Pilgrim in the Palace of Words: A Journey Through the 6,000 Languages of Earth by Glenn DixonPilgrim in the Palace of Words: A Journey Through the 6,000 Languages of Earth by Glenn Dixon

Pilgrim in the Palace of Words: A Journey Through the 6,000 Languages of Earth

byGlenn Dixon

Paperback | November 23, 2009

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Pilgrim in the Palace of Words is about language, about the words that splash and chatter across our tongues. Some six thousand languages are still spoken on the planet, and author Glenn Dixon - an expert is socio-linguistics and a tireless adventurer - travels to the Earth's four corners to explore the way these languages create and mould societies.

As one philosopher said, languages are Houses of Being. After doing graduate work in linguistics, Dixon wanted to visit these houses or "palaces" himself - to stroll along their sidewalks, knock on their doors, and peek in their windows. He wanted to see what they were hiding in their basements ... even if it meant a little bit of trouble. In some cases, a whole lot of trouble! Join him on his adventure as, with wit and humour, he works toward a real understanding of how and why we communicate the way we do in the Global Village.

Glenn Dixon has published travel articles in major publications such as National Geographic, the New York Post, The Walrus, the Globe and Mail, and Psychology Today. An expert on language with an M.A. in socio-linguistics, he is currently a language consultant with the Calgary Board of Education. He lives in Calgary.
Title:Pilgrim in the Palace of Words: A Journey Through the 6,000 Languages of EarthFormat:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.4 inPublished:November 23, 2009Publisher:DundurnLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1554884330

ISBN - 13:9781554884339

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from An interesting read I found this book to be a great combination of interesting and funny. I feel like I'm travelling right along with him through some of the places and the asides on language were interesting enough that I would often stop and say to my girlfriend - oh you have to hear this - and read her that bit. A really good read.
Date published: 2010-03-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from All appetizer: no entree I expected more analysis of the cultures based on language, but didn't get it. It read more like a regular travelogue by any backpacker. Yes, there was the occasional language "factoid", but not enough for someone interested in languages and the cultural differences they can demonstrate. My favourite chapters were The Headwaters of the Amazon and Haida: The Surface People. In the former, he talks about a little known tribe on the Amazon, who were isolated until the 1970's and whose world had no fixed points. How this impacted their language is fasinating, and I wish there was more here. As a Canadian, I found the chapter on the Haida also interesting, on the survival of a language in the postmodern world. I don't know if Dixon doesn't trust the "lay" audience enough to get into some detail, but I found the book fairly superficial. I wish he had given us a good analysis of two or three of the languages he encountered, dipping into development, intricacies and relationships to other cultures, and focusing on more than one or two words of these specific languages. How does language shape world view? How does one's world shape the language? Dixon comes closest to answering such questions when talking about the Achaur of the Amazon. Of course, it is easiest to blame the author, but the editor and/or publisher might have had a hand in the decision, with the intention of making the book more accessible to a larger readership. It's kind of like having an appetizer and no dinner!
Date published: 2010-03-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pilgrim in the Palace is great This is a book about adventure travel - wild and wacky adventures that sometimes put the author close to death. It's also a book about the languages of the world, though, and how we understand each other... something we really need if we're going to make this Global Village work. I loved it. It made me laugh but it also made me think.
Date published: 2009-12-27

Editorial Reviews

Pilgrim in the Palace of Words is certainly defined more by Dixon's first-person experiences, chance encounters and dialogue with strangers than academic theories.