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Live the Language

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

La Bella Lingua

La Bella Lingua

by Dianne Hales

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 336 PAGES

Inebriated with the sounds of Italian, lovesick for its phrases and enamored of its earthy idioms, Hales, "a sensible woman of sturdy Polish stock," dives into the Italian of the piazza, literature, movies and streets in this charming memoir. (ITA26, $15.00)

Dreaming in Hindi, Coming Awake in Another Language

Dreaming in Hindi, Coming Awake in Another Language

by Katherine Russell Rich

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 384 PAGES

Rich skewers the hilarity and challenges of taking on not just a new language but also a new culture in this spirited tale of life in Udaipur. (IDA565, $20.95)

Dreaming in Chinese, Mandarin Lessons in Life, Love, and Language

Dreaming in Chinese, Mandarin Lessons in Life, Love, and Language

by Deborah Fallows

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 208 PAGES

A linguist, living in Shanghai and Beijing with her journalist-husband James (Postcards from Tomorrow Square) the exuberant Deborah Fallows illuminates the Chinese worldview through language in playful, anecdotal essays, documenting her own missteps and growing understanding with self-deprecating humor. (CHN648, $14.00)

Madre, Perilous Journeys With a Spanish Noun

Madre, Perilous Journeys With a Spanish Noun

by Liza Bakewell

  • HISTORY
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 224 PAGES

Armando, Pablo, Odette and other Mexican friends and colleagues are Brown University professor Liza Bakewell's informants in this lively cultural -- and linguistic -- history of the manifold meanings of madre (mother). An anthropologist with an interest in language and gender, Bakewell is also a marvelous writer, organizing her provocative musings into chapters with titles such as Wedding, Love, Lost in Los, Back to Church -- and Madre. (MEX285, $23.95)

In Other Words

In Other Words

by Jhumpa Lahiri

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2017
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

In this complex memoir, award-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri moves to Rome and immerses herself in Italian. Her dual-language book chronicles her courtship with the language, the Italian culture and the difficulties of linguistic exile. (ITA587, $16.00)

 
Don't Get Me Wrong, The Global Gestures Guide

Don't Get Me Wrong, The Global Gestures Guide


by Judith Reker | Julia Grosse

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2010
  • PAPER

Watch what you do with your hands! These 80 photographs decode what means what around the world. (WLD214, $14.95)

Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands

Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands


by Terri Morrison | Wayne Conaway

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 593 PAGES

In today's global marketplace, business people must understand the distinctive customs of major nations. This guide, filled with important facts about business customs, behavior, social etiquette, gift giving and more, will do exactly that for 60 countries around the world. (GEN502, $24.95)

One Thousand Languages, Living, Endangered, and Lost

One Thousand Languages, Living, Endangered, and Lost


by Peter Austin

  • REFERENCE
  • 2008
  • HARD COVER
  • 288 PAGES

A catalog, survey, portrait and poignant reminder of the perils of globalization, this visually appealing book documents the world's languages. Most get a two-page essay with maps, photographs -- and how to count to ten. (WLD146, $36.95)

Speak Italian, The Fine Art of the Gesture

Speak Italian, The Fine Art of the Gesture


by Bruno Munari

  • LANGUAGE & PHRASEBOOKS
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 112 PAGES

A witty, useful guide to Italian body language and gestures, originally published in 1958 and featuring the original black-and-white photographs and design by Milanese artist and graphic artist Bruno Munari. (ITL726, $14.95)

Sugar Comes from Arabic, A Beginner's Guide to Arabic Letters and Words

Sugar Comes from Arabic, A Beginner's Guide to Arabic Letters and Words


by Barbara Whitesides

  • LANGUAGE & PHRASEBOOKS
  • 2009
  • PAPER

Clear, concise illustrations show how to draw and remember each letter in Arabic in this irresistible introduction to cultural literacy. (ARB123, $20.00)

The Story of French

The Story of French


by Julie Barlow | Jean-Benoit Nadeau

  • LANGUAGE & PHRASEBOOKS
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 483 PAGES

From the team responsible for Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong (FRN755) comes this accessible and comprehensive history of the French language. (FRA98, $18.99)

