How to learn a foreign language - William Pulman - PDF ebook

How to learn a foreign language

How to learn a foreign language
How to learn a foreign language


From the introduction:

The art of speaking and understanding, reading and writing a foreign language is a subject which, commends itself to most young people. Perhaps I am not wrong in estimating that there is scarcely a man engaged in commerce> who has not at one time or another most earnestly coveted the ability to speak with foreigners in their own language. 

Apart altogether from the commercial value of such a power, for the power it certainly is, there is a strong fascination with the subject, and it is a fascination which never vanishes; there is a sense of novelty in giving expression to our own familiar thoughts in words and phrases that are foreign and new to us; to the young especially there is a charm in the distinction of being able to express himself in a foreign tongue, he feels head and shoulders above his fellows and proud of his knowledge.

In ordinary studies, a scholar who gains a certificate may be more clever than his fellow students who do not gain a certificate, or it may be that he is only luckier, and in any case, the difference in the amount of knowledge possessed by a scholar who gains a prize £ind by one who does not, may not be very great. But in the case of one who has mastered a foreign tongue, as soon as he opens his mouth the superiority of his attainments is proclaimed, and those who have not the like knowledge feel very small before him. 

Honour and distinction are more cheaply bought or attained to by knowledge of foreign languages than by any other way. Another charm in the use of a foreign language is that it enables us to express our thoughts and emotions in words, which express more fully than our own a different sense or depth of meaning. For example, the French language has the word " aimer " (to like or to love). 

Now an Englishman sees a lot of difference between liking an object and loving, and so does a Frenchman, but he has to be content to let the ordinary word " aimer " suffice to express his meaning, unless, indeed, he chooses to add adjectives or rush off into poetical language to express his love, as a Frenchman is very likely to do. But when a Frenchman, learns English what a glow of satisfaction he must feel when he finds in English two words in exchange for his one-word " aimer," so that he may say I like my coffee and I love my home. 

These examples could be .multiplied in comparing any language with another. 

The soul of man is, as it were, pent up within him by the language which he speaks; gives him the power to use another language and it is like giving him fresh outlets for the expression of his soul. His soul becomes bigger and bigger with every language acquired, and is not this adding charm upon charm to one's existence? This sense of soul growth, and the belief that the soul never dies, but goes on growing and growing into all eternity, is the chief charm and support of existence. 

Therefore, in setting before the reader the various systems in vogue for teaching and learning foreign languages, and pointing out the best, I am guiding him into a subject which should enrich and ennoble his life. May it be so is the desire of the author,

the book details :
  • Author: William Pulman
  • Publication date: 1900
  • Company: Manchester [Eng.] A. Heywood

  • Download How to learn a foreign language - pdf - 2 MB

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