Through the Language Glass by Guy Deutscher
Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 1 Critic Review

The second half of the book, particularly Deutscher's discussion of gender and perception, was far more interesting and compelling than his prolonged exposé on colour, in my opinion.
-Guardian

Synopsis

A masterpiece of linguistics scholarship, at once erudite and entertaining, confronts the thorny question of how—and whether—culture shapes language and language, culture

Linguistics has long shied away from claiming any link between a language and the culture of its speakers: too much simplistic (even bigoted) chatter about the romance of Italian and the goose-stepping orderliness of German has made serious thinkers wary of the entire subject. But now, acclaimed linguist Guy Deutscher has dared to reopen the issue. Can culture influence language—and vice versa? Can different languages lead their speakers to different thoughts? Could our experience of the world depend on whether our language has a word for "blue"?

Challenging the consensus that the fundaments of language are hard-wired in our genes and thus universal, Deutscher argues that the answer to all these questions is—yes. In thrilling fashion, he takes us from Homer to Darwin, from Yale to the Amazon, from how to name the rainbow to why Russian water—a "she"—becomes a "he" once you dip a tea bag into her, demonstrating that language does in fact reflect culture in ways that are anything but trivial. Audacious, delightful, and field-changing, Through the Language Glass is a classic of intellectual discovery.

 

About Guy Deutscher

See more books from this Author
Guy Deutscher is the author of The Unfolding of Language. Formerly a fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, and of the Department of Ancient Near Eastern Languages at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, he is an honorary research fellow at the School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures at the University of Manchester. He lives in Oxford, England.
 
Published August 31, 2010 by Metropolitan Books. 308 pages
Genres: Education & Reference. Non-fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Through the Language Glass
All: 1 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 0

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by GrrlScientist on Mar 06 2012

The second half of the book, particularly Deutscher's discussion of gender and perception, was far more interesting and compelling than his prolonged exposé on colour, in my opinion.

Read Full Review of Through the Language Glass: W... | See more reviews from Guardian

Reader Rating for Through the Language Glass
77%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 100 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×