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How To Learn Any Language - Quickly, Easily, Inexpensively

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How to Learn Any Language

Quickly, Easily, Inexpensively, Enjoyably and On Your Own


Barry Farber

Founder of the Language Club/Nationally Syndicated Talk Show Host

To Bibi and Celia, for the pleasure of helping teach them their first language, followed by the pleasure of having them then teach me their second!




Part I: My Story

A Life of Language Learning

Part II: The System

Do As I Now Say, Not As I Then Did

Psych Up

French or Tagalog: Choosing a Language

Gathering Your Tools

The Multiple Track Attack

Hidden Moments

Harry Lorayne’s Magic Memory Aid

The Plunge


Language Power to the People

Back to Basics

Last Words Before the Wedding

Part III: Appendices

The Language Club

The Principal Languages of the World

Farber’s Language Reviews


I want to thank my editor, Bruce Shostak, without whose skill and patience much of this book would have been intelligible only to others who’ve had a blinding passion for foreign languages since 1944. I further thank my publisher, Steven Schragis, for venturing into publishing territory heretofore officially listed as "uninteresting". Dr. Henry Urbanski, Founder and Head of the New Paltz Language Immersion Institute, was good enough to review key portions of the manuscript and offer toweringly helpful amendments. Dr. Urbanski’s associate, Dr. Hans Weber, was supremely helpful in safeguarding against error.

I further wish to thank all my fellow language lovers from around the world who interrupted their conversations at practice parties of the Language Club to serve as willing guinea pigs for my questions and experimentations in their native languages.

How to Learn Any Language


This may be the most frequently told joke in the world - it’s repeated every day in almost every language:

"What do you call a person who speaks two languages?"


"What do you call a person who speaks three languages?"


"What do you call a person who speaks four languages?"


"What do you call a person who speaks only one language?"

"An American!"

With your help this book can wipe that smile off the world’s face.

The reason Americans have been such notoriously poor language learners up to now is twofold:

1. We’ve never really had to learn other peoples’ languages before, and

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