Language Book Catalogue

I collect language guides and grammars! This is a catalogue of my collection so far. There are still a lot of languages I don't have books for that I'd like to find - any wishlist languages are marked in red.

I'm limited not only in budget and location (what I can find in my local charity shops) but also in the politics of language books - not every language will have a phrasebook or grammar written for it, especially if it's a language spoken by indigenous people or used in a country that isn't a popular tourist destination. There's a lot to think about even when you do come across a book for a "less popular" language: who wrote this? Why? I was really excited to find my Hawaiian dictionary because it was actually written by a native Hawaiian scholars and not a racist white minister like my Xhosa phrasebook. Written grammars can also be a fantastic accidental glimpse into the politics of their language, like how the foreword for Speak Lebanese is "dedicated to those Lebanese who were born far away from Lebanon, to the children of those who left Lebanon during the war and to those of Lebanese descent whose fathers and grand fathers were born overseas."

Any book titles in bold like this are favourites and are my recommendations for that section. A language enclosed in closed brackets [like this] means that's the language the book is written in.

General language-related books
  • Alpha Beta: How Our Alphabet Shaped the Modern World by John Man (2009)
  • Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCulloch (2019)
  • Chomsky for Beginners by David Cogswell & Paul Gordon (1996)
  • Empires of the World: a Language History of the World by Nicholas Ostler (2006)
  • The Horologicon: a Day's Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language by Mark Forsyth (2016)
  • How Language Works by David Crystal (2007)
  • Introducing Linguistics: a Graphic Guide by R. L. Trask & Bill Mayblin (2012)
  • Just My Type: a Book about Fonts by Simon Garfield (2010)
  • The Language Lover's Puzzle Book: Lexical Perplexities and Cracking Conundrums from across the Globe by Alex Bellos (2020)
  • Language: the Cultural Tool by Daniel Everett (2013)
  • Language Myths by Laurie Bauer & Peter Trudgill (1998)
  • A Man Without Words by Susan Schaller (2012)
  • Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages by Guy Deutscher (2011)
  • The Unfolding of Language: the Evolution of Mankind's Greatest Invention by Guy Deutscher (2005)
  • Why is Q Always Followed by U?: Word-Perfect Answers to the Most-Asked Questions About Language by Michael Quinion (2010)
  • Writing: the Story of Alphabets and Scripts by Georges Jean (1987)
Conlang-related books
  • The Art of Language Invention: From Horse-Lords to Dark Elves to Sand Worms, the Words Behind World-Building by David J. Peterson (2015)
  • From Elvish to Klingon: Exploring Invented Languages by Michael Adams (2011)
  • In the Land of Invented Languages: Adventures in Linguistic Creativity, Madness, and Genius by Arika Okrent (2009)
  • The Language Construction Kit by Mark Rosenfelder (2010)
Reference books & textbooks
  • 1000 Languages: the Worldwide History of Living and Lost Tongues by Peter K. Austin (2008)
  • Contemporary Linguistics: an Introduction by William O'Grady, John Archibald & Francis Katamba (2011)
  • Dictionary of Languages: the Definitive Reference to More Than 400 Languages by Andrew Dalby (2004)
  • A Course in Phonetics by Peter Ladefoged (2006)
  • How Languages are Learned by Pajtsy M. Lightbown & Nina Spada (2011)
  • An Introduction to English Phonology by April McMahon (2010)
  • An Introduction to Language by Victoria Fromkin, Robert Rodman & Nina Hyams (2007)
  • Looking at Languages: a Workbook in Elementary Linguistics by Paul R. Frommer & Edward Finegan (2012)
  • Oxford Concise Dictionary of Linguistics by P. H. Matthews (2007)

American Sign Language
  • Signing Made Easy: A complete program for learning and using sign language in everyday life by Rod R. Butterworth & Mickey Flodin (1989)
  • Sweet's Anglo-Saxon Primer by Norman Davis (1996)
  • Alif Baa with Multimedia: Introduction to Arabic Letters and Sounds by Kristen Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal, & Abbas Al-Tonsi (2004)
  • Arabic Calligraphy: Naskh script for beginners by Mustafa Ja'far (2009)
  • Arabic Grammar of the Written Language by Rev. G. W. Thatcher (1942)
  • Dictionary of English, Baluchi, and Omani Arabic by William Foxton (1980)
  • Gateway to Arabic by Dr. Imran Hamza Alawiye (2007)
  • Get By in Arabic: a Quick Beginner's Course for Holidaymakers and Business People from BBC Books (1989)
  • Mastering Arabic Script: a guide to handwriting by Jane Wightwick & Mahmoud Gaafar (2005)
  • Moroccan Arabic Phrasebook from Lonely Planet (1999)
  • Noorani Qaaidah: a Gift for Proper Learning & Teaching Holy Qur'an Specially for Children from Darul Kutub (?)
