Before heading out the door last fall for a trip by car to visit the small city of Izmit some three or four hours east of Istanbul, I pulled out my map of Turkey to take a look at the route I would need to take to get there.
I didn’t study the map. I didn’t follow along to every intersection. I didn’t memorize the names of every town and road and landmark along the way.
I looked at it. A glance and a bit more than a glance. I took in the major landmarks and figured out the general direction we’d need to go.
And then I threw the map in the glove box where I could find it when I needed it later.
As a beginning language learner I think it can be good to take a glance at the grammar structure of the target language by reading a summary of the language.
Don’t study it. Don’t try to figure everything out. Don’t memorize rules and structures.
Take a glance. Get a feel for the general shape and structure and special features that the language has to offer.
And then set out.
Listen. Read. Watch. – A lot.
(A basic summary of most languages can be found at Wikipedia or in the first section of the Teach Yourself Series of book. For further reading on this subject check out Steve Kaufman’s The Role of Grammar in Language Study)
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