But this book is more than a guide to foreign languages; it goes deep into the roots of all knowledge as it explores the history of speech. It lights up the dim pathways of prehistory and unfolds the story of the slow growth of human expression from the most primitive signs and sounds to the elaborate variations of the highest cultures. Without language no knowledge would be possible; here we see how language is at once the source and the reservoir of all we know.
From the Back Cover
Here is an informative introduction to language: its origins in the past, its growth through history, and its present use for communication between peoples. It is at the same time a history of language, a guide to foreign tongues, and a method for learning them. It shows, through basic vocabularies, family resemblances of languages -- Teutonic, Romance, Greek -- helpful tricks of translation, key combinations of roots and phonetic patterns. It presents by common-sense methods the most helpful approach to the mastery of many languages; it condenses vocabulary to a minimum of essential words; it simplifies grammar in an entirely new way; and it teaches a language as it is actually used in everyday life.