A few days ago, someone asked me a question about a common situation that's rarely discussed: How can an adult learn to communicate in a language they don't know, without access to courses and books and instructors? And what if the problem isn't just lack of foresight and preparation, because no courses or books or instructors exist for the language or dialect in question?
This question's background is an international development project, where many of the people to be reached are illiterate speakers of undocumented and unwritten languages, and are also often not fluent in the local lingua franca.
Some people may be skeptical of various aspects of the premise. But let's grant it and try to address the question.
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