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Studying A Foreign Language

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iKoMetaga Male
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  #91 Old 24-04-2011 Default Re: Studying A Foreign Language

If any of you harbor a long-term interest in learning a new language, one of the most effective methods is through taking these steps:

1) Learn the grammar, syntax, semantics etc through formal classes. Duration depends on intensity of classes, relative difficulty of language and...natural talent ;-p
Anyway this usually takes 1-2 years
2) Stay in the native country of that language. This is called full immersion. Do not permit yourself to speak in any other language other than theirs. If possible, think in that language too. The longer you stay in the country, the more fluent you will be. But minimum 6 months.

This is based on an experimental training camp conducted by the US government to make its soldiers fluent in Arabic post-9/11. The fluency rates were very high indeed.

Problems with this method:
1) Staying in a different country for 6 months is an expensive price to pay just to learn a new language. One could do this concurrently if studying/working overseas, but then it defeats the greater purpose, i.e. to only speak their native language and none other
2) In countries where English (or any other language you are proficient in) literacy rates are poor, people you interact with may attempt to improve their own levels of, in this case, English, through learning from you. Again, counter-productive.
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kaze
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  #92 Old 24-04-2011 Default Re: Studying A Foreign Language

Agree with what you stated, except this one:

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Originally Posted by iKoMetaga View Post
Staying in a different country for 6 months is an expensive price to pay just to learn a new language. One could do this concurrently if studying/working overseas, but then it defeats the greater purpose, i.e. to only speak their native language and none other
If one is studying/working overseas, he/she should be able to be fluent in the native language since he/she would have had to interact with other people in their daily routines.

The problem with our scholars sent overseas is that they usually do not interact with the native speakers. Instead, they tend to live as a group of Malaysian student;, and always conversing in other languages (i.e. Malay, Mandarin) with each other, which in turn, defeats the purpose of why they are sent to study overseas.
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iKoMetaga Male
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  #93 Old 24-04-2011 Default Re: Studying A Foreign Language

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Originally Posted by kaze View Post
Agree with what you stated, except this one:



If one is studying/working overseas, he/she should be able to be fluent in the native language since he/she would have had to interact with other people in their daily routines.

The problem with our scholars sent overseas is that they usually do not interact with the native speakers. Instead, they tend to live as a group of Malaysian student;, and always conversing in other languages (i.e. Malay, Mandarin) with each other, which in turn, defeats the purpose of why they are sent to study overseas.
Oops yes you are right, that doesn't make any sense. Well, maybe there are exceptions in countries where a non-native language becomes the lingua franca. But I can't seem to think of any examples off the top of my head, so they must be rare indeed lol

Yeah I agree that scholars sent overseas need to step out of their comfort zone and make themselves more approachable to the local community. As long as nothing is compromised (values, religion, friendship) then why not?

Last edited by iKoMetaga; 24-04-2011 at 02:38 AM.
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iAdoreNaz Male
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  #94 Old 24-04-2011 Default Re: Studying A Foreign Language

Guys, watch this video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3_6lyYDMiE&feature=player_embedded

In my opinion, everyone wants to learn a new language.
As for me, I know how to speak Malay & English, with a lil bit of chinese and I want to learn Korean. I think this also apply to everyone ;). Right? ^^
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  #95 Old 24-04-2011 Default Re: Studying A Foreign Language

Quote:
Originally Posted by iKoMetaga View Post
Yeah I agree that scholars sent overseas need to step out of their comfort zone and make themselves more approachable to the local community. As long as nothing is compromised (values, religion, friendship) then why not?
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaze View Post
The problem with our scholars sent overseas is that they usually do not interact with the native speakers. Instead, they tend to live as a group of Malaysian student;, and always conversing in other languages (i.e. Malay, Mandarin) with each other, which in turn, defeats the purpose of why they are sent to study overseas.
Logically speaking, sending scholars to the overseas is for them to learn a new culture (experience different working styles, different way of thinking, etc) and not for the sole purpose of learning a new language.

From the way I see it, some of our scholars are not open-minded enough. They like to compare Malaysia with the foreign country they are in. These scholars will normally complain a lot, saying "in Malaysia it is like this (better), whereas here it is like that (worse)". This is also the reason why they stay in their group of Malaysians. They are trapped in their own little box, unable to step out into the brave new world.

Some of them just need a few years to adapt to the new culture, others...are...sadly...incurable...

Anyway, staying in a little group of Malaysians does have its own benefit: keeping your own language (Malay, English, etc) fluency intact. But you should not stay in the same group all the time. Interacting with the local community does help a lot in improving your grasp in a foreign language.

In response to the bolded sentence, kaze, you will be surprised that the amount of scholars who do not interact with the native speakers is actually very little compared to those who do interact. Well, that is at least from what I can see.
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  #96 Old 24-04-2011 Default Re: Studying A Foreign Language

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Logically speaking, sending scholars to the overseas is for them to learn a new culture (experience different working styles, different way of thinking, etc) and not for the sole purpose of learning a new language.

In response to the bolded sentence, kaze, you will be surprised that the amount of scholars who do not interact with the native speakers is actually very little compared to those who do interact. Well, that is at least from what I can see.
I am not saying that learning a new language is the sole purpose of sending scholars overseas, but I do believe part of the reasons why they send scholars to some English-speaking countries is so that these students will be much more fluent when communicating in English. I do agree that the whole different cultural experience, working style, quality of academics, etc are also the reasons why they send scholars to overseas.

My statement before about the group of scholars which does not interact with the local community is only a generalization, it does not apply to all scholars studying overseas. I didn't mean to say that this group is larger than the other, but I recognize this as a problem.
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bush
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  #97 Old 26-01-2013 Default Re: Studying a foreign language

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Before accusing someone of confusing people, you might as well give us some arguments to your stated points. I, on the other hand, gave some examples.

Definitions:
language
dialect


May I ask how you write Cantonese or Hokkien or Hakka? Using Chinese characters which are recognised in the world as the official way of writing Mandarin. In other words, what I called dialects use the characters from Mandarin. They don't have their own form of writing. Alsatian only exists in spoken form to the contrary of Catalan.

It's true that you might get punched in the face in Barcelona for saying that Catalan is a dialect, but that is only because they're proud of their language and that they're not open-minded enough to accept it as a dialect. It's the same for calling a Basque a Spaniard. I've met some before. Before I knew where they come from, I heard them speaking Spanish so I asked if they were from Spain. They replied "NO!" and said that they were from Basque. Wonderful...

By the way, I'm NOT from Malaysia but I'm from Sarawak.

Anyway, could I please have some examples of Spaniards who don't speak Spanish?

That's how I see it from my understanding of the differences between the definition of the words "language" and "dialect".

Another way to see it is that every existing languages and dialects are actually dialects and they were all derived from the only language ever existed :

Spoiler: (click to show/hide)
Go to the linguistic department of your university and check it out. If that is too much, go look it up on wikipedia. Saves me the trouble of sharing what actually is a universal truth. I'm not getting paid to write up an analysis of this.

Spanish as we know it is Castillian. If the spanish empire was centred around Barcelona, we would be arguing if Castillian was a dialect or otherwise.

There's a lot of misleading information here. To get to the point quickly, Mandarin like any other Chinese languages are local to the area spoken, you take it as a language while others are not because Mandarin is the official language of the PRC, ROC and the Qing Dynasty. The courts of the Tang and Song dynasties do not speak Mandarin.

Which essentially means, there's no basis in dismissing other Chinese languages as dialects. In a parallel universe, Cantonese could well be a language while Mandarin is a dialect, if political power centred around guangdong. Get it?
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