  • Very Simple Arabic Script by James Peters (2003)
  • Dictionary of English, Baluchi, and Omani Arabic by William Foxton (1980)
  • Hindi, Urdu & Bengali from Lonely Planet (2011)
British Sign Language
  • Burmese Phrasebook from Lonely Planet (2008)
  • Colloquial Cambodian: a Complete Language Course by David Smyth (1995)
Chinese (Cantonese & Mandarin)
  • 15 Minute Mandarin Chinese: Learn in Just 12 Weeks by Ma Cheng (2018)
  • Chinese Calligraphy made easy: a structured course in creating beautiful brush lettering by Rebecca Yue (2004)
  • The Chinese Classrom Book 2 by Hua Cai (2008)
  • Chinese Radicals Volume 1 by Tan Huay Peng (1986)
  • Easy Peasy Chinese: Mandarin Chinese for Beginners by Elinor Greenwood (2007)
  • Easy Peasy Chinese Workbook: Mandarin Chinese practice for beginners by Elinor Greenwood (2015)
  • Get By in Chinese from BBC Books (1995)
  • Mandarin Phrasebook from Lonely Planet (2006)
  • Mastering Chinese: the complete course for beginners by Catherine Hua Xiang (2010)
  • The Most Basic Chinese - All You Need to Know to Get By by James McGlasson (2012)
  • No Sweat Cantonese: a Fun Guide to Speaking Correctly by Amy Leung (2003)
  • Catalan Dictionary & Phrasebook by A. Scott Britton (2015)
  • Croatian Phrasebook from Collins (2007)
  • Czech Phrasebook & Dictionary from Berlitz (1993)
  • Czech Phrasebook & Dictionary from Lonely Planet (2013)
  • Teach Yourself Czech from Teach Yourself (1993)
  • Danish for Travellers from Berlitz (1986)
  • Teach Yourself Danish from Teach Yourself (1958)
  • Teach Yourself Doric: A Course for Beginners by Douglas Kynoch (1994)
  • Living Language: Dothraki by David J. Peterson (2014)
  • Compact Woordenboek: Engels-Nederlands & Nederlands Engels by
  • Dutch Dictionary from Teach Yourself (1976)
  • Dutch Phrasefinder from Collins Gem
  • Teach Yourself Dutch from Teach Yourself (1999)
  • Traveller's Dutch by Arthur Eperon (1981)
Egyptian Hieroglyphs
  • How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs: a Step-by-Step Guide to Teach Yourself by Mark Collier & Bill Manley (2000)
  • Introducing Egyptian Hieroglpyhs by Barbara Watterson (1981)
  • More about Egyptian Hieroglpyhs by Barbara Watterson (1985)
  • Anglais: la grammaire from Bescherelle (2008) [French]
  • Angliyskiy yazyk: Kratkiy spravochnik by G. P. Shalaeva (2009) [Russian]
  • The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language by David Crystal (2009)
  • Collins Children's Dictionary: thousands of words clearly defined, colour illustrations throughout from Collins (1978)
  • Help Your Kids with English: a Unique Step-by-Step Visual Guide by Carol Vorderman (2013)
  • Holmes' Comprehensive English Grammar for Senior Classes in Primary Schools Part III from W. & R. Holmes (1950s?)
