I don’t count myself as a hyperpolyglot(!), but I can definitely agree that the key to successful language learning is simply finding a way to enjoy the process. Judging from the book review in The Economist, this seems to be part of the message of Michael Erard’s new book, Babel No More: The Search for the World’s Most Extraordinary Language Learners.
from the review: “Hyperpolyglots may begin with talent, but they aren’t geniuses. They simply enjoy tasks that are drudgery to normal people. The talent and enjoyment drive a virtuous cycle that pushes them to feats others simply shake their heads at, admiration mixed with no small amount of incomprehension.”
If you’re an active language learner, are you on an upward spiral, or are you stuck in the language-learning doldrums? What kinds of things do you enjoy doing that other people might think of as ‘drudgery’?
[*After reading the review, I submitted a suggestion to my local library and they’ve already agreed to order the book. I honestly can’t say it often enough: I love the Edmonton Public Library! (update Jan 16/2012: the book is now in the epl database]