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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Jun 14, Res rated it really liked it Shelves: But because she relates to them to a degreeshe sees through to what drives them, what makes them devote so much time to such a futile enterprise.

Okrent’s book is a fascinating look at some of these attempts, from the well-known Esperanto to the obscure Toki Pona, which “uses only positive words.

As I said, I highly recommend this book both to language and invented language geeks and to the casual reader who is looking for some intellectual thhe while also a fun read. Another of the book’s rewards is the way that Okrent, with a light touch, manages to interrogate the positivist’s creed that rationality is universal.

But the humor isn’t a cheap one. If I didn’t find the subject matter so compelling, I probably would have been far more put off by the writing style than I was. She is also a great storyteller, and eccentric characters and dashed dreams are the stuff of this delightful book.

The job of the linguist, like that of the biologist or the botanist, is not to tell us how nature should 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 teach us about life, the world, and, especially in the case of linguistics, the workings of the human mind. No, at the beginning of each chapter she gives a timeline of the key events before and after. May 19, Pages Buy.


Spitting out little words and phrases and putting on a show? For one, while I could guess that invention of language is Serious Business, I hardly thought it was a bloody business, too.

In the Land of Invented Languages

Account Options Sign in. It now has its own community of users. Arika Okrent is intrigued by languages that have been created whole-cloth–like Esperanto or Klingon or the elvish tongues of Tolkien.

In the s, some people wanted to have a human language with precision and unambiguity of computer languages, which led to Loglan. Please try again later. And there is some repetition of information, as if she forgot she already told us that. Airka shows how language systems connect, or don’t connect, with people. What finally clued me in? The idea that language brings with it a whole lot of cultural baggage that makes it difficult or impossible to express certain things in one language, and make the implication of those same things difficult to avoid when on the same topic in another another language, led to a quest for a value-neutral or “logical” language.

The whole notion of universal, invented languages is rather like trying to put a giant humpty-dumpty together – a million little pieces being glued onto each other in a futile attempt.

But few people have heard of Babm, Blissymbolics, Loglan languagds to be confused with Lojbanand the nearly nine hundred other invented languages that represent the hard work, high hopes, and full-blown delusions of so many misguided souls over the centuries.


I tore through this book in inventes days, lagnuages wish I had more to read. The chapters on Klingon were the most entertaining tugh qoH nachDaj je chevlu’ta’am I right? By creating symbols that perfectly represent abstract ideas? 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.

Esperanto Rock Stars, Klingon Poets Inspired by Your Browsing History.

In the Land of Invented Languages by Arika Okrent | : Books

Dec 01, Nikki rated it really liked it Shelves: No attention is given to the massive and longstanding scholarly tradition separating interest in the languages of Middle-earth from the Star Trek fandom that upholds Klingon, nor does ILIL touch upon any of the reasons why conlangs have become an indispensable feature of secondary worlds. And I’ve long been really, really fascinated with the various medieval efforts to reconstruct the “perfect” language of creation.

Ludwik Zamenhof and the Language of Peace. Okrent is a wonderful writer.

He”s an Orthodox Jew who follows all the rules, but jokes that he would be an atheist “if I weren”t such a scaredy- cat. If you like books about language, you probably will too.

I think the thing most readers will find most appealing about this book is the personal histories of the people who have created and worked on invented languages. That’s a good thing.