  • Immediate Modern English Letter by C. P. Cheung (1990) [Chinese]
  • Modern English Conversation for Beginners from Sino-Anglo Publishing Co.? (1990?) [Chinese]
  • Modern English Pronunciation Practice by M. D. Munro Mackenzie (1967)
  • Notes on Learning English by Ralph Cooke (1960)
  • The Prodigal Tongue: the Love-Hate Relationship Between British & American English by Lynne Murphy (2019)
  • Slikovni rječnik Engleski from Compact (2011) [Croatian]
  • A Complete Grammar of Esperanto by Ivy Kellerman (2008)
  • The "Edinburgh" Esperanto Pocket Dictionary from Thomas Nelson & Sons Ltd (1944)
  • Esperanto-English & English-Esperanto Dictionary & Phrasebook by J. F. Conroy (1999)
  • Baltic Phrasebook from Lonely Planet (2001)
  • Farsi (Persian) Phrasebook from Lonely Planet (2001)
  • Teach Yourself Finnish from Teach Yourself (2003)
  • I Want to Become a Doctor - Ik wil doktor worden: English-Flemish (Belgian) Children's Bilingual Picture Dictionary by Richard & Suzanne Carlson (2020)
  • Essential French for Kids: Phrases Teacher Never Told You by AA Publishing (2000)
  • French for Travellers from Berlitz (1982)
  • The French Travelmate from Lexus (1984)
  • Get By in French: a Quick Beginners' Course for Holidaymakers & Business People from BBC Books (1992)
  • The Glossary of French and English Management Terms by James Coveney & Sheila J. Moore (1979)
  • The Never Not Nothing No More Book from E. J. Arnold & Son Ltd (1973)
  • The Ski-Mate: French, German, Italian by Iseabail Macleod (1982)
  • Sky My Husband! Ciel Mon Mari! by Jean-Loup Chiflet (1987) [French]
  • Toute la grammaire by Bénédicte Gaillard & Jean-Pierre Colignon (2005) [French]
  • The Usborne First Thousand Words in French by Heather Amery & Stephen Cartwright (1990s?)
  • Vocabulary of Iron and Steel Terms from British Steel (1971)
  • German: Language Survival Guide from Collins (2001)
  • German Visual Phrase Book from Eyewitness Travel Guides (2008)
  • Get By in German: a Quick Beginners' Course for Holidaymakers and Business People from BBC Books (1987)
  • Grammaire Allemande by Emile Sigwault & Ch Bauer (1891) [French]
  • Newnes German-English, English-German Dictionary from Newnes(1952)
  • The Ski-Mate: French, German, Italian by Iseabail Macleod (1982)
  • Usborne Internet-Linked German for Beginners by Angela Wilkes & John Shackell (2001)
  • Beginner's Greek Script from Teach Yourself (2003)
  • Essential Greek Phrase Book from AA Publishing (2002)
  • First Steps in Greek by F. Ritchie (1955)
  • Greece: a Hugo Phrase Book from Hugo's Language Books (1982)
  • Greek for Travellers from Berlitz (1982)
  • Greek Phrase Book from Penguin Books (1973)
  • Lexicon from Mediterraneo Editions (2008)
  • Illustrated Hawaiian Dictionary by Kahikāhealani Wight & Robin Yoko Racoma (2007)
  • Let's Learn a Little Hawaiian by Ray Helbig (1970)
  • Ben-Yehuda's Pocket English-Hebrew Hebrew-English Dictionary by Ehud Ben-Yehuda & David Weinstein (1968)
  • Basic Hindi by Sonia Taneja (2012)
  • Hindi, Urdu & Bengali from Lonely Planet (2011)
  • Beginner's Hungarian by Katalin Boros (2001)
  • Hungarian Verbs and Essentials of Grammar: a practical guide to the mastery of Hungarian by Miklós Törkenczy (1997)
  • Teach Yourself Hungarian from Teach Yourself (1999)
  • Fast Talk Icelandic from Lonely Planet (2018)
  • Standard Indonesian Made Simple by Dr Liaw Yock Fang & Draw Nini Tiley-Notodisuryo (2008)
  • Foclóir Scoile: English-Irish, Irish-English Dictionary from An Gúm (2006)
