What was a typical Sunday morning in the mid 1950’s like? By 7:50 a.m. all 7 of us were packed into the station wagon and on our way to 8 o’clock mass—destination: St. Edmond’s Church in Pinardville. That must have been where my interest in languages began. In those days the prayers were recited and sung in somber Latin but the sermon was delivered in lively and occasionally, angry-sounding French. Dieu, ciel and of course, dominus vobiscum were a few of the words that intrigued me then. Nowadays, the foreign words that are part of my daily vocabulary are just not as lyrical—think of anime, paparazzi and taco for instance.
After some years of studying French I’ve come to realize that you need the proper tools. If you want to learn or continue studying a language, the library is a good place to start, no matter what language might appeal to you. Interested in Arabic? How about Arabic Verbs and Essentials of Grammar. For some, Zulu: a Complete Course for Beginners might be of interest.
Although books are essential, CDs like Japanese. I A The Complete Course and DVDs like Hola Amigos a Gentle Introduction to the Spanish Languagehelp reinforce what you read in basic grammar and vocabulary books. And if you can’t be without your dictionary next time you find yourself in Paris just pack, your mobile device or tablet and download an eBook like VocabuLearn French Word Booster.
And remember, mon ami, all you need is a desire to learn and a good bit of perseverance—and don’t forget your library card. Bonne chance.