Good English vs beautiful anarchy and native accent

I hate coffee!!!

I’m I’m done debating around this dancing clown. :slight_smile:

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@elpolaco I suggest you look again. I’m not going through every nonsensical thing you’ve said…When I say there is more to an argument than that the conclusion follows (anyone can make up useless arguments that follow), what do you say in response? It wouldn’t be an argument without the conclusion following. Irrelevant and incorrect, congrats. A valid argument has a conclusion that follows. An invalid ARGUMENT does not have a conclusion that follows. More importantly your response is not a response to what I said at all. Sounds more like trolling to me.

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elpolaco: Let me try to clarify my request for clarity (>_<). It is my belief (#1) that precise, logical and effective arguments are possible in more languages than just English. I’d say this is fairly uncontroversial. Based on this belief (#1), I believe (#2) that we can have some abstract notion of “effective communication” independent of its implementation in any particular language (not to pick a bone with you on your language-and-thought-going-together point; this is just to say that we can have an idea of the common features of effective communicators from different languages). It was my point in my previous post (belief #3) that your gripe with Robyn is based on her communication skills (as an abstractable notion like in my #2 above), but that this complaint was getting bogged down in arguments about the specific definition of “good” English (mind you, I can’t see any real use in making statements like “New Zealanders’ use of vowels is non-standard” when it seems to me that one aiming to live there and contribute to the community would be well-served by its study). Furthermore, I was not trying to say that the distinction was muddled in your own head - only that it was not immediately clear to readers, such as myself, that you were arguing exclusively against her communication tactics and content without including things like her Canadian accent and its relevance to “good language use” (as distracting as it can be when she pronounces words like “about” and “most” and “slow”… I kid!I kid! I love you guys!). Of course, after your last comment (speaking of the use of “standard” Mandarin, when speaking Mandarin Chinese), it seems like you want to include it, although it’s not really the focus of your complaints with her. Really, though, I don’t know how much further clarification this point warrants; let’s combine forces and move on to the video! 8)

She first tells us that she’s on the tail end of a 2-month book tour to promote her book. Especially in her first 5 minutes (the second half of the first video) when she has complete control over the direction of the conversation, I’d say it’s fairly difficult to blame shortcomings on inexperience or a lack of preparation.

After establishing her credentials as a published author, she drops on us the bombshell that adults can learn a foreign language faster than children. She says she’s going to tell us why. She gives a brief example of “motherese” for why children are so successful (and I’d agree with you here that her argument is very oversimplified and doesn’t really do the topic justice), and tells us how our high-functioning status as adults relatively disadvantages us. OK, babies: 1, adults: 0 (or -1, if you want to interpret adult interactions as a penalty). Now she’s gonna do as she said and tell us why we can learn a language faster than children, right? The audience is ready to hear about their advantage. And it’s gonna be a slam-dunk awesome reason to make up for children’s “motherese”, right?

Well, no, actually. Instead, she starts talking about her book. By skipping this step, the most charitable reading I can give her is "my book is designed to boost your natural advantage, but I don’t have time to explain what that advantage is – read the book!” The cynical may consider her statement to effectively be “your advantage over children IS this book!” by the way she sets us up to hear our advantage and talks about her method instead.

She goes pretty light on the explanation of her method, too. It sounds mostly like a diverse collection of tips and tricks picked up in the course of her own studies, although that could be me projecting (I’m working on a language-learning blog of my own ramblings and experiences, though it’s nowhere near ready for prime time).

I don’t want to re-listen to any more of the videos tonight, but does she ever come back to explain the adult advantage of which she speaks?

Altogether, I wouldn’t say she’s “acting”, just making a sales pitch rather than an academic argument. At the time of filming, she has been traveling around Canada trying to boost sales of her book, after all. And I’m curious about the contents of her book, though not enough to buy it. I’m a skinflint, though - vacillated for months before finally plunking down the money for LingQ, even though I always believed in its potential.

