ARTICLE III: DORA THE EXPLORAPOCALYPSE
If you look up manliness in any reputable dictionary, you’ll find two definitions: 1) Dora the Explorer, and 2) Matt (see also: ‘pushups’). Dora the Explorer is the greatest language learning tool ever created. It was both figuratively and literally forged by God and gift wrapped by Jesus (and Buddha tried to eat it), and I can’t recommend highly enough that you embark on the same quest I have just assigned myself:
“THE 100-EPISODE + 100-PUSHUP DORA THE EXPLORAPOCALYPSE”
That’s right, I’m going to watch 100 episodes of Dora in French, and can’t watch anything else until it’s done. I don’t know why I put pushups in there but I trust my instincts, so it stays. I’ve spent the last few days downloading said episodes, and now I’m ready to rock and completely psyched. Maybe too psyched. Earlier I squatted a little too much weight and puked all over my dog! Now that’s excitement! Let me tell you why Dora is the best:
1) Ridiculously Comprehensible Input
Input-focused learners (see also: ‘correct’) are split into two groups: the ‘comprehensible input’ crowd, and the ‘any input’ crowd. I’m in the latter group, but I recognize the immense benefits of comprehensible input, and after watching some Stephen Krashen videos ‘Ramses’ posted on ‘his’ Twitter page, I decided to suck it up and switch over to extremely comprehensible input for a while. I’ll admit this: you can certainly pick up language at an accelerated rate, even though you have to watch sappy kids shows. But, I found a way to offset this sappiness: I overhead-press a cinder block while I watch. Again, this made me puke on my dog a couple of times, but I think the benefit exceeds the cost.
Dora is the ultimate in comprehensible input. Every episode has the same plot (find something/get somewhere, cross 3-4 types of geography, solve number/color/simple vocabulary puzzles on the way) and more or less the same cast of characters. The brilliance of this show is that the visuals and actions are so perfectly matched with the audio that the language is understood without any effort. I defy you to not understand a vast majority of an episode’s dialogue in your chosen language after watching a metric ton (2204.6 lb.) of episodes. Really, I defy you. For the doubters, I conducted a scientific experiment to prove that Dora works: I listened to it in the background while making love to hundreds of women internationally, and still understood what was going on despite the fact that my only visual was a sprawling shag-carpeted room full of rug-burned supermodels. Science in action, baby.
2) DtERS: Dora the Explorer Repetition System
That’s right, the show itself is a repetition system. The same phrases, vocabulary, characters, actions, items, etc. are repeated throughout a boatload of episodes so you will encounter them again and again. For instance, say Dora has to pass through a garden, over a bridge, and over a mountain in one episode- she’ll have to traverse these same obstacles in future episodes, but mixed in with other new obstacles. The genius of it makes me want to cry, but I’m trying to stay hydrated for the upcoming pushup season.
3) Basic Phrases
Dora has a limited number of phrases that are 1) obvious given the circumstances in which she says them, and 2) extremely common and useful for more advanced media. “Where is it?” “How many?” “Is this him?” “Where are we going?” “I need your help!” etc. I swear you’ll use this stuff later (it certainly helped me with Lost), and thanks to the repetition of the show it will be pretty much tattooed onto your bulging brain by then. I also tattooed them on my biceps just in case.
4) Basic Vocabulary
Same as above, but with common single-word vocabulary. You’ll learn mountain, forest, river, garden, beach, volcano, where, which, him, her, star, backpack, map, and others faster than you can admit you want to tie me to a chair, break my ankles, and make me write you a sexy novel.
Try to get in at least one gram of protein for every pound of body weight daily.
Q) Are you going to stop posting for a while so you can do more language learning?
Q) Will you still answer questions in the comments?
A) Yeah, I guess.
Q) Do the parts where Dora speaks English bother you?
Q) I think you’re overestimating your male prowess in your articles.
A) I’m going to rip your spinal column out of your neck before you finish your next sentence.
Q) You don’t even know where I li