The Story of Spanish

The Story of Spanish


by Jean-Benoit Nadeau

  • LANGUAGE & PHRASEBOOKS
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 448 PAGES

What began as a small dialect spoken in northern Spain became the world's most spoken language after English. The husband-and-wife team responsible for The Story of French (FRA98) are here to tell you how, with an emphasis on the pervasiveness of Spanish culture. (SPN540, $17.99)

China in Ten Words

China in Ten Words


by Hua Yu | Allen Barr

  • HISTORY
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 224 PAGES

"Like ten pairs of eyes -- to scrutinize the current China under ten different angles," Yu Hua traces the transformation of life in China since the Cultural Revolution through key words. (CHN680, $16.00)

Learning Zulu, A Secret History of Language in South Africa

Learning Zulu, A Secret History of Language in South Africa


by Mark Sanders

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2016
  • HARD COVER
  • 216 PAGES

A potent mixture of autobiography, cultural portrait and history, Sanders' scholarly tour de force explores the story of the Zulu language and its unique place in South Africa today. (SAF374, $39.95)

Lingo, Around Europe in Sixty Languages

Lingo, Around Europe in Sixty Languages


by Gaston Dorren

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2016
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

In this hilarious and informative exploration, Dutch linguist Dorren walks readers through 60 European languages and dialects, explaining their peculiarities and unveiling the deceased ancestor that unites them. (EUR495, $17.00)

The Mother Tongue, English and How it Got That Way

The Mother Tongue, English and How it Got That Way


by Bill Bryson

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 270 PAGES

An indispensable guide to the language that divides us, this book is an informative linguistic history that showcases Bryson's wry wit. (GBR15, $15.99)

All Strangers are Kin, Adventures in Arabic and the Arab World

All Strangers are Kin, Adventures in Arabic and the Arab World


by Zora O'Neill

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2016
  • HARD COVER
  • 336 PAGES

Having abandoned her attempt to master Arabic ten years ago, O'Neill tries once more, this time arming herself with dictionaries and a good sense of humor as she tours the Middle East, from Egypt and Morocco to the UAE and Lebanon. (MDE235, $25.00)

Grammar Lessons

Grammar Lessons


by Michele Morano

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2007
  • HARD COVER
  • 184 PAGES

Morano, who lived in Oviedo in the early 1990s, reflects on the humor and trials of living in a new language in these 13 essays on travel in Spain and search for self. (SPN345, $22.50)

Mother Tongue

Mother Tongue


by Christine Gilbert

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2016
  • HARD COVER
  • 240 PAGES

On their educational journey through China, Mexico and Lebanon, Christine Gilbert and her family try to find culture, meaning and happiness through language. (TVL645, $26.00)

Trip of the Tongue, Cross-Country Travels in Search of America's Languages

Trip of the Tongue, Cross-Country Travels in Search of America's Languages


by Elizabeth Little

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2012
  • HARD COVER
  • 309 PAGES

What's the largest Greek city outside Greece? Astoria, Queens. Inspired by her polyglot surroundings in Sunnyside, Queens, the companionable, language-besotted Elizabeth Little packs up her Subaru and hit the road in search of people, places and languages across these United States. A companionable guide, Little uncovers a rich array of etymologies (including the origin of the word tuxedo) as she travels, 25,000 miles in all over two years, to explore languages as diverse as Navajo, Norwegian, Basque and Crow. (USA484, $25.00)

Untangling My Chopsticks, A Culinary Sojourn in Kyoto

Untangling My Chopsticks, A Culinary Sojourn in Kyoto


by Victoria Abbott Riccardi

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

In this beguiling memoir, Riccardi writes with verve of cultural encounters, bewilderment and discovery in Kyoto. If you've ever parted the drapes of a Japanese restaurant to face a room full of people and blank stares, you'll really appreciate the book. With 25 recipes for traditional and less traditional Japanese dishes. (JPN135, $19.00)

English

English


by Wang Gang

  • LITERATURE
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

Drawing on his boyhood in Urumchi, Wang Gang show life in Xianjiang -- and the transporting power of language -- through the eyes of a 12-year-old boy and his friendship with his English teacher from Shanghai -- in this novel, wildly popular in China. (CHN549, $15.00)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.