Whether you're a frequent visitor to Europe or just an armchair traveler, the surprising and extraordinary stories in "e;Lingo"e; will forever change the way you think about the continent, and may even make you want to learn a new language.
"e;Lingo"e; spins the reader on a whirlwind tour of sixty European languages and dialects, sharing quirky moments from their histories and exploring their commonalities and differences. Most European languages are descended from a single ancestor, a language not unlike Sanskrit known as Proto-Indo-European (or PIE for short), but the continent's ever-changing borders and cultures have given rise to a linguistic and cultural diversity that is too often forgotten in discussions of Europe as a political entity. "e;Lingo"e; takes us into today's remote mountain villages of Switzerland, where Romansh is still the lingua franca, to formerly Soviet Belarus, a country whose language was Russified by the Bolsheviks, to Sweden, where up until the 1960s polite speaking conventions required that one never use the word "e;you"e; in conversation, leading to tiptoeing questions of the form: "e;Would herr generaldirektor Rexed like a biscuit?"e;
Spanning six millenia and sixty languages in bite-size chapters, "e;Lingo"e; is a hilarious and highly edifying exploration of how Europe speaks."e;
Around Europe in Sixty Languages
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