Stars, Klingon Poets, Loglan Build A Perfect Language eBook: Arika Okrent: : Kindle Store. In the Land of Invented Languages: A Celebration of Linguistic Creativity, Madness, and Genius. Front Cover. Arika Okrent. Spiegel & Grau Trade Paperbacks.

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In the Land of Invented Languages by Arika Okrent

Each conlanger in the book is given a biography that’s necessarily brief maybe this book only feels short because I enjoyed it so much but full invdnted motivation, context, and the delicious savor of research. Which is kind of shame, because I found the discussion of Klingon culture that is, the culture of human Klingon speakers, not actual Klingons and the discussion of Esperanto culture to be, actually, more interesting than the history of the people who invented the languages in the first place.

A charades- like guessing game where someone sort of cobbled together a message and someone else sort of understood it? A tendency turned into a habit, and somewhere along the way a system came to be. Open Preview See a Problem?

Arguably Esperanto is the most successful of the invented languages, created by a Pole–it is amazing how much of the story of invented languages is driven by Poles and Russians–Esperanto focused on a different way of creating a universal language. Dec 01, Nikki rated it really liked it Shelves: She is also a great storyteller, and eccentric characters and dashed dreams are the stuff of this delightful book.

Really fun read, very well and accessibly written, informative, educating and humorous. The attempts at invented languages could be roughly said to progress from systems that are very unnatural okgent assemblages of numbers or letters to systems that seek to combine all of the inventor’s favorite aspects of natural languages.

He never finished his Ph. One can only hammer on the same things so much, after all, before one says ‘enough is enough’.

Wells and am busy with translations right now. He knows a lot, but not much of it is career making. After inventedd it, almost wish I was able to express my admiration and appreciation in an invented language.

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In the Land of Invented Languages

All of which feature prominently in this book. John Wilkins’s “philosophical language” Ludwik Zamenhof’s Esperanto Charles Bliss’s symbolic language, “Semantography” James Cooke Brown’s language of logic, “Loglan” Marc Okrand’s Klingon A major strength of the book is Okrent’s ability to place each of these particular invented languages within its historical context. I sigh, scratch my head, and flip to the back to revisit her credentials.

She writes like your smartest, funniest friend explaining somethin I truly love a journalistic, popular science-y kind of work, and I’ve read some great ones. The One that solved all our problems, that united all of humanity. In the Land of Invented Languages by Arika Okrent is a book ostensibly about invented languages like Esperanto that is filled with love for the beauty and inventiveness of natural languages.

So the author starts out learning about Klingon and going to a Klingon convention excuse me, conference. Michael Erard, author of” Um: As a collector of old books on invented languages we’re talking sI found myself becoming very jealous at the books that Okrent stumbles upon in her research.

Okrent’s style is eminently suited to her approach, which is at once serious and playful, exemplified by her marvelous, snappy opening sentence: That’s not necessarily wrong, but I worried it did some of the women involved a disservice to put them in the background behind the admittedly rude, foolish, arrogant, etc male linguists.

Account Options Sign in. Okrent’s book is a compilation of wonderful stories about batty inventors–some lovable, like Esperanto’s Ludwik Zamenhof, some not, like Blissymbolics’s Charles Bliss.

I had a certain grudging admiration for Okdent Wilkins’s noble attempt to categorize everything in the universe, as well as for the idealism displayed by proponents of Esperanto.

Each one had a different history, a different ideal that the inventor wanted to achieve, and a different outcome in terms of real world use. It’s humorous, intelligent, entertaining and highly informative.

If I didn’t find the subject matter so compelling, I probably would have been far more put off adika the writing style than I was. In the Land of Invented Languages: Feb 19, Julie rated it it was amazing Shelves: The amount of thing people think language has to be capable of – from world peace through enlightenment and straight on till morning – is downright mind-boggling, and, as such, they all tried to express these ‘shoulda, oughta’ qualities in their work.


The author is fond of putting herself into the story, often to confess, with an air of humble full disclosure, that she only aroka this or that or the other because she wanted people to admire her. While writing up my thoughts on something else tonight, I realized that Aruka book has become the gold standard for a particular strain of my non-fiction reading.

The author’s scholarly training shines in the way she cleverly organizes the discussion into distinct eras, inventted distinguished by the prevailing motivations invrnted the men and women behind the constructed languages of that time.

No, at the beginning of each chapter she gives a timeline of the key events before and after.

Their rigid attempts to control the people using their arjka seemed to negate any positive uses for their creations. Until several decades into the 20th century, language inventors were Utopi If you’ve listened to any stories about conlangs or “constructed languages” on NPR over the past few years, you’ve almost definitely heard the author, Arika Okrent her first name is pronounced like “Erica.

This was certainly not the fault of the author, who was an engaged and enthusiastic tour guide throughout. Okrent offers 26 chapters of insights into some of the world’s hundreds of invented languages.

The job of the linguist, like that of the biologist or the botanist, is not to tell us how nature okdent behave, or what its creations should look like, but to describe those creations in all their messy glory and try to fi gure out what they can alnguages us about life, the world, and, especially in the case of linguistics, the workings of the human mind.

I, too, thought that an astonishingly high number. For our fi rst meeting Mark showed up in a T- shirt with the International Phonetic Alphabet printed on it, and I soon discovered that all his Inventdd shirts were a form of th expression. Though the casual attitude of ILIL provides much insurance against serious criticism, there are still areas where the book may be considered flawed.