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How To Learn Any Language: Quickly, Easily, Inexpensively, Enjoyably and on Your Own Paperback – 1 Jan 1991

3.8 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp. (1 Jan. 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806512717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806512716
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 1.4 x 20.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 542,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Synopsis

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.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I bought this book on the strength of recommendations on several language-learning websites and afterwards I was very glad that I'd read it within the first few weeks of starting to learn another language. I'm sure that by employing the methods given here I've managed to adopt a more intelligent approach to my language studies that's made the best use of my available time.
Although a lot of the book consists of anecdotes and other padding, the material relating to studying and learning a language is all helpful, especially to someone learning a new language for the first time. A lot of material is the sort of thing that seems obvious after you've been told, while other material is the same as the advice given in more general guides to self-study. That said it's all useful and it doesn't hurt to be reminded about good study habits.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book when I first began to think I MIGHT want to learn another language. Just reading this book was enough to convince me. I would recommend this book not only to someone who wants to learn a language and wants to learn an easy, fast, fun, way to do it; but to any language lover. Mr. Farber's love of language comes out loud and clear in this book, illustrated by his fun, witty stories about his first forays into the world of foreign languages. This book kept me in stitches, while also teaching me the fundamentals of a GREAT system for learning ANY language. In the few years since I first read it, I have read and reread it, for pleasure and for reference, and I am now proficient in three languages-- and can converse at least brokenly in at least three others. And I haven't spent as much time as I would LIKE to spend on it! Read this book, you won't regret it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
due to the mixed reviews of this book, i got myself a cheap second hand copy. i was pleasantly surprised by the content. ok, there is a lot of chit chat and loads of anecdotes, like most books aimed at the US market. but its easy to skip these bits if you want to cut to the chase. his story is interesting, tho, and his enthusiam is infectious, so come back to it later!

the book suggests a multi-activity way of learning your target language instead of ploughing through your language textbook from beginning to end. he suggests use of flashcards, kids books, magazines, etc, even music in your target language. the book seems to be written pre-internet. but this was a bonus as i found myself being able to think of extra ways to incorporate fun study; for example, i discovered you can study virtual flashcards online, a store online that sells audio recordings of my language for listening practice. i'm even studying recipes in my language now!

i'd recommend this if your finding your language course book a bit dry and need a boot up the behind to feel motivated and positive again. i'm certainly feeling a lot more excited about my own course book, now i know its just one tool of many i can use to becoming fluent in my target language.
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Format: Paperback
This book contains some very useful tips on how to learn a foreign language. Unfortunately these only take up about 2 pages. The rest is filled with stories about the authors experiences learning languages. Some reviewers like this but I just found them very tiresome.
This isn't a bad book but don't expect it to totally transform the way you learn.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If nothing more, with an open mind this book should prove an interesting read for those with only the slightest interest ranging to the avid language enthusiast.
My personal view of this publication is as part language learning guide, and part biography. The author clearly has had a life-long love of learning languages and Mr. Farber's personal experiences and anecdotes make for interesting reading.
I found this motivating and it helped me to envision that I will eventually use the languages I learn whilst travelling in other countries and in doing so have much fun and make new friends and acquaintances in the process.
I'm a great believer in the principle that if out of 100% of a book you can get a 5% benefit from something you did not previously know then that makes reading it worthwhile. Thus most people should be able to read this book and take something useful from it in becoming a more astute linguist. The main reason I did not give this a five out of five is because I feel that the book could use updating slightly.
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Format: Paperback
This book is an easy read. It does some contain some solid advice - use flashcards, use mnemonics, use a multi-facetted approach to learning (including audio media), immersion is good, seek opportunities to study and practice languages at all times - but nothing really that is now considered anything other than standard good practice. Since it has no reference to optical media (CD, DVD) and no references to software, the book can be considered somewhat dated. The author is correct in guiding the reader away from the old fashioned grammar-translation approach if they want to remain motivated and keep their skills relevant; however, that method can also work for particular objectives if one is motivated enough - I learnt to read (and to a lesser extent write) several languages that way.

However, the author continually boasts he learnt a language within a matter of months using his methods. He did this many times over. What he does not say is what he means by "learning a language". Does he mean he can pass the time of day with a native speaker, or does he mean he can converse fluently on abstract philosophical and political issues? He makes several claims but leaves disconcertingly vague what his abilities actually are. He's most likely either being dishonest about his skills or he is some kind of Wunderkind who possesses a very rare and innate talent for languages that most of us do not have. We will not be able to emulate his achievements. Learning a foreign language to a high level of fluency and correctness in speaking, reading and writing will take the average person several years of fairly dedicated application. Doing the same for two or more languages - especially if they are unrelated - is the work of an appreciable portion of an adult lifetime.
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