Benny the Irish Polyglot and Steve The Linguist square off! Part two!

Here is part two.


5 thoughts on “Benny the Irish Polyglot and Steve The Linguist square off! Part two!

  1. Ah, Benny a cara,your enthusiasm and inherent understanding of the commonalities of communication and language learning go right to the heart of the matter! There are those of us who love people, who want to know what they have to say, about the weather, and their families, and where to buy the best pan de y??ca, and if our appreciation leads to the facility to opine on the works of Baudelair, or Nabokov, or Neruda, so much the better! But if not, C??n chao?? bhfuil t?? innui? Maith th??!

  2. Interesting conversation. I think Benny’s approach is best used at a more advanced stage. Input methods absolutely work. I studied Japanese almost exclusively by studying words, Kanji, reading, and watching TV. I didn’t speak much at all for the first 15 months. Now I speak every chance I get. Like Steve said, there’s not much to talk about when you don’t have words.

  3. I would have to disagree with Deirda. I don’t think that a true love of people is defined entirely by wanting to know about peoples’ families and buying habits…well, maybe a love of people, but definitely not a love of individuals. If someone asked those questions in the area their native tongue is spoken, I doubt it would be defined as anything more than "light conversation"…which is fine and important to building bonds.I really believe that Benny’s method front loads human interraction…which can be fine depending on your goals. While you do learn how to talk to people in instant immersion environments, getting to know people on deeper levels requires an understanding of a language deep enough to pick up on all the non-verbal signals, slight intonnations, variations in word choice and syntax that are a reflection of a person as a distinct and complex individual…and whether it be spent immersed or in study (I think both are necessary), that takes time. I believe we take all these little details for granted in our native tongues because we’ve spent our entire lives internalizing them.

  4. You make some very good points Megan, and I don’t think we necessarily disagree, or that we disagree with Benny’s immersion style of language learning, as you yourself say in your comments about picking up on non-verbal signals, slight intonations, variations in word choice and syntax, all of which are learned best as a feature of human interaction! Perhaps it’s my use of the word ‘love’ that irks, would interest or appreciation have been a better choice? I agree that language mastery is a much longer and more involved process than a month’s study would give you, and my comments were not meant to trivialize but celebrate that in most of my interactions with the people I do truly love, the shopping, our families, and what we do and think about on a day to day basis are the stuff of our lives!

  5. Deirdra, we can definitely agree that human interraction is a necessary component in the study of language for the sake of communication. Glad to run into someone else that thinks seriously about language learning!

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