Tuesday, September 3, 2013

“Pilgrim in the Palace of Words” – a fascinating journey

I haven’t read such a thrilling book for ages! “Pilgrim in the Palace of Words” written by Glenn Dixon through nearly 300 pages takes a reader in a journey through several continents, from Tibet and Cambodia to Fiji and French Polynesia, from Turkey to Peru, and from Israel to Alaska. It’s not only a journey through the valleys, mountains, lakes and seas but also through cultures, customs and languages so different as Tibetan, Thai, Ojibwe and many others which names I can’t even spell correctly. And first of all: it’s all about people!

As we can read on an official site of the book, Glenn Dixon has published travel articles and cultural pieces in National Geographic Magazine, the New York Post, Psychology Today and many others.  He has traveled through more than 60 countries now and worked on many documentary films. He has three degrees including a masters degree in socio-linguistics and is now a ‘learning leader’ (a consultant) for languages for the Calgary Board of Education.
“Pilgrim in the Palace of Words” is his first book. It’s immensely entertaining and informative. Dixon demonstrates a thorough knowledge of linguistics but instead of a scientific lecture he gives us a witty and engaging reading, nearly an adventure novel! It’s a wonderful opportunity to “meet” the people he personally met and talked to during his travels. All the information is given in a very funny, digestive way, be it describing the rituals and customs be it grammatical issues of Aymara which is probably the only language where the notion of past and future is expressed other way round than in other languages – namely the past is put in front while the future in the back…

“Pilgrim in the Palace of Words. A Journey Through the 6,000 Languages of Earth”
Author: Glenn Dixon
Language: English
Publisher: Dundurn Press Toronto
E-book: 2009
Pages: 292

This text is also available in Polish

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