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…
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!
- 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!
The Language Dojo Bible
What are The Language Dojo Booster Packs?
I’m glad you (I) asked (myself)! TLD Booster Packs are collections of 10 essential / useful / fun links for your L2! Add them to your bookmarks, then add your favorite L2 links in the comments! Sharing means caring! …exclamation points!!!
- T411.me -The most important site of all. It’s France’s ThePirateBay.
- DPStream.net -The best part is the forum – direct download pretty much anything.
- Wiktionnaire -The best French dictionary. Tons of example sentences. Free!
- TheSimpsonsPark -Exact transcripts of nearly every episode of Les Simpsons.
- Hardware.fr -The biggest French forum.
- Frapstesjeux -Let’s Plays of video games, 100% French commentary.
- Lets-play.fr -The other huge French Let’s Play site.
- Reddit.com/r/France -90% French. Ignore the English stuff.
- Cyprien -A pretty funny youtube channel. Short videos about lots of stuff.
- Ed-Wood.net -My go-to source for movie and music reviews. Anyone who loves Twin Peaks as much as me is cool in my book.
Enjoy, and add your links in the comments! Also, we’re very active on Twitter. Swing by if you need a more frequent TLD fix or if you don’t want to be punched in the throat, because we’ll definitely throat punch you if you don’t.
When can you say that you’re an intermediate learner?
When you realize that you’ve become the hunter.
When you mentally drop your shield and pick up a spear.
When your L2 pees its pants a little bit as you point out that you’re not stuck in here with it; it’s stuck in here with you.
When instead of picking apart a sentence for the one thing you understand, you’re furiously scanning the pages for something you don’t.
It’s the only way you can get hard now.
According to a trusted source, some people don’t like being intermediate.
But you will, oh yes.
You’ll frakkin’ love it.
When you feel the surge of pure energy as your mental models of grammar and vocabulary, built by thousands of hours of immersion, begin to snowball to the point of having their own gravitational field. New words and constructions are ripped up by the roots and assimilated into The Collective, the L2 singularity spawned deep inside your ever swelling brain.
When the habit of acquisition is so deeply ingrained in your instincts that not pushing further feels like a violation of natural law.
When you see the code around you, and realize that with your new powers, the excitement of the journey until now was just a taste.
My fist in your face!
No, actually I’m learning to shoot and edit videos, so I’m going to put up some video content. But I’m not going to be in them, because I̶ ̶d̶o̶n̶’̶t̶ ̶t̶r̶u̶s̶t̶ ̶p̶e̶o̶p̶l̶e̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶i̶n̶t̶e̶r̶n̶e̶t̶ I want to focus on the subject matter.
If you’ve been reading long enough, you’ll know that in a galaxy far, far away I immersed in Japanese for about seven months. I ended up walking away from it for several reasons, but something I didn’t know at the time is how great the dividends would be from any time spent learning an L2 (if you do it the r̶i̶g̶h̶t̶ fun way). I went to the Japanese bookseller Book Off with some friends today, and found that they had marked down their Blue Hearts CDs to $5 a pop, and had a Rip Slyme 2-disc compilation for $10. I locked down those suckers faster than the LAPD locked down questions about going Waco on Christopher Dorner.
If you spend all your time a-grammar-crammin’ and end up walking away from a language, you’ll be (correctly) left with a bad taste in your mouth: “all that suffering for nothing.” If you learn your L2 the way you learned your L1 (fun & games), then even if you decide a language isn’t for you, you’ll still get something amazing out of it. I found cool TV shows, movies, video games, and music that I never would’ve known about if I hadn’t gone at it with the childlike spirit of an explorer. My friends often ask me “How do you know about all these awesome foreign movies?” Recently a girl in my car asked me what I was listening to and I said “The Blue Hearts… um, a badass old Japanese punk band.” Next in the shuffle was BB Brunes – “a French rock group” – and then Drunken Tiger – “Korean’s most famous rapper.” She looked confused, and then it hit me- it was weird to her, and would be to most people, because they don’t do what we do. We play, we game, we rock out with our appendages out, and find things that are completely off the radar for most people. We’re god damned Marco Polos, and we find some amazing stuff. If people don’t get it, or if you don’t end up sticking with your L2 forever, then so be it. There are other girls, other mountains, and the sun is going to come up tomorrow.
So have fun.
That kid inside you who used to put on an army helmet, grab a stick, and explore the forest behind the baseball fields is still alive. School couldn’t kill him; your job couldn’t kill him; your peers couldn’t kill him; your culture can’t reach him. Your heart is the last thing to age.
*Amazing photo by good friend / motion graphics wizard Chris Culp.
“Gaming taught me English AND got me a girlfriend with HUGE eyeballs!”
Once you hit the intermediate level (i.e. “I don’t know one word in this sentence” instead of “I only know one word in this sentence”), get yourself some dubbed video games. After beating the Mass Effect games and Portal 2, I’ve been playing the bajeezus out of Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas. It seems like there are hundreds of hours of recorded dialogue for these characters. A little interaction goes a long way. And talk about a motivator- I get to run around in the Mojave wasteland and do battle with road warriors and rogue factions and whatnot. Input got you to this level, and I have faith that more input will take you to the promised land of milk, honey, and international consequence-free sex.
Don’t want to be a broken record here, folks. This is just what I’m up to lately.
Well that and training to be a fitness model.
Saw this on 9GAG today and immediately thought of all you troubled language learners.
Do YOU understand?
The problem = learning a language.
Learning a language = not a problem.
The problem = your attitude/believe.
Like one guy named Matt (and I think some obscure company called “Nike”) once said: (Just) do it.