Foreign-language reviews

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Berthold van Maris in NRC:
“Vrolijk en goed geïnformeerd.” (Cheerful and well informed.)
“Droge kwesties worden, als Dorren ze uitlegt, springlevend.” (Dull issues come alive when explained by Dorren.)
“Schrijft met humor.” (Writes with humour.)

Mieke Zijlmans in de Volkskrant:
“Doortimmerd en geestig.” (Thorough and witty.)

Reitze Jonkman in LTM (Levende Talen Magazine):
“Een must voor levendetalendocenten.” (A must for modern-language teachers.)


Matteo Sacchi in il Giornale:
“Dorren spiega bene che la lingua siamo noi, la nostra identità.” (Dorren explains well that language is us, it’s our identity.)

IO Donna (Corriere della Sera):
“Una lettura divertente che aiuta a comprendere il mondo.” (An entertaining read what helps to understand the world.)

Il Foglio:
Babele è un coro, e Gaston Dorren fa da direttore d’orchestra e cerca di organizzare nel libro le storie di venti lingue diverse, ma nelle quali si possono scovare dei tratti in comune.” (Babel is a choir and Gaston Dorren acts as its conductor and in the book seeks to orchestrate the stories of twenty languages that are different but in which certain common features can be found.)

La Repubblica:
“Una guida che celebra la diversità culturale.” (A guide that celebrates cultural diversity.)


Książka lingwistyczna, która bardziej przypomina dziennik z podróży. Razem z autorem pokonujemy tysiące kilometrów, podziwiając szyki wyrazów, zaimki, kształty pisma. (…) „Babel…”, choć jest książką naukową, ma w sobie sporo lekkości. I poetyckości.
(Machine translation: A linguistic book that is more like a travel journal. Together with the author, we cover thousands of kilometers, admiring word patterns, pronouns, script shapes. (…) “Babel …”, although it is a scientific book, has a lot of lightness. And poetry.)

Między Sklejonymi Kartkami
“Szalona, naszpikowana niesłychanymi opowieściami i pełna autoironicznego humoru.”
(Machine translation: Crazy, packed with incredible stories and full of self-ironic humor.)

Polish writer, translator and university professor Michał Rusinek wrote me a personal message saying that Babel has been ‘brilliantly translated into the Polish language’ (by Anna Sak), adding that ‘it is a great book, written with care and attention to languages. And making them – so to say – less foreign.’

Reader and translator Natalia Kołaczek points out that there is a great (Polish) pun hidden on the back cover of Babel. See if you can spot it! (And I positively love the publisher, Karakter, for doing this.)


Julen Berrueta in El Español:
“Un recorrido por las lenguas de todo el mundo pero que también abarca la historia, la cultura y la política de muchos países desconocidos para occidente.” (A tour of the world’s languages covering history, culture and politics of many countries unknown to the West.)

Un lector llamado Javier me ha enviado un mail diciendo: “Soy filólogo inglés y siempre he estado interesado en el tipo de libros que usted escribe. Sin duda, ambos han superado mis expectativas: rigurosos, divertidos y muy didácticos. Totalmente recomendables.”