Are you curious to know what all human languages have in common and in what ways they differ? Do you want to find out how language can be used to trace different peoples and their past? Then this book is for you! Now in its third edition, it guides beginners through the rich diversity of the world's languages. It presupposes no background in linguistics, and introduces the reader to linguistic concepts with the help of problem sets, end of chapter exercises and an extensive bibliography. Charts of language families provide geographical and genealogical information, and engaging sidebars with demographic, social, historical and geographical facts help to contextualise and bring languages to life. This edition includes a fully updated glossary of all linguistic terms used, new problem sets, and a new chapter on cartography. Supplementary online materials include links to all websites mentioned, and answers to the exercises for instructors.