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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Sunday, February 19, 2017

More Language Learning Tips

Why do you want to learn a language?

Travel.  Well, you can get by with very little foreign language to travel, since people in hospitality industry are most likely to speak English.  Travel is great, but I've known a guy who is a great traveler to Cuba, knows the country well with many Cuban friends, whose Spanish is almost non-existent.

Reading. If you want to read, then you can read. You can read very well and not have a basic traveler's knowledge.  That's fine too.

Teaching.  If you want to teach, you have to be a step ahead of where your students are.  You also want to be good role model.

Pronunciation.  You might always speak the language with your own accent.  If I heard a tape of myself speaking Spanish I could have a hundred quibbles. That is the gold standard, in the sense that someone native will always sound native, and you and I might never. But think that Joseph Conrad might never had passed for a native speaker of English...

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