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Me, but less sexy

Hey party people,

Yeah, I know, the site has been sitting idle for a stupid long time. Ramses is busy doing whatever Dutch people do (drugs, taking growth hormones, being snarky, listening to bad electronic music, etc.), and I’ve been busy with my experimental foray into learning an L3 at a university. I was going to write a scathing article about exactly why and how much it sucks, but I’ve changed my mind. It won’t convince anyone of anything, it’ll just dig the trenches even deeper on each side. Rather than saying why someone is wrong, I think I’ll just keep doing what’s right, and anyone is free to come along for the ride. Life’s much easier this way, and oddly enough I think this actually helps more people see the light.

In other news, I turned 30 a few months ago, and my priorities have really been changing lately. Suddenly I’m much less interested in seeing other parts of the world, and much more interested in putting down roots. That’s what happens when you get older I guess (I still look awesome naked though (I’m even more fit than I was when I turned 20 (the ‘secret’: never stop))).

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It’ll happen to you too

I think part of the lull on this site involves a zen-like truth about language acquisition: there’s a finite amount that needs to be said. At Spanish-Only, Ramses spent a few years chronicling his journey to Spanish mastery. Once he’d done this, I suspect he slowly started running out of things to say. That’s where I came in, the excited new padawan learner, young, dumb, and full of, you know, stuff. Now that I can easily read all my comics, watch all my movies, play all my games, and listen to French people complain about everything all the time, I find myself where Ramses was when I started. Now I’m doing it again with Korean, and already I can make girls laugh and have fun conversations with taxi drivers. It’s neat, but there’s no more mystery to this game; it’s so easy babies can do it. Literally. Babies do this every day. I’m just chopping wood and carrying water, how many posts need to be written about it? What is left to say?

Thus this AMA: Ask Matt Anything.

No advice anyone gives you will ever be as valuable as experience, but it can be a bit helpful sometimes, especially in the beginning. So go ahead, be as specific as you want, ask whatever the hell you want, I won’t bite unless you try to sell me a ‘fluent in 30 seconds’ language acquisition product, in which case I’ll destroy you after seducing and impregnating your nearest female relatives, making passive aggressive remarks about their weight until they develop eating disorders, then riding out of town on the tornado I rode in on, leaving them anorexic, financial burdened by my abandoned children, and unable to be pleasured by any man on the planet after having been with me.

Then, and only then, will I destroy you.

Anyway… stay sexy, readers!

-Matt

Borrachero

TLD Booster Packs
Collections of 10 essential / useful / fun links for your L2!

ESSENTIAL

  • Series Yonkis – Basically has all the shows you’ll ever want to watch.
  • Tele directo – More and more Spanish broadcasting stations offer live streaming. If that’s your cup of tea, this page is a great portal to start.
  • Taringa – An Argentinean site with pretty much any content you’ll ever be interested in. Also contains quite a few links to shows and music.
  • Marca – Seriously, being able to talk about sports is essential in Spain. Marca is simply the go-to place for everything that comes close to being labeled a sport.
  • El País – If you don’t know El País and study Spanish you’ve probably been learning it under a rock. Essential stuff to read, with a capital E!

USEFUL

FUN

  • xkcd en español – The best webcomic for geeks, but then in Spanish.
  • Subcultura – More comics. In Spanish, of course.
  • Univision - For all you yanks who happen to be telenovela lovers. For everyone outside the US, use Mediahint to get access.
  • Antena 3 – One of the biggest television stations in Spain with a great website that enables you to watch some of the best shows in Spain.

Add your best Spanish sources in the comments!

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There are worse things to be.

So my sister used to be a nurse. She quit because she hated living in a world of blood and piss and feces, which I find ironic because she loves Sex and the City. A neat thing about nursing is that it’s a job that, for whatever reason, draws a large pool of attractive, international young women. One of these attractive young women I met was Russian; I think her name was Xenia Onatopp. Xenia spoke English like a native, and barely had an accent. She must have read lots of English books and possessed at least an intermediate writing level given her near-native spoken fluency, right? I bet she was highly literate…right?

