Every Word Is a Bird We Teach to Sing: Encounters with the Mysteries and Meanings of Language by Daniel Tammet

Every Word Is a Bird We Teach to Sing: Encounters with the Mysteries and Meanings of Language

A mind-expanding, deeply humane tour of language by the bestselling author of Born on a Blue Day and Thinking in Numbers.Is vocabulary destiny? Why do clocks "talk" to the Nahua people of Mexico? Will A.I. researchers ever produce true human-machine dialogue? In this mesmerizing collection of essays, Daniel Tammet answers these and many other questions about the intricacy...

Title:Every Word Is a Bird We Teach to Sing: Encounters with the Mysteries and Meanings of Language
Author:
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Every Word Is a Bird We Teach to Sing: Encounters with the Mysteries and Meanings of Language Reviews

  • Amelia Smith

    full review on agreybox:

    -

    by Daniel Tammet is a non-fiction piece that focuses on our relationship as beings possessing the ability to communicate through language. This relationship isn’t always tended to—how many of us on a daily basis think about the words and the words others use to communicate, especially not just what they m

    full review on agreybox:

    -

    by Daniel Tammet is a non-fiction piece that focuses on our relationship as beings possessing the ability to communicate through language. This relationship isn’t always tended to—how many of us on a daily basis think about the words and the words others use to communicate, especially not just what they mean but how they sound, look and feel? In many ways, I felt as though this book asked of me to slow down and find pleasure in the way in which humans communicate.

    Though it is a book about linguistics,

    doesn’t require a previous knowledge or interest in the subject. Not bogged down with linguistic jargon, and thoroughly explained with the jargon arises,

    tells stories about language that are accessible and will appeal to a wide audience, which is its strength. Through personal stories and interviews, Tammet weaves together a tapestry on the beauty and frustrations of language, at once a method of connection and a barrier of understanding. It’s a love letter, laden with hopes, fears, frustrations, and the triumph of connection.

    Tammet’s personal relationship with language is the first subject in his book and it is a necessary beginning as the author experiences language in a way that many people don’t. Identifying on the high end of the spectrum of autism, Tammet’s first experience with language was one that no one else understood. Numbers were his chosen way to communicate and Tammet describes this system and his tumultuous relationship with using English to express himself.

    The rest of

    journeys through many topics, all related to language. Tammet captures the paradox of language in discussing the utopian dream of an easy-to-learn global language of Esperanto and the tragedy (to some more than others) of the disappearance of languages due to cultural imperialism. Here too he delves into the politics of the language of repression and the efforts of native speakers of suppressed languages, like those in Africa, to publish works in their mother tongue. He takes us on a trip to cultures obsessively dedicated with preserving the sanctity of their language in an effort that is both admirable and fool-hardy.

    I felt that these subjects were handled with respect. Even when Tammet’s position on the topic shows through his writing, he isn’t dismissive of the other side of the arguments presented. With many of these political issues, there’s strong arguments on both sides and I liked that Tammet expressed his own doubts and beliefs without pressuring the reader to agree with him.

    This is a book for people who love language and for those who don’t already to fall in love with it.

  • Margaret Sankey

    Tammet, as a person with high functioning autism, defied conventional expectations and turned the workings of his mind to a field in which he could find great advantage--sociolinguistics. Although primarily a novelist, this is a set of essays in which he engages global language: the onomatopoetic words of Nahua in Mexico, the only Englishman in the French Academy, the Icelandic personal names committee, the challenge of translating the Bible for a Pacific tribe that has never seen milk or honey,

    Tammet, as a person with high functioning autism, defied conventional expectations and turned the workings of his mind to a field in which he could find great advantage--sociolinguistics. Although primarily a novelist, this is a set of essays in which he engages global language: the onomatopoetic words of Nahua in Mexico, the only Englishman in the French Academy, the Icelandic personal names committee, the challenge of translating the Bible for a Pacific tribe that has never seen milk or honey, the dialects of sign language (and its French roots), attempts to keep the Manx language alive, and teaching business English to Lithuanian women in the 1990s.

