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The Way of the Linguist: A Language Learning…

The Way of the Linguist: A Language Learning Odyssey

by Steve Kaufmann

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I found this book failed to live up to its apparent purpose. Although Steve Kaufmann is a linguist, the book primarily came across as a series of loose anecdotes about his travels. I didn't find them particularly interesting, nor did I feel they imparted much insight into language, language learning or associated issues.

The tone of the book felt strange; the autobiographic segments didn't come across as intimate and personal, and the factual segments not as particularly academic. Forced to pick, I'd probably say it reads to me a lot like a motivational speech written down, right down to the sentence structure and relatively bland voice.

Somehow this book feels like quite a North American genre to me. It's got that "buy my book and learn how I X" quality to it, complete with a chapter at the back encouraging you to use his language-learning website. What it doesn't do is immerse you in the author's love of languages, or even (as best I can remember) tell you much about how he did learn, let alone offer valuable tools for your own language learning. It's really more of a "if you like Steve Kaufmann, why not read this book and get more Steve Kaufmann?" sort of thing. Which is fine if you like that sort of thing. ( )
  Shimmin | Jan 10, 2016 |
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