Why You Need a Foreign Language & How to Learn One (2nd Edition)

I am a longtime enthusiast of language learning. In another lifetime, I worked as a Japanese language translator/interpreter. I’ve also mastered Spanish.

Other languages I’ve studied include: Mandarin, Portuguese, German, Korean, Vietnamese, French, and Arabic.

I wrote the first edition of this book in 2003, to encourage other native English-speakers to learn a foreign language. A second edition followed in 2005.

The first edition garnered little attention, but the second edition was adopted as a supplementary text at several universities. (You can still find some reviews of the book, floating around out there on the web.) It sold fairly well, for a nonfiction book about a relatively obscure topic.

(I need to start writing celebrity biographies one of these days, so I can make some real money with my writing….but I digress.)

What is posted below is the full text of the second edition, as it was published in 2005.

Some of the material in the online text is dated; but it contains enough nuggets to make it worth reading.

Part I: Why You Need a Foreign Language

Part II. How to Learn a Foreign Language