[click to continue…]

Your ships... burn them with maximum prejudice.

Burn them.

So yesterday after my stupid class I was going to go home and actually learn some Korean, when suddenly a cool South American dude was like “Hey Matt come to this international student event! There’ll be food and presentations from lots of countries, and I’m going to play a Michael Jackson song on my guitar!” Never one to say no to the possibility of finding Indian food in Korea, I went along with it. I ate many foods. I met people from all over the world. I watched presentations and sexy dances and videos until 8pm. It was fun… until I realized what had actually happened. [click to continue…]

냉장고

냉장고

If time is the currency with which we buy skills, then school is a mom & pop shop and Anki is Amazon. No wait, that doesn’t quite do justice to the disparity; school is a mom & pop shop, and Anki is that dude selling stolen Bose stereo systems out of his van behind the 7/11. You still have to spend money (time) getting what you want, but you get it at a tiny little fraction of the ‘normal’ cost. [click to continue…]

Here we go again

Here we go again

So I just finished my second week of Korean language school at a Korean university. I’ve got praise, I’ve got complaints, I’ve got tips, and I’ve got syphilis. Let’s talk about the first three! [click to continue…]

It’s happening

It’s been a while since my last update, and a lot has happened. I got a motorcycle license and decided what bike I’ll get. My neighbors saw a burglar on my roof. I bought my first gun. I started deadlifting. I’m becoming a decent Paleo chef. I got accepted to a Korean language program at one of Korea’s Big 10 Flagship Universities.

Waitaminute. Hold the phone… language classes?! [click to continue…]

My old board & shoes.

Still have the old board & shoes (yes, my toes are busting out the sides)

When I was in high school I decided to become a skater because it looked fun and cool. I bought ↑ this skateboard, excitedly drove home, and attempted to skate down my driveway and off the curb.

I ate shit.

It was like someone had replaced my legs with left hands. I could barely stand on the board. As I’d later learn from reading up on neuroplasticity, I actually lacked the neural networks, the brain power, to skate. So I said “I guess I wasn’t born with the talent for skateboarding,” threw my board away, and became a pro World of Warcraft player… not!

[click to continue…]

If you see this post it means I haven’t died from a marijuana overdose yet (is that even possible?). Matt is doing a great job of making TLD even more bad ass every day while I’m getting more stuck in my Hank Moody-esque writer’s life.

You see, after meeting some other language bloggers two years ago, I’ve been thinking about producing something useful for all you foreign-sounding, faux-hipster tree huggers out there. People like Benny think I have a nose for foreign accents or something. Personally, I think I simply have a big nose.

My question for you is: what the heck is your problem when it comes to accents? What’s stopping you from sounding like a native? Why can even deaf natives can tell that you’re a foreigner? Please, share your stories. Even though I’m great and look like a young Clark Kent (check my hair!), I still appreciate your input.

In short, tell me in the comments or via ramses [at] thelanguagedojo [dot] com what has worked for you to get a good native accent. Include an audio clip if you like so I can show how cool you are in my new ebook…

Accent Reduction for Dummies

No idea how much copyright there is on this cover, but I think the entire for dummies concept is brilliant. In fact, the entire process to sounding more native-like in any language isn’t that groundbreaking, it’s just that very few people know how to go about it. That’s why I’m here to help you!

So again: what has helped YOU?

TLD Booster Packs
Collections of 10 essential / useful / fun links for your L2!

ESSENTIAL

USEFUL

FUN

NOTES

  • Naver is the Korean internet. Learn it, love it.
  • The Korean term for “Let’s Play” is 실황 플레이 in case you want to look for more videos on your own.
  • AsiaTorrents is invite-only, and I don’t have any invites, sorry. I got in during an open registration period, so check in every now and then to see if you can register without an invitation (I’ll definitely add a post if I notice it’s open)
  • AM-Addiction used to be a go-to for direct downloads of movies & TV, but it got destroyed when Megaupload got taken down. Don’t follow dead leads to that site.

Add your best L2 sources in the comments!