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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The author is to be congratulated. And the exact book I needed to get me out of the rut of non-reading I’ve been in the last 2 months. So I was thinking that would be a really interesting lland to do and wondering if I was capable of doing it without a linguistics or women’s studies degree. 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.

Although I could have wished for a little better organization. For one, while I could guess that invention of language is Serious Business, I hardly thought it was a bloody business, too.

Oct 06, Michael rated it it was amazing. Can you create an ideal language by inventing a precise classification for everything on earth? It”s legitimate to laugh. Okrent admits that it is the “overblown ridiculousness” of language inventors that first drew her to look into the subject.

Blah blah language is acquired I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in linguistics or languages. Blissymbolics tries to bypass speech altogether – symbols that are so “intuitive” as IT folk like to say about GUI interfaces that with a few simple instructions they can be read with equal facility by a monoglot Mandarin speaker, Amazonian Indian or Frenchman.

She is also a great storyteller, and eccentric characters and dashed dreams are the stuff of this delightful book. Even as In the Land of Invented Languages made me admire the dreamers who have tried to improve on natural languages, it gave me new respect for the value of the “flaws” those dreamers set out to overcome.


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. Okrent’s style is eminently suited to her approach, which is at once serious and playful, exemplified by her marvelous, snappy opening sentence: So I thought it only fair that I state in public that I loved this book, and wish it had been twice as long.

If I could, I would have this book’s babies. These were not lighthearted language games, like pig Latin, or the spontaneous results of ingroup communication, like Cockney rhyming slang or surfer jargon. A lot more is going on and new invented languages are popping up all the time, though often, as with the “Blissymbol” system, they find uses other than pure communication.

In the Land of Invented Languages by Arika Okrent

Really fun book which I wolfed through, a lot of interesting okeent thrown in to keep it lively and I learned a lot about something I already thought I knew about. Her struggles illuminate exactly why natural languages are superior, and why invented languages are so often ridiculed.

That story is fascinating. The title of the book pretty much says it all. Admittedly, not in the part that bore to real-life languages, because, well, see above – but in all that pertained to the history and personalities of the artificial languages, I must say I was quite intrigued.

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

At the very end of this lush orchid garden of languages there was one more section, where linguists don”t generally care to visit–a few lonely shelves of faded plastic fl owers, the artifi cial languages. Her writing has just the right balance of authority and humor.

It’s also interesting to see how relative the inventfd of “the perfect language” has been throughout human history. This marks them as strange–as does, say, their laguages to dress as Klingons–but it is a harmless, nerdy kind of fun.


Indeed, nationalism and ethnic pride led to the re- creation of Hebrew, which had been a dead tongue of scholars and became a living language, somewhere on the continuum between natural tongue and artificial language.

Klingon has entertainment as part of its face value. Okrent the linguist even seems to subtly disclose a bit of envy. Product description Review Hats off to Okrent, who expertly exposes the history, culture, and preoccupations of this insular tribe who live among us. Esperanto itself is an example of a created language refusing to remain static, as younger speakers casually drop the “n” accusative ending of nouns much as English-speakers commonly dismiss with terminal “g” from our words, and slang expressions and colorful idioms continue to bloom and grow.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. And I’ve long been really, really fascinated with the various medieval efforts to reconstruct the “perfect” language of kf.

There were hundreds of them. This book was the perfect balance of everything: And there have not been a shortage ariks them: She lives in Philadelphia.

In the Land of Invented Languages

He is, as he might put it, a polymath of esoterica. It helps that the genre practically doesn’t exist. It sets out to tell a certain story, as much about language itself as about language invention: In the Land of Invented Languages: But not especially interesting. The first and last chapters are not that bad, but too much of the middle is boringly detailed biography of people, only peripherally dealing with invented languages.