  • Auderoy Lin

    :

    The world was made up of words. But I thought and felt and sometimes dreamed in a private language of numbers.

    Sixty-one two two two two eleven

    One hundred and thirty-one forty-nine

    As sounds and social currency, words could not yet hold me.

    All literature, I finally realized with a jolt, amounted to an act of translation: a condensing, a sifting, a realignment of the author’s thought-world into words.

    I had more than one book in me. And each of my subsequent books...was different. Each ta

    :

    The world was made up of words. But I thought and felt and sometimes dreamed in a private language of numbers.

    Sixty-one two two two two eleven

    One hundred and thirty-one forty-nine

    As sounds and social currency, words could not yet hold me.

    All literature, I finally realized with a jolt, amounted to an act of translation: a condensing, a sifting, a realignment of the author’s thought-world into words.

    I had more than one book in me. And each of my subsequent books...was different. Each taught me what my limits weren’t. I could do this. And this. And this as well.

    Enthusiastic students don’t make good dunces.

    For the director, poetry was only a side effect of language, peripheral; for me it was essential.

    Grammar and memory come from playing with words, rubbing them on the fingers and on the tongue, experiencing the various meanings they give off.

    Assurance rejuvenated them, made their skin shine. I had never seen the women look as beautiful as they did then.

    Every voice carries certain personality traits—the tongue-tiedness of one; of another, the overreaching vowels. Every voice, in preferring

    to

    , or in pronouncing

    as

    , betrays traces of its past. But vocabulary is not destiny. Words, regardless of their pedigree, make only as much sense as we choose to give them. We are the teachers, not they. To possess fluency, or “verbal intelligence,” is to animate words with our imagination. Every word is a bird we teach to sing.

    Reality responds to language. Reality is polyglot.

    Humans in conversation update and modify social reality from moment to moment.

  • Stephanie

    Thanks to NetGalley for the free digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Check out all my book reviews at

    Plot Summary: This is a narrative of the author's life. He is a high functioning autistic with some amazing, although unique, linguistic skills. He starts out telling about his life as a boy and his unique language of numbers. The chapters then go on to describe how he acquired more linguistic ability through travel. He explains series of t

    Thanks to NetGalley for the free digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Check out all my book reviews at

    Plot Summary: This is a narrative of the author's life. He is a high functioning autistic with some amazing, although unique, linguistic skills. He starts out telling about his life as a boy and his unique language of numbers. The chapters then go on to describe how he acquired more linguistic ability through travel. He explains series of tests he was put through in order to better understand his unique abilities. He explains numerous word origins that are pretty fascinating. He speaks of translations briefly in one chapter.

    Notes about the author/writing style: This writer is obviously very brilliant. This is definitely not a "beach read", but is very interesting. Given the uniqueness of how this author learns, all educators should read at least one book of his.

    What I loved about the book: I loved learning about the author's unique "math language". Every word had a number attached to it. That blows my mathematical brain!

    What I disliked about the book: There were parts a little too technical and detailed for me.

    Who should read this book? Anyone who loves words and learning!

  • Clara

    Note: Thanks to NetGalley for providing an Advance Reading Copy of this book. All opinions regarding the book are entirely my own.

    You don't have to a lover of languages to enjoy Daniel Tammet's

    , but what a delight it is if you are! Tammet grew up in a working class British family and felt like a perennial outsider. He went to college only in his thirties, after being diagnosed with "high-functioning autistic savant syndrome and synesthesia." From childhood h

    Note: Thanks to NetGalley for providing an Advance Reading Copy of this book. All opinions regarding the book are entirely my own.

    You don't have to a lover of languages to enjoy Daniel Tammet's

    , but what a delight it is if you are! Tammet grew up in a working class British family and felt like a perennial outsider. He went to college only in his thirties, after being diagnosed with "high-functioning autistic savant syndrome and synesthesia." From childhood he had a fascination with words, and that interest, along with the lessons learned by being labeled "different" and "unusual" as a child, have made him a populist about words and language:

    Tammet's topics range from Iceland's strict rules to ensure that babies receive proper Icelandic-derived names to the rise and fall of Esperanto. He introduces us to some fascinating languages, including the resurgence of Manx, the original language of residents of the Isle of Man, and the language of phone conversations, codified by two pioneering researchers, and describes his novel approach to teaching English in Lithuania.

