Recently I was looking information about Istvan Dabi, but unfortunately there wasn't much information about him.
So I decided to contact Istvan Dabi and ask some questions.
Here is our conversation.
Me: How do you begin to learn new language?
Istvan: First of all I have to tell that i have been learned for 60 years languages not for the language but for
understanding the literature (in original). It means I begin to learn a new language when I have read one poems or
short storiy, translated from this language. I want to read - all (?) in original.
The first 2 languages were: German and Russian, later: Polish, English, French and Spanish.
Then I could learn already other languages: with help of POlish and Russian: Ukrainian, Belorussian,
RUSSIAN - bulgarian, RUSSIAN+ BULGARIAN - serbian etc.,.... also with the other language.
Me: I'm not a big fun of literature, but I think I understand. I began to learn Japanese, because I wanted to know
about Japan in Japanese, to read books of Japanese authors in Japanese.
How do you learn your first languages? Did you use grammar books? Or maybe you just read a lot?
Istvan: The first 2 languaes were German and Russian ( when I was 8-9 years old), the first was the German. My
father brought me a German grammar, dictionary, and in summer - 2-3 months - I have learned the grammar and
the 1500-2000 most important words - .30 words/day. In autumn I began to read German newspapers - with help
of the dictionary, and to correspond with German boys and girls. In the winter 1951-52 I could read already German
newspapers without dictionary and began to read books (in the beginning short stories, afterwards novels and later
poems). In about 2years I read bookswithout dictionary, listened to radio WIEN, BERLIN (only original - no Radio
Budapest or others in German).
For me is most important to understand theoriginal WRITTEN text, to write, and later - if necessary I begin to
speak (how? - I don't know).
Me: Maybe because you have a talent.
How do you learn words? Do you use mnemonic technique?
Istvan: I use NO technique, I read them - loudly - 2-3 times (not more), and in the first 2-3 months, I read each day
in this language, 5-10 minutes.
Me: So to bee good at a language you should use the language as much as possible everyday. For example reading,
writing and etc?
Istvan: Yes, you shoul us the language every day, - maybe only 1015 minutes, but EVERYDAY, reading, writing, or
speaking? - it depends on your purpose. For me reading is the most important (I am translator - I want to translate
from the foreign language int my mother tongue), if you want to translate into the foreign language - writing is
more important, but if you want to speak, to become interpreter - speaking. The most important is to learn (read,
write, speak) every day - maybe only 5-15 minutes, but EVERY day.
Me: Thank you.
I hope this interwiev was helpful.:)
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