When you look at instructional videos, language instructors probably create more crap than instructors of all other fields combined. There is some good stuff out there, but most of it is cray cray. You’ve got this guy talking about how he started speaking Chinese after a conversation on a train, and you’ve got this guy creating a site called “Fluent in 3 months” (it’s not possible for most human beings to become fluent in any language in three or six months). There are all kinds of empty promises and snake oil from all over the web. Everyone wants the easiest path possible, which is why this stuff sells so well. In addition to the empty promises and snake oil, there’s also lots of “why would anyone do that?” videos, like the guys who learned four languages to a conversational level in one year (“Why would anyone do that?”). Anyway, today I wanted to blog about Steve Kaufmann in the video above, who is the real deal and shares some excellent advice on how to learn languages. He has a common sense method of learning through “input-based” learning.
I’ve been checking out the YouTubeiverse, mostly checking out Jvloggers in Japan. It’s pretty cool how many voices are out there. When I hear them talk about Japan, I recognize truth in lots of their remarks about cultural differences. It’s interesting stuff. It’s particularly interesting to hear from jvloggers who have spent years in Japan and have decided to live there permanently. I always wondered what life would be like if I stayed. There was no YouTube when I lived in Japan, so I didn’t get the benefit of hearing all this.
Happy Father’s Day! I think this blog is deader (is that a word? It should be) than it’s ever been, but I’m assuming it’s because all of us have lives. Plus, I think most of us are moderates, and most of us probably are tired of seeing voices of moderation drowned out by the Trumpkins and Bernie Bros. We’re all sad that the only choice that makes sense is the least of the three evils who might put a private server in the White House bathroom. I’m guessing that most of you are probably like me, waiting for all the ridiculousness of the fringies to wear itself out. Hopefully the voices of reason will eventually come back.