    The longer I read, the more I enjoyed the rich mix of essays that informs our understanding of the vital drive for human expression.

  • Joshua

    Disclaimer: The review is based on an ARC I got through a Goodreads giveaway.

    "A joyous romp through the world of words, letters, stories, and meanings.

    explores how communication shapes the reality we live in. From the intricacies of translation to the lyricism of sign language, these essays display the range of Tammet's literacy and polyglot talents."

    These paragraphs from the back of the book, in my opinion, best sums up what this book is about.

    This collect

    Disclaimer: The review is based on an ARC I got through a Goodreads giveaway.

    "A joyous romp through the world of words, letters, stories, and meanings.

    explores how communication shapes the reality we live in. From the intricacies of translation to the lyricism of sign language, these essays display the range of Tammet's literacy and polyglot talents."

    These paragraphs from the back of the book, in my opinion, best sums up what this book is about.

    This collection of essays by Daniel Tammet starts off in the best place to start; his journey with language from his youth in England to his adult life in Paris.

    He does not shy away from topics of language, but embraces them from the view of a person who loves language and cannot stop themselves from diving in as deep as he can; while managing to cast a wide net as well. Each essay jumps into a new linguistic topic. Each one looking at aspects of a different language and the oddities and intricacies of each.

    I could not put put this book down. Each page filled with just the right words for the job, even if that word is not in a language one can read (thankfully for us poor monoglots, translations are very often provided.). The topics written about, and the way they are written about, show just how much of a lover of language that Daniel Tammet is.

    It was an amazingly engaging work and each essay has something to add. Daniel Tammet truly taught every bird in this book to sing.

  • Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum

    is a collection of essays by Daniel Tammet. Daniel is an autistic savant with synaesthesia and his love of language and words intrigued me enough to pick up this book and find out more. What I learned quickly was that Daniel Tammet is a little out of my league. His collection of essays takes an almost academic look at language and meaning, and I wasn't prepared for just how many languages he would refe

    is a collection of essays by Daniel Tammet. Daniel is an autistic savant with synaesthesia and his love of language and words intrigued me enough to pick up this book and find out more. What I learned quickly was that Daniel Tammet is a little out of my league. His collection of essays takes an almost academic look at language and meaning, and I wasn't prepared for just how many languages he would reference; narrowly thinking this book would be primarily about the English language. I later learned Tammet is a polyglot and has mastered 10 languages: English, Finnish, French, German, Lithuanian, Esperanto, Spanish, Romanian, Icelandic, and Welsh, the majority of which are referred to in this book.

    An Englishman at L'Academie Francaise was about the group of people assigned the task of refining the French dictionary. This felt like a glimpse into another century, so to discover this is still happening today was a thrill.

    My favourite essay was Talking Hands, which was essentially about ASL. I didn't know that the persons's stance - leaning forward, leaning back or to the left/right - also added meaning to sign language and I just loved this essay.

    I enjoyed A Grammar of the Telephone, which was all about how the emerging technology of the time inspired a new way for people to begin a conversation and talk to each other without the cues of body language.

    Translating Faithfully was about translating the Old Testament and Conversational Human looked at whether chatbots will ever sound truly like 'us'.

    OuLiPo is the essay title, but also a

    (Wikipedia) While writing about these writers, Tammet does so without ever using the letter 'e'. It was amusing and easily the most impressive piece of writing in the collection.

    I recommend this book to those with an interest in linguistics. Those with a love of the English language might find themselves a little out of their depth in some of the essays but there's no reason why you can't pick and choose which essays to read. It will be well worth the effort.

