7 Books for Linguists

  In honour of World Book Day, the team at Albion Languages have gathered a list of our favourite books. These books have inspired us, and guided us throughout our work in linguistics and translation.

World Book Day

  1. Polyglot: How I Learn Languages by Lomb Kató

A fascinating collection of anecdotes and reflections on learning languages by a Hungarian translator and interpreter who worked in 16 languages. The book was originally published with the Hungarian title, Így tanulok nyelveket.

 

  1. Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss

Truss is passionate about grammar and grammar “sticklers” everywhere will appreciate her in-depth guide to English punctuation. English learners will also find this to be a very useful guide for writing clearly and with meaning.

 

  1. Found in Translation: How language shapes our lives and transforms the world by Nataly Kelly and Jost Zetzsche

Referencing the expression, “lost in translation”, Kelly and Zetzsche guide us through the secret world of translation, with facts and stories about languages, translation and translators.

 

  1. A Practical Guide to Localization by Bert Esselink

An exceedingly useful guide for translators, localisation engineers, website developers, and project managers through multilingual desktop publishing and software, as well as project management and quality control.

 

  1. The Language Instinct: How the mind creates language by Steven Pinker

Canadian-American experimental psychologist and cognitive scientist dives into linguistics, answering many questions about the origin and evolution of language with wit and humor. 

 

  1. Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour by Kate Fox

Anthropologist Kate Fox hilariously reveals the often awkward, unspoken rules of English culture.

 

  1. How to Be an Alien: A Handbook for Beginners and Advanced Pupils by George Mikes

Hungarian-born Mikes moved to London in the 1940s, and later wrote this short handbook based on his observations of quirky English culture. A good read for a good laugh.

 

-Foreign-language Books-

  1. Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod (The dative is the death of the genitive) by Bastian Sick

Sick uses his background in journalism and passion for linguistics to deliver an entertaining analysis of absurdities in German grammar.

 

  1. Komunikácia, tlmočenie, preklad, preklad alebo prečo spadla Babylonská veža? (Communication, Interpreting, Translation; Why the Tower of Babel Collapsed) by Daniela Müglová

Imagine the chaos that ensued in Babylon, when the tower builders were suddenly unable to communicate in the same language! Interpreter Müglová guides us through the history of translation and interpreting from ancient to modern times to teach us how overcoming cultural barriers led to clear, inter-cultural communication.

 

  1. A nyelv és a nyelvek (Language and Languages) by Istvan Kenesei

Hungarian linguistics professor Kenesei takes us through an enlightening introduction to linguistics. 

 

     4. Prédikál és szónokol (Preaching and Orating) by Nadasdy Adam

Hungarian Poet and linguist addresses specific aspects of language in his poetry

 

  1. Fordítókalauz Hogyan igazodjunk el az angol nyelvű jogi és európai uniós szövegek útvesztőjében? (How to find your way in the maze of legal and EU texts) by Várnai Judit Szilvia and Mészáros Andrea Éva

A  translator’s guide through difficult legal terminology in English, with helpful Hungarian translations.

 

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