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
- Introduction: English-speakers lost in translation
- Chapter 1: Does an English-speaker really Need a Foreign Language?
- Chapter 2 : The Truth and the hype about “global english”
- Chapter 3: The 21st century speaks many languages
- Chapter 4: How lingua francas become lingua francas
- Chapter 5: Language and the Limits of Globalization
- Chapter 6: Languages and the Business World
- Chapter 7: Learn the Other Side’s Language—Even if they Do Speak Yours
- Chapter 8: Foreign Languages, Patriotism, and American Values
Part II. How to Learn a Foreign Language
- Chapter 9: The Reluctant Language Learner
- Chapter 10: Which Language Should You Learn?
- Chapter 11: The First Steps in Learning a Foreign Language
- Chapter 12: Developing a Love for Words
- Chapter 13: Taking Your New Language for a Test Drive
- Chapter 14: Tackling Dialects: Which Version of Spanish are You Speaking?
- Chapter 15: Walking, Learning, and Chewing Gum at the Same Time
- Chapter 16: More Language Learning Tips and Strategies
- Chapter 17: Language Skills and Your Career
- Chapter 18: “But They Insist on Speaking English with Me!”
- Chapter 19: The Language Student’s Buying Guide
- Epilogue: Fun and Personal Enrichment