    * Copy courtesy of Hachette Australia *

  • Emma Sea

    Requested via library

  • Breakaway Reviewers

    A stunning depiction of the depth of human language

    Daniel Tammett is an autistic savant, rated at 15th in a poll of the Top 100 geniuses in 2007.

    By the excellent writing which characterises this book, one would never guess that he views the English Language with discomfort, where synesthesia meant that he understood words in terms of strings of numbers.

    The book contains fifteen very different chapters, each describing the influences and the ups and downs of his exploration of the words themselve

    A stunning depiction of the depth of human language

    Daniel Tammett is an autistic savant, rated at 15th in a poll of the Top 100 geniuses in 2007.

    By the excellent writing which characterises this book, one would never guess that he views the English Language with discomfort, where synesthesia meant that he understood words in terms of strings of numbers.

    The book contains fifteen very different chapters, each describing the influences and the ups and downs of his exploration of the words themselves and their meanings.

    His overall view is that words themselves have no meaning until they are used in context. Alone, the word 'toast' could have two very different 'meanings'. We animate words through our imagination and hence 'the bird is taught to sing'.

    It wasn't an easy journey for Tammet as he confronted the closed minds of the psychological researchers who failed to see the depth of his experience of words.

    One of the words the researchers presented was 'equivocal' and this sparked such a rich and varied experience in Tammet's understanding as evoked in his description, 'A word cool to the touch. The greenness. The Shininess. The coolness. They all came at me simultaneously. The word radiated the sea on a late British summer afternoon – the briny, garlicky smell of the sea – and aroused a momentary nostalgia for the coast'. It also contains all five vowels if you hadn't realised that.

    This is such an accessible book, rather than the usual studies of psychology, autism and language, each word sings exuberantly, like the birds, and in that song opens up some understanding of the potential of human language. It is an absolute must for anyone interested in linguistics, psychology and/or autism.

    Pashtpaws

    Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of this book to review

  • Jo-Ann Duff (Duffy The Writer)

    Every Word Is A Bird We Teach To Sing is a wonderful collection of encounters, interviews, and experiences which author Daniel Tammet has experienced throughout his life. Daniel has high functioning autism and sees the world, and in particular words and numbers, differently to most of us. Numbers bring about feelings and images, for example, certain numbers are described as heavy, hard, floating, or aggressive. There is a complex pattern when it comes to attaching feelings and colours to words a

    Every Word Is A Bird We Teach To Sing is a wonderful collection of encounters, interviews, and experiences which author Daniel Tammet has experienced throughout his life. Daniel has high functioning autism and sees the world, and in particular words and numbers, differently to most of us. Numbers bring about feelings and images, for example, certain numbers are described as heavy, hard, floating, or aggressive. There is a complex pattern when it comes to attaching feelings and colours to words and numbers, which I had a hard time grasping sometimes, yet it all works in Tammets mind and it all fits together.

    See how the T advances

    Stain

    Satin

    Saint

    (From Every Word Is A Bird We Teach To Sing)

    Tammet explores not only the English language but that of other countries. He helped Lithuanian women learn English by using poetry; where words bring about feelings. Feelings are something our memory holds on to, something sticks when a phrase or sentence resonates with and it is then remembered forever. Rather than repeating meaningless lines on a whiteboard, Tammet taught English using poetry and genuine, natural conversation. In Iceland, the country works extremely hard to keep the language as it is, with committees to approve names for children and even scouring newspaper print to ensure slang words don’t creep in and become part of the everyday language.

    Who Should Read Every Word Is A Bird We Teach To Sing?

    Every Word Is A Bird We Teach To Sing is a brain training book. I found myself fascinated by a language I have spoken all my life and I definitely felt I was learning and gaining a deeper understanding of language. Not only about the intricacies and wonders of the English language, but also understanding what it’s like to live in this world with high-functioning autism. At times it seems a curse, but in Tammets case is definitely a gift he shares with eloquence here.

Books Finder is in no way intended to support illegal activity. We uses Search API to find the overview of books over the internet, but we don't host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners, please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them. Read our DMCA Policies and Disclaimer for more details.