How To Learn Any Language: Quickly, Easily, Inexpensively, Enjoyably and on Your Own (英語) ペーパーバック – 2001/4/1
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Tells how to learn a foreign language by using all available language tools, taking advantage of brief moments of free time, using a special vocabulary memory system, and reading publications and watching movies in the language one's learning
Barry J. Farber is the president of Farber Training Systems, Inc. and The Diamond Group, and a noted author, speaker, television talk-show host and consultant in the areas of sales, management, and personal development. Among his many corporate clients are Allied Signal, AT&T, Chase Manhattan Bank, The Perrier Group, Merck, and Val-Pak. The author of Diamond in the Rough, Diamonds Under Pressure, and State of the Art Selling (available in both book and audiocassette format), Farber has been interviewed on CBS, NBC, and CNN and featured in leading business publications. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and three children.
In fact I once found to my horror that I had somehow lost my copy, and I found myself rushing out and buying another one. (After which the first one of course showed up in plain sight...) So if I can have two copies, you should have at least one! (: Seriously though, I really recommend this book to everyone who has an urge or a need to learn a foreignlanguage - no hesitation.
Someone once said that if you have a good enough "why" for what you do, you can deal with almost any "how." Faber gives you a book full of "whys," and a toybox full of pretty good "hows" while he's at it.
Now after ten years of Japanese, I'm beginning to look lustfully at Korean and Chinese... Somebody stop me...!
Barry Farber started learning languages when he was young - and to date the book, he says he started in 1944. I LOVE the fact that this book is set around that time. His stories are so interesting!
This is the basics of his system:
* Multiple Track Attack - Basically, this means if a tool is working for you, use it! If not, find another! And then another!
* Hidden Moments - You don't learn a language 45 minutes a day 5 days a week in a class - you learn it whenever and wherever you can, carrying around a small packet of vocabulary with you.
* Harry Lorayne's Magic Memory - Awesome book! Even for today, completely relevant and super useful, even for non-language learners.
* The Plunge - Welcome to the real world! Learning outside the classroom in various places - this is SUPER easy this day and age.
Once you get through this book and have your tools ready and are working through them and enjoying your newly acquired skills, check out these books as well:
Fluent in 3 Months (Benny Lewis) - He is also a digital nomad of sorts with an excellent web site!
Fluent Forever (Gabriel Wyner)
Babel No More (Michael Erard)
Each of these have techniques and tips that build upon what you will learn in this book, which I really consider the father of the alt language learning movement. If you have taken Beginning French 13 times (me!), Japanese x2 (me!), Russian class, Chinese, etc, and could not seem to get it to stick - if you have given up and decided you just aren't a language learner - these are the books for you! Also, it's not you! All of these books describe in detail why and how classroom language learning just doesn't work, with stats to back it up. Since beginning these techniques, I have gotten further on in French than I ever did in class, in far shorter time, and I am retaining it - with much better pronunciation. Yay! So read, get back your hope and aspirations, and then start your journey today. Woot!
Inspirational stories are easy to find. Turning them into practical advice is what makes this book so valuable.
The author starts by telling his story of learning languages, from childhood, then offers some personal anecdotes and success stories. Then he finishes by teaching the reader how they can learn any language, quickly, easily, and inexpensively.
Note that "Quickly and Easily" are relative terms.
I'm already bilingual, having learned Spanish as a second language.
Using the techniques in this book, I am now about 2 months into learning Portuguese, and dabbling in French, in preparation for my upcoming trips to Brazil and France. This book doesn't make language learning an over-night endeavor, but it does make it much easier. By equipping you with several tools (language dictionary, grammar book, audio course, etc), it makes language learning a lot less boring than simple memorization of grammar or vocabulary.
My only complaint about the book is that it needs to be updated for the age of the Internet. This was especially disappointing considering the latest edition was published in 2006! There are so many more tools available now than when the book was written, that with some creativity, your language learning can be made even easier than it was for the author!
Don't forget to use:
- Online chat rooms, Facebook, pen-pal or dating sites (You don't have to be in the market for romance to make friends on a dating site) to make new friends and practice your target language
- Internet phone calls, with services such as Skype
- Online learning tools such as Duolingo
- Online forums and Q&A sites to ask questions about your target language (StackExchange.com is one of my favorites)
I’ll get the negatives out of the way first though.
Sure the meat and potatoes of the book can be summed up in about a dozen pages, but that doesn’t exactly get you pumped for learning your language of choice like the first 2/3 of this book do.
The last 1/3 of the book is a grammar review, and an out of place section about a language club. You can absolutely skip that part of the book.
I really can’t stress how important this book is for effective and efficient study. I recently got the Kindle version of the book to review methods for learning French. From the author’s tips on time management, to Harry Loraine’s memory tricks, reading this book (and taking notes on the techniques laid out) should be the first thing you do when you decide to study another language.
None of the negatives that I posted take away from the value of the rest of the book, because you can simply skip it.
This book fully emphasizes the Bruce Lee quote, “Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own.”