Keith Kahn-Harris is obsessed with the warning message found inside Kinder Surprise eggs: ‘WARNING, read and keep: Toy not suitable for children under 3 years. Small parts might be swallowed or inhaled.’ On a tiny sheet of paper, this message is translated into dozens of languages. With the help of the international community of language geeks, he shows us what the message looks like in Ancient Sumerian, Zulu, Cornish, Klingon – and many more. Along the way he considers why Hungarian writing looks angry, how to make up your own language, and the meaning of the heavy metal umlaut.
Overturning the Babel myth, he argues that the messy diversity of language shouldn’t be a source of conflict, but of collective wonder.Buy tickets
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