Friday, 5 May 2017


On page 228 of Eon, Greg Bear writes:
“I need to learn twenty-first-century Russian,” he said . . . “How long will that take?” . . .
“You can be taught a command of spoken colloquial and technical Russian in two hours . . . Please relax . . .We begin first with the Cyrillic alphabet . . .”
Really? A super-duper way to learn a language in a couple of hours kicks off with the alphabet? To me, this illustrates the paucity of thinking that surrounds language instruction.

An alphabet is largely useless. I’d never make it my focus.

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