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@elpolaco How pathetic…That’s one way to dodge critical questions…a very bad way. My criticisms and your non-responses can speak for themselves.

I’m going to have to agree, kcb. Troll.

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Not gonna lie, I’m a little bit miffed by the implications that your own time is more valuable than mine, and that you deign to help us improve our communications abilities (especially while insulting most people in this thread - you catch more flies with honey, my friend).

Quickly reformatted, though:

She first tells us that she’s on the tail end of a 2-month book tour to promote her book. Especially in her first 5 minutes (the second half of the first video) when she has complete control over the direction of the conversation, I’d say it’s fairly difficult to blame shortcomings on inexperience or a lack of preparation.

After establishing her credentials as a published author, she drops on us the bombshell that adults can learn a foreign language faster than children. She says she’s going to tell us why. She gives a brief example of “motherese” for why children are so successful, and tells us how our high-functioning status as adults relatively disadvantages us. OK, babies: 1, adults: 0.

Now she’s gonna do as she said and tell us why we can learn a language faster than children, right? The audience is ready to hear about their advantage. And it’s gonna be a slam-dunk awesome reason to make up for children’s “motherese”, right?

Well, no, actually. Instead, she starts talking about her book. By skipping this step, the most charitable reading I can give her is "my book is designed to boost your natural advantage, but I don’t have time to explain what that advantage is – read the book!” The cynical may consider her statement to effectively be “your advantage over children IS this book!” by the way she sets us up to hear our advantage and talks about her method instead.

She goes pretty light on the explanation of her method, too. It sounds mostly like a diverse collection of tips and tricks picked up in the course of her own studies, although that could be me projecting (I’m working on a language-learning blog of my own ramblings and experiences, though it’s nowhere near ready for prime time).

Altogether, I wouldn’t say she’s “acting”, just making a sales pitch rather than an academic argument. At the time of filming, she has been traveling around Canada trying to boost sales of her book, after all. And I’m curious about the contents of her book, though not enough to buy it. I’m a skinflint, though - vacillated for months before finally plunking down the money for LingQ, even though I always believed in its potential.

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The fact is that you’re going out of your way to insult people. I’m trolling nobody. It’s you who is trolling on this forum and you have done so since you first posted here.

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I’ve had positive feedback from people too, but I delete it. What’s the use in gloating? Also, I’ve have some rather good conversations here with people. Not all have been perfect but that’s life. Sometimes things get heated and people misinterpret things.

I’m here to learn languages and to discuss that with people, and I’ll no longer waste my time with people like you, who are here to simply criticise everyone with nonsense logic and framing arguments upon their own narrow conclusions. You are here either to intentionally cause trouble or it’s your feeling that you’re better than everyone else that is causing conflict here.

You own this thread? Don’t make me laugh…

good bye

I enjoy the wit and lucidity of okanoshita’s commentary. I recommend his prose to any non-natives speakers following this thread, and using the bookmarklet to import text into their My Lessons page.

My only concern would be over the use of “gonna” etc. in writing, but I forgive these infractions as being peculiar to his style. I still don’t recommend using “gonna” and “wanna” in writing, if you are a non-native speaker.

Thanks, Steve! I use things like “gonna” when I try to break out from standard “formal” speech to keep the tone of conversation from getting too academic and somber. I’d also recommend that non-native speakers be hesitant about using rhetorical questions (questions that you do not actually want a reader or listener to respond to, such as my questions which included “gonna”), especially if you end them with “… right?” Rhetorical questions can be used in more formal situations, but adding “… right?” on the end is a very casual thing. I use it because I just want all of us to be friends! 8)

I’ll admit that my style in this thread was influenced a bit by the posts of Khatzumoto from alljapaneseallthetime.com, who often mixes fairly academic topics with pop culture references and extremely casual phrases. I’d recommend him as an entertaining read, but he uses a lot of slang and pop culture references that might be a bit of a challenge to non-native speakers - I’m pretty sure he makes references that even native speakers like myself don’t really understand a lot.

good bye

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good bye