Apr 132023
Review: Taatung Tatung and Other Amazing Stories of India’s Diverse Languages
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Title: Taatung Tatung and Other Amazing Stories of India’s Diverse Languages

Author: Vaishali Shroff

Publisher: Puffin

Type: Paperback

Pages: 184

Recommended age: 10/12 years+

The book makes for a fascinating read on the diverse languages of India. It’s well crafted, well researched and incredibly enriching. Something you would expect from the award winning author Vaishali Shroff, who is known for her prowess in writing for children. 

However this book is for parents and kids with a keen interest in languages or general knowledge as well. Language is the most critical aspect of our culture, and it’s under constant threat, with many links to the past fast disappearing. 

Imagine a Russian scholar dedicating 3 years of his time to understanding Parsi Gujarati. Or a language activist sharing stories about Koro, a language spoken by only 1500 people on this planet. Or an archaeologist revealing information on the Brahmi script. 

The book is an incredible historical and geographical journey into the India we know – and the one we don’t know. It profiles major emperors and political personalities, in the context of their contribution towards preserving our valuable languages. 

The fascinating ride on this language roller coaster reveals unbelievable facts:

-Indian currency notes have a language panel on the reverse side of the note, where the denomination is written in 15 of the 22 official languages of India

-There are 6 classical indian languages with a recorded history of more than 1500 years, Sanskrit of course comes to mind. Guess the other 5? 

-Mattur, a village in Karnataka boasts a unique record? Guess what? 

-Nepali is an official language of India? True? 

-Bultoo Radio Service is the voice of which tribe, helping share their problems with the world at large?

-What is the Dravidian language family? 

-What code language did prison inmates use in South India? 

-North East India is one of the most linguistically diverse languages in the world

And so on… the author weaves a web of discovery around the world’s oldest indigenous language. (That’s where the quizzical Taatung Tatung, the title of this book, takes its inspiration). 

Truly a motivating read for all of us proud Indians, part of a rich legacy, of oral communication. 

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Disclaimer: Vinay is part of the #kbcReviewerSquad and received this book as a review copy from the publisher.

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