Read e-book online Babel No More: The Search for the World's Most Extraordinary PDF

By Michael Erard

ISBN-10: 1451628269

ISBN-13: 9781451628265

In Babel No More, Michael Erard, “a monolingual with benefits,” units out on a quest to fulfill language superlearners and make experience in their psychological powers. at the means he uncovers the secrets and techniques of ancient figures just like the nineteenth-century Italian cardinal Joseph Mezzofanti, who used to be stated to talk seventy-two languages, in addition to these of residing language-superlearners similar to Alexander Arguelles, a modern day polyglot who understands dozens of languages and indicates Erard the tips of the alternate to provide him a dismal glimpse into the lifetime of obsessive language acquisition.

With his formidable exam of what language is, the place it lives within the mind, and the cultural implications of polyglots’ goals, Erard explores the higher limits of our skill to profit and use languages and illuminates the highbrow capability in every person. How perform a little humans break out the curse of Babel—and what may the gods have demanded of them in go back?

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Captain Lafayate and his first officer positioned themselves in front of each window, checking it was in good condition. Then, for a better view of the island and surrounding sea, they climbed the ladder to the gallery around the lantern. The part of the island stretching westwards before their eyes was as deserted as the sea to the east and south. Equally deserted lay the strait to the north, too wide for its northern shore to be seen. At the foot of the tower curved Elgor Bay, busy with the sailors’ comings and goings, as well as the Santa Fe at anchor.

Nevertheless, with the increasingly fortifying sun, vegetation was beginning to timidly emerge. The prairie beyond the enclosure had entirely lost its winter cloak, revealing a carpet of pale green. Lying under the young foliage of the Antarctic beeches would even have felt pleasant. The generously fed brook flowed, brimming, to the inlet. Moss and lichen reappeared at the feet of the trees and on the sides of the rocks, as well as that cochlearia which is so effective against scurvy. In sum in the absence of spring—for that pretty word has little currency in the Magallanes—it was summer which, for a few weeks yet, reigned on that furthermost outpost of the American continent.

Henceforth the family lives half the year at Chantenay, on the Loire. 1840–46 Petit séminaire de Saint-Donatien, then Collège royal de Nantes. Easily passes baccalauréat. Writes short prose pieces and four plays, later to be followed by thirty more. 1847 Studies law; marriage of his first cousin, Caroline Tronson, with whom he has long been in love. Experiences a xxxiii 1848 1849 1850 1851 1852–55 1856 1857–58 1859–60 fruitless passion for Herminie Arnault-Grossetière and writes more than fifty poems, many dedicated to her, as well as an unfinished novel, Un Prêtre en 1839 [A Priest in 1839].

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Babel No More: The Search for the World's Most Extraordinary Language Learners by Michael Erard


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