I actually head started this around October/November last year. I've bought translations of the book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" in ten European languages which are not in the three big groups Germanic, Slavic or Romance. I'm already able to read to some degree in several European languages, all in those groups, so I figured I should have a try at the rest. I settled on those languages which had a translation of The Book, and it turned out to be the magic number ten.
I've managed to read through The Book a few times by now, and I read it in my native language as a child. I've seen the film too, so I know roughly how the story goes. I feel I'm already beginning to dislike the story. There are several major holes in the plot, and I haven't found anything that could possible give me deeper insight into human nature. I may not be in the target group for this book. I thought I could manage to read only this book for a whole year, but I'm already reading some other book as well (an Italian translation of a Norwegian crime fiction book).
The idea is to learn these languages the "natural" way, like kids do, except that it's all about reading. I also know too much about linguistics and other European languages for this to be completely "natural", but it's worth a try.
This is like the R part of the "L-R" technique, but as I begin to know The Book by heart, it may approach parallell reading techniques.
For all languages
I know the most important pronunciation rules. For the non-IE languages, I have read some brief outlines of the grammars just to know what to look for. I have a fairly good idea about what to expect in the Indo-European languages.
Means and method
- The Book
- No comparing to other translations while reading, and never comparing to translations in languages I know.
- Basic descriptions of pronunciation and very rudimental grammar, on the level of a short overview page on Wikipedia.
- Nothing else, no grammar books, no dictionaries. No radio, TV, newspapers, people, web sites, text books, music or similar. I'm not interested in any extra help whatsoever.
- To be able to know roughly the meaning of most of the words in The Book.
- To be able to do a basic analysis of most sentences and word forms.
- Get a better idea about how the Indo-European languages in Europe are related.
- Get a better idea about how the non-IE languages are influenced by IE languages and European culture.
Is this possible? I have no idea. I estimate that 5 readings will give an OK level of understanding in a language. With 10 languages, that's one reading per week. We'll see about that.
These are the languages. I don't like using flags for languages, but it looks nice:
The only language here I know to some degree. I know the most important grammatical rules, a few words, and I've been exposed to the language on TV etc.
I'm able to decrypt fragments from what I know from Finnish.
Read The Book three times already. Turns out to be fairly easy if you know some Slavic language, which wasn't a big surprise.
I've read an Asterix magazine several times, so I can recognise some words, but not many.
Read The Book twice. Awkward spelling!
Almost none. This will be a tough one.
Almost none, but I tried to read a children's book once. Can it be that difficult? Maybe, that remains to be seen.
Read The Book once.
Read The Book twice.
I know the alphabet well from math studies, and have been able to guess many words from borrowings into other languages.
I once studied a grammatical description fairly throroughly, but I've forgotten most of it, and understand next to nothing now.