A Journey through the 6000 languages of Earth. Adventure Travel.
Glenn gives an overview of the book:
I’ve been travelling now for over ten years, slipping in and out of countries, poking my nose into places where I probably shouldn’t be. I’ve been attacked by wild dogs on a high mountain pass. I’ve heard jaguars roar in the deep jungle foliage. And once, in the calm blue waters above a coral reef, a shark angled in at me - but in every case they were just protecting their own territory and I was the one who didn’t belong.
We humans, of course, tend to section off our lands with borders and guns and barbed wire. But these are only surface markers. In reality we claim our territory with a much more powerful and ancient tool. We mark our place in the world, and even ourselves, with Language.
Something on the order of six thousand languages are spoken around the world today. And each language is a whole world in itself. Before I went off travelling, I had been studying linguistics. In fact, I’d been doing graduate work and had just been accepted to do my Ph.D.
I turned it down.
Languages, as one philosopher said, are the Houses of Being. And I wanted to go see these houses. I wanted to strut up their sidewalks. I wanted to knock on their doors and peek in their windows. I wanted to see what they were hiding in their basements… even if it meant a little bit of trouble.