April 5, 2012 | Review Period
The Complete Grammar of Everything!
McGraw-Hill's marketing kind of works on me.
Yesterday I ordered four books: Complete Italian Grammar, Complete French Grammar, Complete German Grammar, and Complete Spanish Grammar. These are all from McGraw-Hill’s Practice Makes Perfect series.
Today they arrived. I love the Internet.
Here’s Hoping for Perfection. Or at Least Practice, Anyway.
I have a gazillion Practice Makes Perfect books at this point. My language bookshelves are stuffed with them. As a group, they are not the most carefully edited books in the world, but most of them do indeed give a lot of practice.
Some of them specialize in different things, like verbs, or pronouns and prepositions, or vocabulary. They have tons of exercises. I love exercises.
Some of the exercises are lame, but on average Practice Makes Perfect books offer more translation exercises than some other series. I find translation into the target foreign language to be about the best way to learn of any method.
That whole language-learning caveat “Don’t translate from English!” doesn’t really hold meaning for me.
The thing is, once I know how to say something in a foreign language, I don’t keep translating from English to that language every time I say it. That would really slow down a conversation, wouldn’t it?
But you have to start somewhere, and study and learn the basic structures and rhythms of a language, and translation is so much more effective and efficient for me than fill-in-the-blank stuff. Though fill-in-the-blank stuff can be great for, say, verb or preposition drills.
But translation—into the foreign language, not from the foreign language into English, which I don’t enjoy—is always my favorite.
I am looking forward to rushing (I hope) through these books, some of which I used the first go-around on these four languages.