Get a free audiobook

Every Word Is a Bird We Teach to Sing

Encounters with the Mysteries and Meanings of Language
Written by: Daniel Tammet
Narrated by: Daniel Tammet
Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

A mind-expanding, deeply humane tour of language by the best-selling 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 AI researchers ever produce true human-machine dialogue? In this mesmerizing collection of essays, Daniel Tammet answers these and many other questions about the intricacy and profound power of language.

In Every Word Is a Bird We Teach to Sing, Tammet goes back in time to London to explore the numeric language of his autistic childhood; in Iceland, he learns why the name Blær became a court case; in Canada, he meets one of the world's most accomplished lip readers. He chats with chatbots, contrives an "e"-less essay on lipograms, studies the grammar of the telephone, contemplates the significance of disappearing dialects, and corresponds with native Esperanto speakers - in their mother tongue.

A joyous romp through the world of words, letters, stories, and meanings, Every Word Is a Bird We Teach to Sing explores the way communication shapes reality. From the art of translation to the lyricism of sign language, these essays display the stunning range of Tammet's literary and polyglot talents.

©2017 Daniel Tammet (P)2017 Hachette Audio

What the critics say

"Like Oliver Sacks' compendium of rare neurological anomalies, Tammet's intriguing cases of linguistic idiosyncrasies expand our notions on what it means to be human. He gives insight ranging from cultural perception and social dominance, to the features of Esperanto as a universal language. Most fascinating is Tammet's own astonishing linguistic mind, in which a single word evokes fully textured experiences - an innate ability that would dazzle any storyteller in love with words and their deepest meanings." (Amy Tan)
What members say
Average Customer Ratings

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No reviews are available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Hugh Joseph
  • 2019-01-27

Most dreadful audiobook I ever listened to

I purchased this based on the description and reviews. Never was I so disappointed. The narrator sounds like he is on his deathbed. I've heard autistic six-year olds read better and faster. And each chapter is so boring I can't finish listening to it before skipping to the next chapter, only to have the same reaction. Very little of his story is in the least interesting; I couldn't care less about the experiences in his life he regales with a solipsistic viewpoint that drives me crazy. Enough already - I am requesting a refund.

1 person found this helpful