Book Review: ‘In the Land of Invented Languages’ by Arika Okrent


Not so long ago, I was a stranger in a particularly strange land. The land was that of invented languages, and my guide was Arika Okrent, linguist and professional writer. My ticket was a bright red paperback with zany white lettering on the front. The journey lasted just over 800 years – the length of the recorded history of invented languages. Or perhaps that was the destination rather than the journey? I seem to have reached the outer border of this metaphor, so let’s cross over to a more tangible overview of Okrent’s book.

In the Land of Invented Languages was released in 2009 and is 293 pages long. The book is the result of five years of research into …