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50 von 54 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Entertaining
Dear reader! If you only want to read this book because you're a fan of Bill Bryson's work: DON'T!!! If you are also interested in the English language and not an expert on semantics etc., then: DO read it. Bill bryson is very thorough in his research and the book also reflects his love for his mother tongue. The disadvantage of it: sometimes it is quite difficult to...
Am 18. April 2001 veröffentlicht

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18 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Enjoyable fiction. Fact it is not.
Although the book has some entertaining segments, the severity of the errors in it makes me wonder just what the author considers research. The chapter on swearing claims that Finnish has no swearwords, and that Finns have therefore chosen the word "ravintolassa", meaning "in the restaurant", for use as an obscenity. This is utterly ridiculous. A...
Am 30. September 1999 veröffentlicht


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18 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Enjoyable fiction. Fact it is not., 30. September 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Mother Tongue (Taschenbuch)
Although the book has some entertaining segments, the severity of the errors in it makes me wonder just what the author considers research. The chapter on swearing claims that Finnish has no swearwords, and that Finns have therefore chosen the word "ravintolassa", meaning "in the restaurant", for use as an obscenity. This is utterly ridiculous. A professional should have kept in mind that native speakers of the less widespread languages of the world enjoy comic relief by teaching foreigners nonsense words as swearwords, and obscene phrases as confessions of love. Even as a second-language speaker of English, I found flaws in his depictions of dialects, flaws which many reviewers have cited before me. The author seems to have researched his book with a beer in hand, never bothering to double-check any of his information. If viewed as fiction, this book has its moments. Fact it is not.
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9 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen An enjoyable work for a non-specialist., 10. Februar 1998
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Mother Tongue (Taschenbuch)
Bryson's writing style is thoroughly entertaining, but the book is lacking in factual support. Particulary disturbing among the many errors of fact is the statement that languages apart from English do not have and do not need thesauri. This is simply not true, and implies that the English language is somehow superior to other languages, although Mr. Bryson claims to disagree with this belief. This could be due to poor research on his part, as Mr. Bryson apparently does not speak any foreign languages and therefore would not have any personal basis for comparison. It is regrettable that Mr. Bryson's enthusiasm could not be coupled with a corresponding amount of accuracy. Perhaps the author will revise and correct his work for future publications. (And for those who are interested in another mix-up, Mons is the French name for the city in Southern Belgium, and Bergen is its Flemish Dutch name. In the book, the names were reversed.)
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50 von 54 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Entertaining, 18. April 2001
Von Ein Kunde
Dear reader! If you only want to read this book because you're a fan of Bill Bryson's work: DON'T!!! If you are also interested in the English language and not an expert on semantics etc., then: DO read it. Bill bryson is very thorough in his research and the book also reflects his love for his mother tongue. The disadvantage of it: sometimes it is quite difficult to read and it gets a bit boring from time to time. But Bryson makes up with this negative point by pouring in anecdotes about language and life. If you have ever wndered where English pubs have got their names from, or what "Elephant and Castle" really means, then you won't be disappointed. I would recommend it for beginners of language studies but not for experts...
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78 von 87 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Entertaining Humbug, 5. Juli 2004
My wife told a Briton her godson's name was Daniel, and the man was very much pleased: "an English name!" This sums up Mr Bryson's book quite nicely. It is entertaining indeed, but not enough to hide the fact that his assertions are sometimes of a very questionable nature, if not downright wrong. Examples? The French, too, take over English words - like "ouest", for "west". This, with your leave, Mr Bryson, is sheer humbug - and a very serious blunder. And, as an example for the versatility of English, he cites the word "arachibutyrophobia". English? Man alive, do you really mean it? He marvels at the prononciation of Scottish place names, but forgets, that their origin is Gaelic - or Norse - and certainly not English. I could go on and on and on. If you want entertainment, buy a detective story, and forget Bryson.
