Wonder Words is a compilation of few untranslatable words from around the world by visual artist Rituparna Sarkar. I am someone who enjoys etymology a lot, as you can see some from my posts on my travel blog. I also like to go behind the origin of words. We all know some words from the language other than ours, that is simply not translatable. So, I was very keen to read this book that promised a whole lot of such words.
Like the author Rituparna Sarkar says in her Introduction, you can read this book any which way. Just randomly open a page, read the word and its meaning along with common usage. Look at the visual on the facing pages and you will probably smile. If you are like me, who reads books from the first page to last, read it a couple of words a day and let the words stay with you. Let them sink in and some of them may become a part of your vocabulary.
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I liked the whole visual element of the book along with its byte size information on the word. You get the word, pronunciation is usually difficult to figure out, thankfully the author does her best to help you with that. You also get the language it comes from and the region it belongs to.
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A good book always leaves the reader greedier. I wanted so many more words from India to be a part of this book. Hope Rituparna does a similar book on words from Indian languages. I can think of so many of them. It is also my complaint that there are only 3 or4 words from India and most of them from her mother tongue Bengali.
While I was reading about the words, I could think of some of the words that exist in Indian languages with almost similar meaning. For example, Petrichor from Australian English does have an Indian version – Saundhi Saundhi Khushbu.
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There is a generous proportion of words from Germany, Japan, and Iceland. While reading you do wish to read words from more and more places. Maybe it is just the traveler in me that wants it that way.
Excellent book – both content-wise and visually.
Wonder Words is a great book to gift to people who love languages and to make children fall in love with languages.
Pick it up for your own personal library.