Learn a New Language

By Michael Flanakin @ 4:07 AM :: 2039 Views :: Other :: Digg it!

Learn a new Language

Scott Hanselman Syndicated feed points out a post by Tim Ferriss Syndicated feed, How to Learn (But Not Master) Any Language in 1 Hour. As a language enthusiast, this sounds very interesting. Obviously, I'm working on my Spanish now, but I'd love to learn French, Japanese, Italian, perhaps Portuguese, and who knows what else. A skill like this would do wonders to ultimately pick up these other languages. So what's the secret? Tims suggests that 6 sentences can give you conversational insight into any language (shown here with their Spanish equivalent).

  • The apple is red.
  • It is John's apple.
  • I give John the apple.
  • We give him the apple.
  • He gives it to John.
  • She gives it to him.
  • La manzana es roja.
  • Es manzana de Juan.
  • Doy a Juan la manzana.
  • Le damos la manzana.
  • Él lo da a Juan.
  • Ella le lo da.

At first glance, I had no idea what Tim was talking about. Sure, there are some things I can easily extract, like "apple" is "manzana" and "John" is "Juan," but to be conversational in an hour? That seems to be asking a lot. Truth is, Tim isn't saying this is all you need. He's actually saying these sentances can give you a good understanding of a few of the complexities of a language. You can walk away from these sentences with an idea about how long it'll take and how easy it'll be to learn the target language. This is something that might take some getting used to, but Tim's insight is definitely spot-on. The main thing that falls short of becoming conversational is the lack of vocabulary. Like I said, this method simply gives you insight and doesn't truly make you conversational... not to belittle the method.