Monday, October 26, 2009
Here's a very good video that shows the dedication that one needs to learn a language, even for those that are naturally gifted. This is a guy who has learned at least 16 languages and gives an account of the way he learned German in the beginning about a decade ago:
Often the claim that one speaks X number of languages is a bit suspicious but in this person's case it's certainly not. Note that the languages here have been learned through direct experience - living in a country, being married to someone from that country, having to use it at work, etc.
It also reminds me a bit of Jack Seward and his book Easy Japanese. The title of the book was already decided beforehand as it's part of a series of books by the same publisher - Easy Japanese, Easy German, Easy French and what have you, but he wrote later on that the title he actually wanted was "learn Japanese in 25 hard years", since that's the amount of time he says it took him to learn it to fluency (though I suspect he was being a bit modest with that estimation).