What is How to Not Speak English?
HTNSE shows in plain, non-technical language the tools and tricks that seasoned field linguists use to pick up any new language quickly and accurately.
As a professional field linguist, I can pick up a language functionally―getting by with no English at all―in about a week. In this book I share the tricks and the tools of my trade/training so that you can do the same in not much more time.
The solutions offered are not magic. They are just a set of tried-and-true tools and techniques that are simple to use. The book also reframes many of the key problems we face as learners, turning famously "difficult" parts of language-learning into everyday manageable tasks:
- Pronunciation is no longer just stab-in-the-dark guesswork: you will actually know directly and clearly how to make and hear whatever sounds you have struggled with up till now.
- Grammar is no longer a baffling menace: you will gain a simple, big-picture understanding of how language patterns work together straightforwardly as tools (for saying what you mean), not rules (for saying things correctly).
Whether you love it or (especially if) you fear it, after this book you will never look at grammar the same way again.
- Learning and maintaining core vocabulary goes from a painful slog to a self-reinforcing joy of active progress: you will see exactly how to prioritize studying new words/expressions for maximum communicative value from day one, and how to develop that base from there into real depth.
Above all, this book helps you not just know more about language as a learner, but also handle how you feel, as you face that awkward challenge: to simply hold your own in a face-to-face conversation. Tips on mental and emotional preparation to help manage "linguistic stage fright" help you replace overwhelmed shyness with solidly-informed confidence, ready to handle whatever comes at you―as you just get out there and start talking.
© 2016 Conor M. Quinn