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Guardian and language issues

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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Thursday, 19 May 2011, 15:52

Several interesting things in the Guardian on languages.

Phrase books - interesting that they think that these phrase books might be useful in learning a language rather than just being for tourists.  However, it is positive that they are focusing on mainly non- European languages.


The death of a language


A blog on language learning policy and attitudes.




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I always thought phrasebooks were for learning a language. Phrases are how I started learning German but I learnt them from the Collins Easy Learning German dictionary. In this way I was able to make comparisons between phrases and pull the sentences apart and stick other bits from other phrases on and in this way learnt something of how the sentences are formed. In this way I also started using the correct cases, way before I understood the case system or knew it even existed! I just learnt a little of what sounded right, without being able to explain why. I never followed any sort of course.
Patrick Andrews

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Thanks for this, Naomi.

Presumably the phrasebooks can only give a limited exposure to phrases rather than longer pieces of text.

It is interesting how you describe the way you learn languages which seems to be inductive starting with examples and leading on to rules - I think this is the best way for me too.