• 博客等级:
  • 博客积分:0
  • 博客访问:43,559
  • 关注人气:163
  • 获赠金笔:0支
  • 赠出金笔:0支
  • 荣誉徽章:
正文 字体大小:


(2009-10-16 14:32:30)


分类: 阅读无敌


This may be the most frequently told joke in the world- it’s repeated every day in almost every language:

“What do you call a person who speaks two languages?”


“What do you call a person who speaks three languages?”


“What do you call a person who speaks four languages?”


“What do you call a person who speaks only one language?”

“An American!”










With your help this book can wipe that smile off the world’s face.

The reason Americans have been such notoriously poor language learners up to now is twofold:

1.       We’ve never really had to learn other peoples’ language before, and

2.       Almost all foreign language instruction available to the average American has been until now (one hates to be cruel) worthless. “I took two years of high school French and four more years in college and I couldn’t even order orange juice in Marseilles” is more than a self effacing exaggeration. It’s a fact, a shameful, culturally impoverishing, economically dangerous, self defeating fact!

Modern commerce and communications have erased reason 1.

You and the method laid out in this book, working together, will erase reason 2.



1、  我们从来也没有是不得不去学习其他的语言;

2、  到目前为止,几乎所有针对一般美国人出版的外语教材都是毫无价值的(这个结论或许有些过分)。“我在中学花了两年时间学习法文,又在大学花了4年的时间,但是还是无法在Marseilles点橘子汁。”这绝不是在夸大其词。这是一个事实,一个令人尴尬的,文化匮乏的、危及经济的,自我放弃的事实。



It started for me when I learned that the Norwegian word for “squirrel” was acorn. It may have been spelled ekorn, but it was pronounced acorn. Then I learned that “Mickey Mouse” in Swedish is Mussie Pig. Again, the Swedish spelling varied, but so what? As delights like those continued to come my way, I realized I was being locked tighter and tighter into the happy pursuit of language love and language learning.


My favorite music is the babble of strange tongues in the marketplace. No painting, no art, no photograph in the world can excite me as much as a printed page of text in a foreign language I can’t read-yet!


I embraced foreign language study as a hobby as a teenager in 1944. When I was inducted into the army in 1952, I was tested and qualified for work in fourteen different languages. Since then I’ve expanded my knowledge of those languages and taken up others. Whether fluently or fragmentally, I can now express in twenty-five languages.


That may sound like a boast, but it’s really a confession. Having spent so many years with no other hobby, I should today be speaking every one of those languages much better than I do. If you’re a beginner, you may be impressed to hear me order a in Chinese or discuss the Tito-Stalim split in Serbo-Croatian, but only I know how much time and effort I wasted over those years thinking I was doing the right thing to increase my command of those and other languages.


This book, then, does not represent the tried and true formula I’ve been using since 1944. It presents the tried and true formula I’d use if I could go back to 1944 and start all over again.


Commonsense tells us we can’t have dessert before we finish the meal; we can’t have a slim figure until we diet; we can’t have strong muscles until we exercise; we won’t have a fortune until we make it. So far common sense is right.

Common sense also tells us, however, that we can’t enjoy communicating in a foreign language until we learn it. This means years of brain benumbing conjugation, declensions, idioms, exceptions, subjunctives, and irregular verbs. And here common sense is wrong, completely wrong. When it comes to learning foreign languages, we can start with the dessert and then use its sweetness to inspire us to back up and devour the main course.



What six year old child ever heard of a conjugation? Wouldn’t you love to be able to converse in a foreign language as well as all the children of that tongue who’ve not yet heard of grammar? No, we’re not going to rise up as one throaty revolutionary mob, depose grammar, drag it out of the palace by the heels, and burn it in the main square. We’re just going to put grammar in its place. Up to now, grammar has been used by our language educators to anesthetizes us against progress. If it’s grammar versus fun, we’re going to minimize grammar and maximize fun. We’re going to find more pleasant ways to absorb grammar.


Unfortunately, there are a lot more “self improvement” books than there is self improvement. Too many books whose titles are heavy with promise turn out to be all hat and no cattle – not enough take home after you deduct the generalities and exhortations to “focus” and “visualize” your goals. Extracting usable advice from high promising books can be like trying to nail custard pies to the side of a barn.


Mindful of that danger, I will not leave you with noting but a pep talk. Follow the steps herein, and you will learn the language of your choice quickly, easily, inexpensively, enjoyably and on your own.

And you will have fun en route, though not nearly as much as you’ll have once you get that language in working order and take it out to the firing range of the real world!




阅读 评论 收藏 转载 喜欢 打印举报/Report
  • 评论加载中,请稍候...




    新浪BLOG意见反馈留言板 电话:4000520066 提示音后按1键(按当地市话标准计费) 欢迎批评指正

    新浪简介 | About Sina | 广告服务 | 联系我们 | 招聘信息 | 网站律师 | SINA English | 会员注册 | 产品答疑

    新浪公司 版权所有