- Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: Paladin Press (September 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1581600968
- ISBN-13: 978-1581600964
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 1 x 5.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 27 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #500,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast
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About the Author
Mykel Hawke is a U.S. Army Special Forces veteran with more than 20 years of combined military, government contracting, and survival experience. He is the creator and star of two hit shows, Man Woman Wild and One Man Army (Discovery Channel) and currently stars in a series on The Outdoor Channel, Elite Tactical Unit.
In addition to Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast, Hawke is also the best-selling author of two critically acclaimed survival manuals. As a survival instructor, he founded and runs SpecOps, a global media, training, and adventures company. Hawke has been featured in several films and numerous network and cable television shows in both the United States and the United Kingdom.
Top customer reviews
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If you look at the low reviews, most of them are people learning in a classroom, or teaching in a classroom. This book works less well for those types of situations, because the learning situation is different. You learn slower in a classroom, because you are not forced to use the language on the street every day. The structure of the classes is different.
The goal of this book is to teach you how to learn a language while using it. That is its strength. If you are not using the language frequently, the book will work less well.
I hate the lack of hierarchal organization.
Example: Pronouns should be (but are not in this book) strictly organized by Person (first, second, third) and number (singular [inclusive, exclusive], plural [inclusive, exclusive]) CONSISTENTLY throughout the categories of nominative, accusative, possessive & demonstrative possessive, and demonstrative by count concept (no-, any-, some-, every-) and impersonal location.
They don't necessarily need to be labeled that way, but having them organized that way is helpful, for the sake of consistency. Seeing as how this is a professionally published book and not some free PDF pamphlet, I did expect consistent organization, formatting, and presentation.
All in all, though, this is an effective springboard for those looking for a template to be customized independently. While it is by no means comprehensive, and was not meant to be, it's a great starting point. Unfortunately, depending on the target language, some sections of this book are moot, needing to be further personalized. For Romance and certain Teutonic languages, this template can be very useful. However, many languages will not fit easily into this format. Each language has its idiosyncrasies.
TL;DR: This book is a haphazardly organized generic springboard with errors, but it does the job helping organize a useful approach to language acquisition.
1.(a literal translation of "I need to go to the bathroom" won't get you very far)
well duh. you don't need all those words to get what you need. the 2 words bathroom and where, will get you an answer.
this is not a grammar book either...
2.(As just one example, using two common languages. the American English construction "because I FELT like doing it that way," is very often rendered in Spanish as, "porque sí." How would it help the learner of Spanish to wonder, "Where is the FELT," or "Where is the doing?")
this is so obviously (to me anyway) the wrong way to go about making yourself understood in a foreign language especially if you're just beginning. the people whom you are speaking with are there in context with you and trying to understand what you mean. here it is the response to the question 'why did you do such and such a certain way?'. you don't need to give a perfect grammatical response or an idiom to be understood! instead of trying to say 'because I FELT like doing it that way', a simple creo es bueno/ i believe it's good, or es importante?/is it important? are much more to the point and quickly understood than pausing long enough to COMPOSE a grammatically perfect sentence! in all languages communication is the point. we speak differently than we write and learning to speak the way people write will waste time and make it that much harder and possibly cause you to give up entirely on learning the language.
3. another guy complained that there's a frequency list in english that you translate into the foreign language. sorry, this isn't the matrix where you just plug your brain into the computer and download. there is work involved in learning.
you go through stages with language and you shouldn't feel bad knowing you talk like a 3 year old when you've spent 3 months study or even 3 years dabbling in a FOREIGN language. thats why they call them foreign, right?
is the book perfect? a big NO. its probably a $10 or less book not a $15 one. but along with the brilliant Farber books, this pragmatic one will give you the tools you need to accomplish fluency in another language. they are opposite sides to the same coin and a bay window through which you may gain clear insight into the learning process as a whole.
Most recent customer reviews
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