Saturday, July 19, 2008

Adventures in language instruction with Professor Berlitz (1965 textbook illustrations)

This 1965 edition of the Berlitz beginning Spanish textbook bears illustrations featuring the cartoon 'mascot' of Professor Berlitz, apparently intended as a caricature of Maximilian Berlitz (1852-1921),
the originator of the Berlitz language method.

No credit is given in this edition for the illustrator.
Can anyone shed light on the artist's identity?

At its essence, the 'Berlitz Method' involves instruction conducted in the target language only, using examples and reinforcement without translation to build towards fluency.

Even without direct translation, Professor Berlitz establishes himself as a very definite character throughout the course of the text.

It makes you wonder what else he could get up to, doesn't it?

From the looks of him, you have to wonder if perhaps he couldn't have had a side career making appearances as Mr. Peanut.

Hmmm - - Were the two 'spokesmen' ever seen in the same place at the same time?


Donna Lethal said...

I loved these! I had the French one, but I spent most of my time looking at the illustrations instead of trying to learn another language.

Jeffrey Meyer said...

Is the illustrator credited?

The In Crowd said...

Jeffrey - - No, no credit given in that edition for the illustrator.

Thanks for reminding me that I'd omitted that piece of info!

Jeffrey Meyer said...

Do you suppose it's Nicholas Bentley?

As seen here:

The In Crowd said...

Jeffrey, again - -

Wow! Very compelling evidence, and whether you're right or wrong, thanks for the great link!

Judging the images at that link, it looks SO very close. There are a few qualities that make me think it might be Bentley from a different period in his career, or even a Bentley imitator.

Hmm. Seems like if it WAS Nicolas Bentley, credit would have been given - - maybe.

This bears further investigation.

Thanks for sharing!

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