Inspired by this post by Radio Lingua, I wanted to pause and thank Steve Jobs for all that he did for language learning.
It’s thanks to him that we finally have a machine with a keyboard which easily toggles between languages, easily allows us to use accents and cedillas and squiggles above Ns.
It’s thanks to him that we have podcasts.
It’s thanks to him that we can learn almost any language, anywhere, with a piece of equipment no bigger than a watch and a few minutes spare every day, often for free.
It’s thanks to him that we have apps.
It’s thanks to him that we can carry tiny dictionaries around on our phones – tiny in size, huge in content.
It’s thanks to him that we can take out the same phone on a train journey and test ourselves on verbs or vocab, even if we’ve forgotten our notebooks.
It’s thanks to him that we don’t even need a notebook, since we have one right there on the same phone.
It’s thanks to him that, on the same phone, we can listen to radio stations from all around the world.
He revolutionised language learning. I don’t think he even meant to.
Thank you, Steve.
— for more hints and tips on language learning, buy Conquering Babel: A Practical Guide to Learning a Language here in the US and here in the UK.