It could be interpreted that way, it depends on the context, or the intonation in speech.
I was taught (at school in Britain) that there is a distinction between the -ed ending and the -t ending of such irregular verbs. Examples: he burned the potatoes, now the potatoes are burnt. She always spelled the word incorrectly until she saw how it should be spelt. Nonetheless, for some odd reason, with learn it is the opposite. E.g., The teacher learnt all his life, he was learned Go figure... Maybe that's why Americans made it simpler
It sounds fine to my American ears. Not that different from “he walked home himself” or “he learned how to juggle himself”. You could interpret it to mean he was juggling himself around, but I would only do so to be playful with the language. And anyway, you could interpret “he learned how to juggle (or read) by himself” as he acquired the skill, but could only use it in a room alone.
"That's barring 'learnt'", lol, barring correct and standard English, okay kid. Sorry that you were taught bastardised American English, but "learnt" is absolutely the past participle of "learn" and you are completely wrong to even think of bringing that up in your ignorant post.
in this clown course, it still doesn't allow "learnt" 2 years later. An absolute joke, obviously the contributors gave up long ago trying to accept proper answers. By the time you get half way through it completely point blank rejects standard english. Joke ting.
It's not. It's a mainly British variant that the course creators haven't added as a correct answer, despite many complaints.
Does сам refer to the learning or to the reading or is it ambiguous in Russian, too?
I am sorry for a late answer but some people may still not know it. It's also ambiguous in Russian. It can mean he taught himself to read. It can mean also that he (finally) learned to read without any help (earlier he could read but only with someone's help).
I assume the meaning is better represented with he taught himself to read too. But either way learnt is british english and should be accepted instead of learned.