  • Motherfoclóir: Dispatches from a not so dead language by Darach Ó Seaghdha (2017)
  • Usborne Language Guides: Irish for Beginners by Angela Wilkes & John Shackell (1989)
  • Italian Phrase Book from Penguin Books (1988)
  • The Ski-Mate: French, German, Italian by Iseabail Macleod (1982)
  • Teach Yourself Quick and Easy Italian from Teach Yourself (1986)
  • Bump Up Your Basics! Japanese Collocations Associative Learning for Beginners On by Yoko Eitani & Michiko Iijima (2020)
  • Essential Japanese from Berlitz (2009)
  • Essential Kanji by P. G. O'Neill (1988)
  • The Handbook of Japanese Verbs by Taeko Kamiya (2001)
  • Instant Immersion Japanese by Meghan Barstow (2003)
  • An Introduction to Japanese Language by Natsuko Tsujimura (1996)
  • Japanese at a Glance: Phrase Book & Dictionary for Travellers by Nobuo Akiyama (2006)
  • Japanese for Busy People I from Association for Japanese-Language Teaching (2011)
  • Japanese for Busy People II from Association for Japanese-Language Teaching (2011)
  • Japanese for Busy People III from Association for Japanese-Language Teaching (2012)
  • Japanese Grammar by Keiko Uesawa Chevray & Tomiko Kuwahira (2004)
  • The Japanese Language by Haruhiko Kindaichi (2010)
  • Japanese Phrasebook from Lonely Planet (1998)
  • Japanese Step by Step: an Innovative Approach to Speaking and Reading Japanese by Gene Nishi (2001)
  • Japanese Vocabulary by Shigeru Eguchi & Orie Yamada (2001)
  • Learn 162 Kanji with Hai!ku by Charlotte Martin & Lewis Plowman (2020)
  • Let's Learn Hiragana: First Book of Basic Japanese Writing by Yasuko Kosaka Mitamura (1985)
  • New Penguin Paralelle Text: Short Stories in Japanese by Michael Emmerich (2011)
  • Power Up Your Kanji: 800 Basic Kanji as a Gateway to Advanced Japanese by Mayumi Oka (2009?)
  • Star Wars: English-Japanese Dictionary for Jedi Knights from Gakken (2015) [Japanese]
  • Takahashi's Pocket Romanized English-Japanese Dictionary by
  • Teach Yourself Business Japanese from Teach Yourself (1992)
  • The Usborne First Thousand Words in Japanese by Heather Amery & Stephen Cartwright (1990s?)
  • How to Speak Klingon: Essential Phrases for the Intergalactic Traveler by Ben Grossblatt & Alex Fine (2013)
  • The Klingon Dictionary by Marc Okrand (1992)
  • Gateway to Speaking Korean: Practical Text for Foreigners from The Association of Foreign Language Propagation (1996)
  • Korean Phrasebook from Lonely Planet (2002)
  • Hugo's Latin in Three Months from Hugo's Language Institute (1970s?)
  • Kennedy's Revised Latin Primer by Sir James Mountford (2010)
  • Latin Grammar by James Morwood (1999)
  • A Latin Word List by K. C. Masterman (1971)
  • Teach Yourself Latin from Teach Yourself (1986)
  • The Usbrone First Thousand Words in Latin by Heather Amery & Stephen Cartwright (2007)
  • Usborne Internet-Linked Latin for Beginners by Angela Wilkes & John Shackell (2001)
  • Baltic Phrasebook from Lonely Planet (2001)
  • Speak Lebanese by Samir C. Atallah (1980s?)
  • Baltic Phrasebook from Lonely Planet (2001)
  • Malay Phrase Book for Tourists by HJ Ismail Ahmad & Andrew Leonki (1991)
  • Pocket Dictionary and Phrase Book: English-Maltese by Capt. Paul Bugeja (2004)
  • Instant! Māori by Nick Theobald & Pāora Walker (2006)
Maya Glyphs
  • Reading the Maya Glyphs by Michael D. Coe & Mark van Stone (2020)
  • The Easiest Way to Learn Na'vi EVER!! by Dusty White (2011)
  • Hugo's Norwegian in Three Months from Hugo's Language Institute (1970s?)
