Famous linguists # 1

This week has been a watershed week for me. So many big ideas are hitting me square in the face. Whichever direction I turn in, splat, there goes another.
One of the catalysts is the A-list blogging club on http://www.alistbloggingbootcamps.com/alist-blogger-club-join/  This is a club which helps bloggers to learn their craft. This week is the start of a multi-media course on how to write better.  The course is running over six weeks, this being the first. One of the documents put forward for studying is a tip sheet entitled “An inspiring List of Great Stories Used by Bloggers” which lists 14 people who have built extremely lively and successful blogs.

The one who most closely mirrors my own interest area is BENNY LEWIS, THE IRISH POLYGLOT.   He calls himself a language hacker: he knows how to get inside a language to see how it works, then he can appropriate it for his own use. The time that he spends is three months per language and you can discover more about his method and lifestyle while being entertained and amazed on
http://www.fluentin3months.com/about/   To quote the tip sheet, “Benny is a full-time globe-trotter who has learned 11 languages”.
Benny believes that it is never too late to learn a language and that success revolves around your attitude and your method, not some sort of mysterious talent for learning languages.  I bought his guide and have been reading and listening to it today, starting with an interview of ALEXANDER ARGUELES. You can read more about Alexander Arguelles on http://foreignlanguageexpertise.com/about.html

Arguelles is an academic by profession and his approach includes an extremely thorough examination of the written language as well as the spoken word, whereas Benny focuses on speaking.
After finding that the European languages were not offering enough of a challenge, Dr Arguelles decided to learn Korean because he had “read in a Foreign Service Institute report that it was the most demanding”. He spent nine years on this task, including comparing Korean with Chinese and Japanese.  His biography on the above site makes fascinating reading. Altogether he lists over 30 languages, giving a measure of how familiar he is with each. This measure is interesting in itself. You would learn a lot about how to learn a language through the written word just by absorbing his explanation of the scale.
To return to my own predicament, each of the 14 stories on the tip list threatens to be just as inspiring as Benny´s and that is without taking into account all the writing being submitted by the blogging club members themselves, on the forum. Just how much inspiration can one mortal take?


About Fun with languages

Blogging about learning languages, making it fun Hobbies: paragliding, cycling, reading, BBC radio 4.
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