Long for the sea

“If you want to build a ship, don’t herd people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”     – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944)
Found on     https://bethtrissel.wordpress.com/tag/mark-twain/

There are two reasons for mentioning this quote and one after-thought:

Learning to read French
Saint-Exupéry´s book “Le Petit Prince” is a great way to introduce yourself to reading French books. Later on you may want to read this pioneer aviator´s other work.


Learning to read books in any foreign language
Start by reading something which reminds you of “the sea”, whatever your big ideal is or by reading something you are already familiar with. The first French book I enjoyed reading, aged 14 or so, was a translation into French of an Enid Blyton book that I had enjoyed a few years earlier. Great literature can follow, there is no rush.
Children´s books are a great place to start too: lots of pictures, big print, full of charm. Just understand the bits that you can, even if it is mostly the images, at first.
You could compare a text you already know with its translation into the language you are learning. Le Petit Prince is available in many languages, so are many other of the world´s most enduring books. It is also worth finding out which the children´s classics are, written originally in your target language.

After-thought: back to the original idea
Alternatively, just sit back and dream yourself into a state where you are already fluent and enjoying the new language. Go on … treat yourself, see what you come up with.

And you?  What is the first book you plan to read, or what was the first one you enjoyed?

Or … what did your dream come up with?


About Fun with languages

Blogging about learning languages, making it fun Hobbies: paragliding, cycling, reading, BBC radio 4.
This entry was posted in French, Listen Speak Read Write and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Long for the sea

  1. I couldn’t agree more. Visualising your success is a fantastic way to stay motivated. Athletes are also taught to visualise themselves performing at their best in order to trick their minds and bodies into performing the way they want.

    On the other hand. Visualising the end result too much can have the reverse effect, leading one to feel as though they have a long way to go, for some, this can cripple motivation. It’s all about balance. Great post!

  2. I love this quote and your advice to start with a children’s book. That is something I can do. I’m going to see if I can find a Spanish version. I would really like to learn that language.

    Thanks Jenny! As always you provide a fresh idea on a really challenging process.

  3. Hi Guys
    Thanks for your comments. David Mansaray, nice to meet you. I look forward to visiting your blog soon.
    David Pederson, that´s exciting news! I wish you all the best with your exploration of the Spanish version. Amazon has it for sale in Spanish with an audio back-up, which would be ideal.

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