  • Norwegian Verbs & Essentials of Grammar: a Practical Guide to the Mastery of Norwegian by Louis Janus (1998)
Old Norse
  • A New Introduction to Old Norse Part I: Grammar by Michael Barnes (2008)
  • A New Introduction to Old Norse Part II: Reader by Anthony Faulkes (2011)
  • Viking Language 1: Learn Old Norse, Runes, and Icelandic Sagas by Jesse L. Byock (2017)
  • Viking Language 2: The Old Norse Reader by Jesse L. Byock (2015)
  • Polish Phrase Book & Dictionary from Berlitz (2003)
  • Brazilian Portuguese Phrasebook & Dictionary from Lonely Planet (2014)
  • Portuguese Phrase Book & Dictionary from BBC Active (2007)
  • Teach Yourself Portuguese from Teach Yourself (2003)
  • On the Language of the Ṣaṭkhaṇḍāgama by Professor Dr Satya Ranjan Banerjee (1999)
  • Quechua Phrasebook from Lonely Planet (1989)
  • Romanian Phrase Book & Dictionary from Berlitz (1994)
  • Instant Russian from Teach Yourself (2003)
  • The Penguin Russian Course by J. L. I. Fennell (1963)
  • Russian Phrase Book from Collins (1968)
  • Russian Script Hacking for Beginners by Judith Meyer (2019)
  • The Old Scots Tongue: 10,000 Scottish words and their meanings by Cleishbothan the Younger (1858)
  • The Pocket Guide to Scottish Words by Iseabail Macleod (1986)
Scottish Gaelic
  • Elementary Course of Gaelic by Duncan Reid (1951)
  • Everyday Gaelic by Morag MacNeill (2006)
  • Gaelic Dictionary by Malcom MacLennan (1991)
  • Gaelic-English & English-Gaelic Dictionary from Lomond Books
  • Gaelic is Fun! by Colm Ó Baoill (1989)
  • Gaelic Learners Handbook by Ruaraidh MacThómais (1976)
  • The Gaelic Names of Plants by John Cameron (2019)
  • Gaelic Verbs: Systemised and Simplified by Colin Mark (2013)
  • Gaelic Without Groans by John Mackechnie (1970)
  • Scottish Gaelic in Twelve Weeks by Roibeard Ó Maolalaigh (2018)
  • The Pocket Guide to Scottish Words by Iseabail Macleod (1986)
  • The Tourist's Hand-book of Gaelic and English Phrases for the Highllands by Mrs Mary Mackellar (2009)
  • What's in a Scottish Placename? by Peter Terrell (2021)
  • Gregg Shorthand New and Revised 1916 Edition by John Robert Gregg (2013)
  • Teeline Revised Edition by I. C. Hill & Meriel Bowers (1988)
  • Sinhala Phrasebook from Lonely Planet (2008)
  • 15 Minute Spanish: Learn in Just 12 Weeks by Anna Bremon (2012)
  • Beginner's Spanish: an introduction to conversational Spanish by Terry Wilson (1983)
  • My First 1000 Words English-Spanish from Brown Watson (2002)
  • Spanish: Language Survival Guide from Collins (2001)
  • Usborne Internet-Linked Spanish for Beginners by Angela Wilkes & John Shackell (2001)
  • Swahili for Travellers from Berlitz (1982)
  • Swahili Phrasebook from Lonely Planet (1998)
  • Swahili Sayings 1: erevuka na yaliyomo by S. S. Farsi (2003)
  • Sohlman Conversation Guide by Waldemar J. Adams (1947)
  • Fast Talk Swedish from Lonely Planet (2018)
  • Survival Tagalog by Joi Barrios (2016)
  • Guide to Thai Conversation by Dr. Parichart Jumsai (2000)
  • Thai Phrase Book from Eyewitness Travel Guides (2003)
  • Thai Phrasebook from Lonely Planet (2004)
  • Tibetan Phrasebook & Dictionary from Lonely Planet (2020)
Tolkien's languages (Sindarin, Quenya, Khuzdul)
Tok Pisin
Toki Pona
  • Essential Turkish Phrase Book from AA Publishing (2003)
  • Get By in Turkish: a Quick Beginners' Course for Holidaymakers and Business People from BBC Books (1989)
  • Get By in Hindi & Urdu: a Quick Beginners' Course for Work or Travel from BBC Books (1989)
  • Hindi, Urdu & Bengali from Lonely Planet (2011)
  • Geirfa a Chystrawennau Cymraeg by D. Brown (1973) [Welsh]
  • Welcome to Welsh by Heini Gruffudd (2017)
  • Welsh Pocket Dictionary from Collins (1995)
  • Xhosa Phrase Book by James Stewart (1906)
  • Learn Zulu by C. L. S. Nyembezi (1994)