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An approach to language learning for reading literature

February 11, 2012

My companion blog (from which unfortunately I have been away too long) focuses on reading the Odyssey in the original Greek. Originally, I had in mind a broader scheme for discussing and reading a variety of works in numerous languages. Unfortunately time is lacking so that I will more likely be working on the Odyssey for the foreseeable future on that blog.

Therefore, I am creating this blog to discuss how to learn languages for the purpose of reading in them. The more languages one has in mind to learn, the more useful the philological approach I will be describing will become.

English: Repartition map of the languages over...

Map of modern language families

The majority of people, when they learn a new language, want to be able to talk to people in the given language more than to become literate in that language, and so most language learning approaches of the last several decades in theory are geared to concentrate on speaking while simultaneously giving some attention to reading. For most people who learn a foreign language, this approach is better suited because the majority of people find it easier to learn first to speak and then to read. Yet people like myself are just the opposite; I find it easier to learn to read the literature of a language and then in conjunction with that to learn to speak it as well.

This blog therefore discusses how to learn languages, both living and dead, for reading the literature of that language primarily and secondarily for speaking.

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