Top Five Books from Termcoord’s Recommended Reading Section


Many of you are probably aware that yesterday was World Book Day. Designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, this popular annual event is marked in over 100 countries across all corners of the globe.

In honour of this day, Termcoord has compiled a list of informative and interesting books from our recommended reading and e-book section. Whether you’re interested in the history of language development, or the effects bilingualism can have on the brain, you’re sure to find something here that floats your boat.


  1. A Handbook of International Human Rights Terminology, H. Victor Conde

This newly revised and updated version of A Handbook of International Human Rights Terminology is an essential tool for understanding international human rights terminology, including law, jurisprudence, politics, diplomacy and philosophy.

This useful book includes over four hundred new commonly used key terms and acronyms, as well as contemporary treaty instruments and citations of important human rights instruments, making it an important tool for specialists, students, and newcomers to the field of human rights.


  1. The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language, John McWhorter

The Tower of Babel (derived from the Hebrew verb “to confuse”) is an origin myth designed to explain why the world’s people speak different languages.

Written by linguistics professor John McWhorter, The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language explores how languages mix and mutate over time. He argues that language is not absolute and immutable, but a living, dynamic entity which adapts itself to an ever-changing human environment, challenging the popular perception of language.


  1. The Bilingual Brain, Arturo E. Hernandez

The Bilingual Brain is an e-book that explores how language works in the brain. Compiling 25 years of research on this topic, Arturo E. Hernandez helps us to understand how two (or more) languages are stored in one brain. Hernandez demonstrates, through fascinating case studies, how sleep deprivation, stress or brain damage can lead to the apparent loss of one language.


  1. The Unfolding of Language: An Evolutionary Tour of Mankind’s Greatest Invention, Guy Deutscher

Guy Deutscher’s intriguing investigation into the conception and evolution of language explains how we got from basic prehistoric language to the complex word and sentence combinations that we have today. The Unfolding of Language moves swiftly from ancient Babylonian to American idiom, from the main function of the metaphor to the impressive triumph of design that is the Semitic verb. Furthermore, Deutscher gives us a fresh insight into how language emerges, develops and decays, making it a must read for any budding linguist.


  1. In the Land of Invented Languages, Arika Okrent

This book discusses Esperanto – a constructed international auxiliary language. Using intelligence and humour, Arika Okrent has written a fascinating story of humankind’s quest to construct a better language, and how Esperanto aims to create linguistic solidarity. A must read for those interested in philosophy and linguistics.


Written by Emma Wynne – Journalism Trainee at Termcoord