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The Year Without English
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wanderkind wrote:

He (the main guy) has said they aim to become 'fluent', but he added he defines 'fluent' as conversational (whereas I would describe 'fluent' as mastery or near-native, but I guess that wouldn't drum up as many views). He's tight with that Irish 'fluent in 3 months' guy, who does much the same thing (I'm not exceptionally proficient in anything he's learned so I can't say for sure, but I get the impression he doesn't approach native-level, but rather achieves conversational ability).


The Irish guy seems to get trashed pretty regularly on the language-learning enthusiast websites I've visited.

wanderkind wrote:
I really think people underestimate how much we are hamstrung in our language learning by being English teachers. Being locked in L1 during the most cognitively functional hours of the day (and if you work with kids, often exhausted after) is such a massive limiting factor, it's not very surprising people lament Korean as being "incredibly difficult" to pick up. But by comparison those who are immersed and oriented toward acquisition full-time pick it up far more rapidly.


That's true. Here in my village there is a Mormon missionary placement. The missionaries tend to pick up Korean faster than the English teachers because they spend much of their day in an immersive environment.
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edwardcatflap



Joined: 22 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
That's true. Here in my village there is a Mormon missionary placement. The missionaries tend to pick up Korean faster than the English teachers because they spend much of their day in an immersive environment.


I bet they pick up all the different Korean ways of saying of 'f--ck off, I'm not interested' very quickly. Laughing
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh. Actually it seems like they get a pretty good reception a lot of the time. The old folks around here spend a lot of time just sitting around in the park people watching, and being approached and engaged seems to be a nice experience for them. I do know that they try to use the offer of free English lessons to talk people into accepting a Mormon baptism though.
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isitts



Joined: 25 Dec 2008
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Xanetos wrote:
The guy has done a (off shoot) TED Talk and completed other pretty awesome personal challenges that were very challenging.


Ok, but what's the point of making this seem so impossibly challenging? The guy says he a had a much different experience in France (having learned French) than in Germany (where he hadn't learned German). Ok. So what's with the time constraints? If learning a language has value, then put in the time.

Though...that's not as exciting as a NONSTOP ONE YEAR NO ENGLISH PACKED RIDE!!!
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isitts



Joined: 25 Dec 2008
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:37 pm    Post subject: Re: The Year Without English Reply with quote

World Traveler wrote:
Fluent in Korean (or as close to that as possible) after three months here? Living in Korea speaking nothing but Korean (no English) the whole time? @[email protected] This should be interesting!_! (@[email protected])


...or pointless.
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isitts



Joined: 25 Dec 2008
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:40 pm    Post subject: Re: The Year Without English Reply with quote

World Traveler wrote:
"We don’t speak English to each other.

We don’t speak English with people we meet (even when they insist on speaking English to us)."


This is not a bad idea. I've known people and known of people who have done this.
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isitts



Joined: 25 Dec 2008
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kpjf wrote:
Also, something doesn't fit here: are they trying to tell me for one second that they'll shun and ignore their family/friends for a whole year?


Shhh... You're destroying the illusion of this EXTREME CHALLENGE!!!
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wanderkind



Joined: 01 Jan 2012
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:45 pm    Post subject: Re: The Year Without English Reply with quote

isitts wrote:
World Traveler wrote:
Fluent in Korean (or as close to that as possible) after three months here? Living in Korea speaking nothing but Korean (no English) the whole time? @[email protected] This should be interesting!_! (@[email protected])


...or pointless.


Thou jaded moppet. They're going to travel the world for a year doing something they enjoy, and make money in the process. Strikes me as having substantial merit.
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isitts



Joined: 25 Dec 2008
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

El Bandito wrote:
Ah, the delusions of youth.

I also wonder where they are getting the money to finance this slacker lifestyle.


Panhandling.....fluently, in the local language.
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isitts



Joined: 25 Dec 2008
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:49 pm    Post subject: Re: The Year Without English Reply with quote

wanderkind wrote:
isitts wrote:
World Traveler wrote:
Fluent in Korean (or as close to that as possible) after three months here? Living in Korea speaking nothing but Korean (no English) the whole time? @[email protected] This should be interesting!_! (@[email protected])


...or pointless.


Thou jaded moppet. They're going to travel the world for a year doing something they enjoy, and make money in the process. Strikes me as having substantial merit.


Oh, well, if they're making money, too... Confused

No, I just think the three months' time constraint is pointless. Everything else is fine.
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isitts



Joined: 25 Dec 2008
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kpjf wrote:
I'd like to see how they do after 3 months in Taiwan and Korea. I guess with Mandarin for example, a problem would be the tones, for Spanish even with crappy pronunciation you'd imagine people would be more likely to understand them but in Mandarin wouldn't it be a totally different ball game?


And it's Taiwan's version of Mandarin at that.
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isitts



Joined: 25 Dec 2008
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kpjf wrote:
World Traveler wrote:
kpjf wrote:
in Mandarin wouldn't it be a totally different ball game?

Korean is hard as hell to pronounce (well enough to be understood) as well. It's debatable which language has more difficult pronunciation. Listening (distinguishing what is said) is ridiculously tough in Korean. I think most people agree speaking Korean (with its insane convoluted grammar) is harder than speaking Chinese (which has easy, straight forward grammar). Writing in Chinese is more difficult (but most day to day communication on the street is spoken, not written).




That's interesting. I wasn't aware of that, and just imagined Korean pronunciation to be easier than Mandarin, but had been aware Korean grammar was quite tough.

Can I ask for anybody learning Korean: have you had serious problems with people not understanding you due to pronunciation problems or can Koreans generally work out what you mean? I'd imagine it's the former, no?


It's subjective which is more difficult. I haven't studied either language very seriously, but found Korean to much easier right off the bat, than Mandarin. I think Korean is a much more articulate language than Mandarin, making it easier to understand and be understood (if you concentrate at it). I had a much more difficult time speaking Mandarin and being understood, and also had a hard time distinguishing the tones.
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isitts



Joined: 25 Dec 2008
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:18 pm    Post subject: Re: The Year Without English Reply with quote

World Traveler wrote:
Fluent in Korean (or as close to that as possible) after three months here? Living in Korea speaking nothing but Korean (no English) the whole time? @[email protected] This should be interesting!_! (@[email protected])


This is a little misleading, WT. If you look at their website, they (or at least Scott) put in quite a few study hours before embarking on these countries. So, it's not like they're going from zero to hero in 3 months.

In light of this, the fluency is not as big a challenge as the not using English.
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mithridates



Joined: 03 Mar 2003
Location: President's office, Korean Space Agency

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From zero to conversation ridge with some preparation plus 3 months of immersion is certainly possible.

http://www.itchyfeetcomic.com/2013/09/view-from-top.html
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wanderkind



Joined: 01 Jan 2012
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mithridates wrote:
From zero to conversation ridge with some preparation plus 3 months of immersion is certainly possible.

http://www.itchyfeetcomic.com/2013/09/view-from-top.html


hehe, that's a great comic, thanks for sharing.
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