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5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Entertaining and inspiring - but factually misleading, 20. März 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Mother Tongue (Taschenbuch)
It is a very easy to read book, a layman book. It would be very inspiring for a young kid wondering about language, and needing interesting "facts" to put schoolwork. However, a more serious reader cannot avoid noticing little mistakes everywhere... and after reading the other reviews I know that there are even more mistakes than I tought. Mr. Bryson must have a very limited knowledge of foreign languages - be it Finnish, French, Italian... but he mention them as known! Exemples: who says that RSVP is not used in France? HA! it is in every formal invitation. Same for "nom de plume", or "panache", while "bon vivant" are also perfectly current French (I don't know if there was a previous form as mentioned by Bryson, bon viveur...)(p.74) Or, "snob" coming from English? as far as I know, it is a contraption from the latin words "sine nobilitate", without nobility... or is it not? All the same, colonnade coming from Italian "colonnello"? I would rather bet from "colonna" (pillar...), isn't that simpler? or even from the late latin "columna, ae".... hmmmm.(p. 122) And who ever heard the Italian word "schiacchenze"? maybe it is dialect? (p.183) Unfortunately, finding a few inaccuracies (in+accurate, in- here expressing negation) makes one doubt (with a b) the rest.
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12 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Absolutely charming, 21. Mai 2003
I read this book about three years ago, and I found it to be very delighful. Now, in the meantime having started to do British Studies, I've recently read it again - it was still worth the lack of sleep in the mornings. It is not one of Bryson's most typical books (at least in my opinion), yet it should be suitable for those who have an interest in English, its history and the origins of its absudities, which are being dealt with in Bryson's ever charming style.
I'd recommend it to every student of English (whether native speaker or not), and to all those who just love to read funny books dealing with topics usually not considered to be that delightful. It's worth it.
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22 von 25 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Ein absolutes Muss für Linguisten!, 23. März 2006
Von Ein Kunde
Wie und warum sich Sprache entwickelt, kann ein trockenes Thema sein. Bill Bryson jedoch beschreibt die Entwicklung der englischen Sprache mit so viel Humor, dass man vergisst, dass es sich eigentlich um ein Sachbuch handelt. Natürlich ist er sachlich, aber seine Beispiele und Kommentare machen das Thema wirklich lebendig. Dieses Buch ist für jeden Anglistikstudenten (wie ich einer war) eigentlich unverzichtbar, aber soweit ich weiß, wird es an den Universitäten nicht verwendet. Mein Exemplar ist schon zerfleddert, so oft habe ich es gelesen und lese ich es noch.
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28 von 32 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Very entertaining !, 29. März 2001
As I'm a student of English language and literature, it is perfectly normal for me to read books on topics such as the English language. But I had never read such an entertaining book before...! Bill Bryson has a very funny way of writing about language, its history and its different species all over the world. But the book is not only entertaining: you learn loads of things at the same time! Every student of English should actually read this book. And it's a good read for everybody really who enjoys reading stuff in English.
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9 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A great and entertaining book, 9. März 2004
This was the most entertaining book about languages I've ever read. Bill Bryson managed to deeply dig into the linguistic background and present us the relevant facts in an comprehensible and highly amusing way.
"Mother Tongue" is highly recommendable not only for native speakers of the English language but also for everyone who is interested in the general aspects of our language's history and its features.
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12 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen entertaining and instructive, 9. März 2005
I wish my English teacher would have used this book. It contains lots of the small facts that fill the language with life. Where does it come from, what other languages had influence on it, what oddities does it contain - and so on.
If English is your mother tongue you will learn a lot about it, why you speak the way you do today, or what the great advantages (and disadvantages) of English are. Facts you surely didn't get in your English class, too.
Please, teachers, read this book and use some of the funny facts to help your pupils learn English - with a laugh.
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Mother Tongue: The Story of the English Language
Mother Tongue: The Story of the English Language von Bill Bryson (Taschenbuch - 1. Oktober 2009)
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