Joseph Korzeniowski Conrad - Succes Story

02/01/2010 22:24:38

20 yaşlarında İngilizce öğrenmeye başlayan bir İngiliz yazar düşünün...

Do you believe this? Joseph Korzeniowski Conrad, major British novelist, didn't speak a word of English until he was 21.

Success Story

How do you compare with Joseph Korzeniowski?

Joseph Korzeniowski was born in the Ukraine. His parents were Polish. He left school at 17, went to France and lived there for four years. Then, at the age of 21, he went to England. Unable to speak a word of English, he lived at Lowestoft on the east coast and worked as an ordinary seaman. By the time he was 23 he had passed - in English - his first examination to become an officer on a merchant ship.

At the age of 32 he began writing in English. As Joseph Conrad, he became over the next 20 years a fine writer of the language and perhaps the greatest English novelist since Charles Dickens. Later in his life he wrote to a friend about his first years in England:

 "My first English reading [in 1878] was the Standard newspaper and my first acquaintance by the ear with it was in the speech of fishermen, shipwrights and sailors of the East Coast. But in 1880 I had mastered the language sufficiently to pass the first examination for officers in the merchant service, including a viva voce [oral examination] of more than two hours. But 'mastered' is not the right word; I should have said 'acquired'. I've never opened an English grammar in my life." 

Conrad is a superb writer of the English language, and the student of English can learn a number of things from his life. Firstly, never believe any teacher who tells you gloomily that, "you will never learn to use the language like a native." That is total rubbish. I have had a number of students who have spoken English better than 99% of " "native speakers." 

Secondly, if Conrad could become one of the ten best novelists in English, you should have no problems in learning enough English to work successfully in the global economy.

Thirdly, if Conrad did not bother with phonetics or with formal grammar, why should you?

Fourthly, Conrad taught himself. He did not learn English at school.

Fifthly, he went to the country, and worked there, and used English only: he emphasises how he listened to the people, whoever they were, fishermen and sailors. He did not surround himself with people speaking his own first language.

Henüz oylanmamış. İlk oylayan siz olun!


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