EuroComRom – The Seven Sieves
Author: William J. McCann
OK, not all of them, but all the big ones: French, Italian, Catalan, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian…There are also short texts in some of the “smaller” Romance languages, for instance Sardinian.
Main objection: the font is too small!
“Every new language, as long as it belongs to a similar language group, contains familiar material. EuroCom organises this material into seven fields, called the Seven Sieves. This book deals with the Romance languages (EuroComRom), but the same model could be applied to the Germanic (EuroComGerm) and the Slavonic (EuroComSlav) language families.
(The EuroComRom that we have here is based on an English-speaking learner’s school knowledge of one Romance language, which in the British school system is likely to be French [or nowadays increasingly Spanish], while of course English itself, which is lexically a ‘Romance’ language to a large extent, can also be very useful.)
Like prospectors, the learners extract the gold from the new language by passing it through seven sieving processes, gold that is already theirs because they know it from their own language.
After sieving through the language seven times in search of familiar material, it becomes clear that a newspaper article in the new language (about foreign affairs, for example) can be understood in terms of its main information, and that starting from that point one can go ahead to make a reasonable approach to the meaning of the rest of the text.”