... fascinating ... Dorren has an eye for what makes languages stand out from the field ... In the hands of a less gifted author, some of the material in Babel could come across as dry or intimidating. But Dorren (as you might expect) has a way with language, and an arch sense of humor — he aptly describes German, with its many eccentricities, as a 'weirdo' of a language ... Babel is an endlessly interesting book, and you don't have to have any linguistic training to enjoy it. Dorren has a talent for explaining even the most difficult linguistic concepts in a way that's easy to understand, and he includes helpful charts at the beginning of each chapter, listing notable facts about the language he's about to write about ... But the great thing about Babel is that you don't have to agree with Dorren's conclusions to enjoy it — it's a book that's as joyful as it is educational, and above all, it's just so much fun to read.
...[an] eye-opening and thoroughly entertaining book ... He is a polyglot who speaks Dutch, Limburgish, English, German and Spanish and 'reads' (he says modestly) French, Afrikaans, Frisian, Portuguese, Italian, Catalan, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Luxembourgish and Esperanto. While working on Babel he has a jolly good go at Vietnamese. Writing here in English he is wonderful company: chatty, informative, enthusiastic.