A review of this — 5 years ago
This book, by an inveterate language-learner (mastered ~11 languages as I recall) and who got a lot of mileage out of the languages he learned, is an encouragement not to fear learning a new language, to appreciate the joys and benefits of learning a language, and advice on how to do it.
It starts off with a pretty interesting essay on his own language-learning experience, which I found very enjoyable. He then moves on to the advice section, which was…a little out of date (cassettes!). Still, that’s not his fault. I did find the advice, though well-intentioned, not to be very substantial. Approach the language from all sorts of different angles. Just jump into the language – get a newspaper and look up every word (I’m pretty sure very few people will find this effective). Snatch every available bit of time to look at your flashcards. Listen to audio courses and make your own. And most of all, try it out on native speakers. You’ll not be scorned, you’ll be welcomed with open arms into their community.
Yeah, so I found the advice…only okay. But overall this is an interesting book, in severe need of an update!