The Challenge has been offered by Young's Language Consulting in response to an actual challenge presented to me in June of 1984 when I was told that to teach Spanish and Portuguese using approximately 100 words and minimal grammar, is an impossible task.
Because of my previous experience with learning Hieroglyphs and learning about the Rosetta Stone in school, I researched the Spanish and Portuguese languages for ways to learn them without all the tedious work offered by language courses at that time. My first breakthrough was in the book Native Tongues by Charles Berlitz:
André Maurois has recounted an incident between soldiers who met in the trenches during WW1. A Portuguese soldier offered to teach a French soldier a thousand words of Portuguese in less than one minute for 100 francs. The French soldier accepted. 'Look,' said the Portuguese, 'all the words you have in French that end in -tion are the same in Portuguese, except that they end in -ção...there are over a thousand of them and they are all feminine gender, just like French. That took less than a minute, didn't it? One hundred francs, please."
Because of that one paragraph, I decided to research languages - not the books or teaching methods or scientific studies, but the languages themselves. I wanted to know what will make vocabulary and grammar easier to learn and retain in the memory without all the headaches. Eventually I came upon a book titled The Mother Tongue by Lancelot Hogben* that really gave me the insight I needed to defeat the challenge and bring the Spanish and Portuguese languages within the reach of students. As time went on, I was able to expand the list to a total of 11 languages.
What this challenge is not
The name and method of learning of this challenge is in no way affiliated with the Rosetta Stone language software. It is an original course offered since March of 1985. This challenge is guaranteed to help you see these languages in a new light and how they can be learned in just a few days with highly satisfying results. Rosetta Stone software is a poorly designed imitation of this challenge.
*Now out of print