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indigoNicholas Ostler


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An unusual and authoritative 'natural history of languages' that narrates the ways in which one language has superseded or outlasted another at different times in history. The story of the world in the last five thousand years is above all the story of its languages. Some shared language is what…read more

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The fascinating chronicle of how language has influenced the world's great religions--Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and more. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." So opens the Gospel of John, an ancient text translated into almost every language, at…read more

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"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." So opens the Gospel of John, an ancient text translated into almost every language, at once a compelling and beguiling metaphor for the Christian story of the Beginning. To further complicate matters, the words we…read more

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English is the world's lingua franca-the most widely spoken language in human history. And yet, as historian and linguist Nicholas Ostler persuasively argues, English will not only be displaced as the world's language in the not-distant future, it will be the last lingua franca, not replaced by…read more

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English is the world's lingua franca-the most widely spoken language in human history. And yet, as historian and linguist Nicholas Ostler persuasively argues, English will not only be displaced as the world's language in the not-distant future, it will be the last lingua franca, not replaced by…read more

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Nicholas Ostler's Empires of the Word is the first history of the world's great tongues, gloriously celebrating the wonder of words that binds communities together and makes possible both the living of a common history and the telling of it. From the uncanny resilience of Chinese through twenty…read more