Learning languages as an adult

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.

Trilingual by Six by Lennis Dippel MD (Review)

Trilingual by Six is a cool little self-published book that I found at the library. Using the data that kids learn languages better and more easily than adults, Dippel writes about his quest as a monolingual older father to get his children fluent in at least three languages by age six. The book is part memoir, part advice on how to do it. Dippel is married to a native Spanish speaker, and he writes that his two children can speak Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and English.

A Fine Young Man by Michael Gurian (Review)

If you’ve got a boy who is approaching teen years, I highly recommend Michael Gurian’s A Fine Young Man. I’ve read and recommended his groundbreaking book The Wonder of Boys before. Gurian’s oeuvre on raising boys is the best I’ve read. He has a philosophy and method to teach boys how to become good men, a method which is grounded in tradition yet answers to and acknowledges the advantages of our changing culture. With A Fine Young Man, Gurian takes it further by focusing specifically on the adolescent years, breaking it down into three stages: Stage 1, the Age of Transformation (9-13); Stage 2, the Age of Determination (14-17); and Stage 3, the Age of Consolidation (18-21). Gurian explains that a boy’s body begins to develop before his mind, and that boys are dealing with chemical changes throughout their entire adolescence, changes that adults sometimes fail to understand.

The Translation of Love by Lynne Kutuskake (Review)

Readers who like historical fiction might enjoy Lynne Kutsukake’s The Translation of Love. It’s a historical novel about life in post-war Japan following WWII. The novel focuses on a twelve-year old girl named Fumi who is trying to find her sister Sumiko, who has left home to become a hostess for American GI’s. Along with her friend Aya, a repatriated Japanese girl from the U.S., she writes a letter to General MacArthur in hopes that he will help her. Along the way, we meet several other interesting characters: Kondo, the girls’ homeroom teacher who moonlights as a translator; Matt and Nancy, two military translators who are Americans of Japanese descent; and Sumiko, the missing sister who is trying to make a living and support her family as best she can.

The Off-Duty Officer and the Kid

This video has been all over my Facebook feed. The kid is screaming all sorts of “I didn’t do nothing!” stuff while his friends record it with a cell phone. Finally, one of the kids’ friends shoves the officer and knocks him over a bush. The kids then start to surround the off-duty officer who pulls out a gun and fires it. Here is what the LA Times writes about the story: 300 protest in Anaheim after videos show off-duty LAPD officer firing gun in dispute with teens. It looks like this incident was a result of “ongoing issues” with the group of teens walking across the officer’s property.

SJW’s and Anti-Asian Racism

It’s in the National Review, but it’s nice to see it out there anyway: Why Social Justice Warriors Think It’s Okay To Be Racist Towards Asians. It brings up many of the issues that we’ve discussed over the years. Asians get screwed by colleges in college admissions, Asians get targeted for violence on the streets, but no one sheds any tears for us.

Total Collapse of Leadership

Photo credit: Doug Mills/The New York Times

David Brooks once again nails it with this piece: What a Failed Trump Administration Looks Like:

The first conclusion is obvious. This administration is more like a medieval monarchy than a modern nation-state. It’s more “The Madness of King George” than “The Missiles of October.” The key currency is not power, it’s flattery.

The corollary is that Trump is ripe to be played. Give the boy a lollipop and he won’t notice if you steal his lunch. The Japanese gave Trump a new jobs announcement he could take to the Midwest, and in return they got presidential attention and coddling that other governments would have died for.

White Supremacists

Check out the video above. It’s a Viceland show where a comedian named Jamali Maddix visits a White Supremacist and shows us how they live. It’s very interesting. That first NSM guy actually invited Jamali into his home to have dinner with him. Then you’ve got the wife who wants a Jewish genocide. Then you’ve got the guy who shouts, “Speak English or get out!” followed by “Sieg Heil.” Then there are those crazy dudes by the Klan bar. I’m not a Christian, but I thought the pastor had an interesting perspective. I really liked how he talked about victimization.

Jake Shields defends Trump supporter

Anyone see the video of the aftermath? These weren’t the guys beating on the Trump supporter, assuming that’s what happened. But still. Why is the Left instigating violence? What did the Left gain when they killed the two NYPD cops? Do they really believe violence will help things? And why are UC Berkeley kids following in the footsteps of violent goons?

Two things occurred to me:

  1. A “middleweight” MMA fighter looks huge when he stands next to normal people. I think I had the same impression when I saw Anderson Silva with Dan Inosanto.