Roman Malanke

Resolving to Write a Short Book

It’s been three years since I started this blog. Originally intended as a training ground for improving my English writing skills it has served its purpose quite well. Today I’m much more confident in my ability to express ideas in a clear and eloquent way. Now it’s time to step up to a new level and undertake a real writing challenge — create a short book.

It’s going to be a minimalistic non-fiction e-book on the subject of language learning based on my experience with English and Spanish. In it I will share my recipes on how it is possible for adults with a full-time job to become fluent in a new language from scratch in about two years with no classes and with minimal impact on established mode of life. I already have the initial skeleton and several chapters ready. The soft goal is to complete the first draft by the end of winter and during spring finalize it and self-publish.

I invite all of my friends and readers to leave comments to this post telling what they find to be the most difficult and challenging in the process of learning foreign languages and I will make sure to address those things in my book. I look forward to hear from you guys and for now I’m leaving you with the current draft of the introduction below. Hasta pronto!


As long as I can remember I’ve always been fascinated by people fluent in many languages. Born to a Romanian father and Ukrainian mother I myself had all the potential to be raised multilingual. But my family lived in Ukraine all the time and dad was busy working, so I didn’t learn Romanian and grew up acquiring only two default languages of my fellow citizens: Ukrainian and Russian.

I was taught English since fifth grade. In 2007 while studying for master’s degree I realized that despite tedious years of learning and getting constant A’s I couldn’t maintain a decent conversation with native speakers or read unadapted literature. Clearly it was time to rethink the approach.

Fast-forward two years.

By 2009 I became fluent in English and it allowed me to change jobs from an engineer in a small telecommunications company to a manager position in marketing department of a global technology firm. Satisfied with such progress I decided to undertake next challenge and learn Spanish from scratch.

Fast-forward two years.

In 2011 as I write these lines I can speak Spanish effortlessly and regularly practice this language with new colleagues in Argentina, where my company has recently acquired a business, as well as with my new friends in Spain and across Latin America. At the age of 26 I proudly count myself multilingual with four languages in the pocket, and I plan to learn one more before reaching 28. Most likely that will be Romanian, the language of my father.

How did I make such progress? The short answer is: smart self-education. The longer answer is this book, in which I share all things that helped me along the way.