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Georges Kersaudy

 Language Learning Forum : Polyglots Post Reply
loïc
Tetraglot
Newbie
Joined 4953 days ago

10 posts - 12 votes
Speaks: French*, English, Spanish, German
Studies: Portuguese

 
 Message 1 of 4
29 April 2005 at 9:35am | IP Logged 
Georges Kersaudy is a French polyglot. Born in 1921, he had been a translator for the European Council and the United Nations in some 50 languages from Europe and Asia. He is a upholder of Esperanto.

His book “Langues sans frontières, à la découverte des langues de l’Europe » (published in 2003) encouraged me to plunge into the learning of foreign languages, after fruitless years in school. He gives a few guidelines that are very similar to the ones I found on this website:

First learn with a good method, he advocates Assimil.
Don’t focus on grammar, it comes with practice.

With 100 hours of study, you can get a good grip on your target language on condition that you concentrate your effort in a short period of time (100h in 3 months give good results, 100h in 2 years is fruitless). A language must be learnt “vite et bien”.

To improve your target language, texts with translation in your mother tongue are the best tool. You have nothing to learn, just meet the words until they become familiar.

He advocates the use of a dictionary as a pleasure:read it with relaxation.

And, most important of all, don’t believe those who claim that it’s impossible to learn a european language in a few months: it’s just that they have never try it...

The bigger part of his book presents the different languages of Europe, included the local dialects, and focuses on the similarities between them. He gives a parallel vocabulary list for 39 european languages where you can find many common roots.

By the way congratulation for the website and thanks everybody for the tips and the sharing of experiences. This is very motivating.

Edited by administrator on 29 April 2005 at 10:44am

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administrator
Hexaglot
Forum Admin
Switzerland
FXcuisine.com
Joined 5172 days ago

3094 posts - 2983 votes 
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Speaks: French*, EnglishC2, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian
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 Message 2 of 4
29 April 2005 at 12:40pm | IP Logged 
Loïc, welcome to the forum!

Thanks for that fine recommendation. I had read a review of the book in the local paper but did not buy it. Just after I read your post I rushed to the bookstore and got a copy.

In the meanwhile, the author has given an interesting interview about esperanto. He says 40% of Russian vocabulary is made of French words - that is 4 times more than my own statistics.
1 person has voted this message useful



administrator
Hexaglot
Forum Admin
Switzerland
FXcuisine.com
Joined 5172 days ago

3094 posts - 2983 votes 
12 sounds
Speaks: French*, EnglishC2, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 3 of 4
02 May 2005 at 12:33am | IP Logged 
I read the book, it is a good buy if you read French. The author has immense experience in language learning and as a translator and reviews in details and across ages polyglottery in Europe and each language's spread and importance.

He also lists big tables of words across different language families to show their similarities.

He reviews the evolution of language programs since the 17th century.

I like the quote of one 19th century language program author' motto: 'Apprendre la grammaire par la langue et non la langue par la grammaire' (To learn grammar through the language rather than language through the grammar.)
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ProfArguelles
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United States
foreignlanguageexper
Joined 5052 days ago

610 posts - 2097 votes 

 
 Message 4 of 4
07 May 2005 at 6:02pm | IP Logged 
Administrator, I cannot find this book available in Lebanon, and many people on this forum cannot read French, so could you please give us a more detailed summary and review of this book?


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