Lance's Reviews > How To Learn Any Language: Quickly, Easily, Inexpensively, Enjoyably and on Your Own

How To Learn Any Language by Barry Farber
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Jan 17, 09

Read in April, 2008

I actually read this in hardcover. This is one of those titles that explains why I don't go into the bookstore very often. Putting me in a bookstore is like putting an alcoholic in a bar -- we're both going to get something! I found this little tome in hardcover in the bargain rack, and as I was contemplating ways in which I could improve my Spanish skills, I found it serendipitous that I and this book had crossed paths. It was a very quick read -- and also very enjoyable. Farber's personal stories and insight into the quirks of numerous languages infuse a great deal of enjoyment into the book. They also help to make up the book because the actual description of the method he advocates for language learning is not very complicated. I am actually using parts of that method to learn Chinese, and they have helped immensely. That being said, I find that other parts of his method break down when you are studying a language that does not use Romanized characters. And his reliance on audiocassette tapes is really dated. I suppose if you are an old-schooler like myself you probably have a Walkman or like device collecting dust in some closet. Mine is actually buried on some box in one of my closets. Regardless if you are a dinosaur or a more recent animal, I would recommend finding ways to accommodate for the times, because the underlying principles are very sound. They must be if someone like me can learn a little Chinese in a short space of time!
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