This is an interesting little book – it’s about all the languages of Europe. It’s definitely a survey – the author chooses to highlight something interesting or quirky about each language, and you will definitely run into languages you’ve never heard of before. (I’ll admit, as an American, it’s actually kind of hard to grok exactly how diverse it is linguistically in a land where the languages spoken are the original languages. You can get a sense of it by looking at the number of languages spoken by our native tribes, but so many of those were overwhelmed by European colonization it’s still hard to understand the scale. But I digress.)
Don’t come to this book expecting to learn much about the languages themselves, though that is touched on with some of them. What you’ll get instead are interesting historical facts. Like when they decided to revive Cornish there was a schism between those that wanted to pick up where it left off in the late 1800s, and those that wanted to bring it back to its Medieval heyday. It’s a fun read if you like languages.