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im gonna try a bootcamp thing

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Posted (edited)

My friend convinced me to stop using English for a while, so I'ma do that. Gonna stop using the English internet completely, no more English music, no more English youtube etc. I'm going to do nothing but study Japanese all day, every day. Gonna start going to a Japanese language club every Saturday. I'll only use Eng if I absolutely have to.

He's coming back from overseas soon, and we're going to cross-study Japanese-Chinese with each other and just avoid English.

Like honestly, I study way more than I'd say 90% of other people who say, "I'm learning Japanese." But I still don't think I'm doing enough. It's funny, I looked up the training that linguists go through in the military... That shit isn't near enough. HAHAHAHA. It's a complete joke. They seriously only recommend about 600 hours for English speakers to learn languages like Dutch, French, Swedish, Spanish etc. and that's going from 0 to "General Professional Proficiency in Speaking and Reading", and you don't even spend that whole time in a foreign country. They only recommend 2000 hours to learn a "difficult" language (chinese, japanese, arabic etc.) Again, not even close. I'd say around ~5000 hours is necessary for a non-Western language. Maybe only 500 hours of that will be spent studying grammar. The rest of that time will be spent interacting with dozens of other non-native speakers in multiple real world situations, essay writing, reading a variety of fiction and non-fiction (technical publications, topics in the various sciences, current events), and listening to and translating audio.

I read about the experiences of some people who went through the linguistics program... Man. After they finally graduate, a lot of them talk about how they don't actually do any translation work. They end up doing random, brainless jobs while the military pays some other guy from overseas a 100k salary to do it for you. No surprise, because it's impossible to do any serious translation if you spent less than 2 years learning a language with minimal real-world immersion in a foreign country. To be fair they take a "select" few on a 6 week field trip to the foreign country for immersion. Again, not even close, and that's only for the best students.

I'm already 22, and I still can't do anything useful that anyone would care about (and pay me to do it)... how many years has it been since I first started learning Japanese? And this is just my first language. How can I expect to ever learn Korean, Mandarin, Russian, Tagalog... It will never happen. I'm going to die one day, and I just fucking wasted all my time, never actually accomplishing anything. "Yeah, I had a dream to be multilingual... too bad I half-assed it and it never happened and now I'm about to die." lol... Plus I need a job very, very soon and it has to be applying foreign language in some way. I can't be working full time while studying a difficult language. I have to be using it constantly. And I can't leech off my family that is being too nice to me forever. This is idiotic...

kbai

Edited by Michio
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Posted

It's idiotic, do it anway. :)

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Posted

http://lang-8.com/464036

You can find me here btw. My Japanese blog is here. You have to sign up to read all the entries for some reason... even though I changed the settings for that.

I'll be on lang-8 + the foreign internets.

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Like honestly, I study way more than I'd say 90% of other people who say, "I'm learning Japanese." But I still don't think I'm doing enough. It's funny, I looked up the training that linguists go through in the military... That shit isn't near enough. HAHAHAHA. It's a complete joke. They seriously only recommend about 600 hours for English speakers to learn languages like Dutch, French, Swedish, Spanish etc. and that's going from 0 to "General Professional Proficiency in Speaking and Reading", and you don't even spend that whole time in a foreign country. They only recommend 2000 hours to learn a "difficult" language (chinese, japanese, arabic etc.) Again, not even close. I'd say around ~5000 hours is necessary for a non-Western language. Maybe only 500 hours of that will be spent studying grammar. The rest of that time will be spent interacting with dozens of other non-native speakers in multiple real world situations, essay writing, reading a variety of fiction and non-fiction (technical publications, topics in the various sciences, current events), and listening to and translating audio.

From personal experience, I can say the language programs are fairly rigorous. Those hour figures are a bit misleading. You can read 2000 hours and think it's a few hours here and there, spread out over several years, but it's more concentrated, like a full-time job. You're in a classroom for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week learning one subject (well, they actually cover culture as well). But that is just the instruction time. If you're having difficulty, you'll need to put in more time outside of class on your own. Further misleading is that those are not average figures applied to the population as a whole. Unless you score in the top percentiles of the language aptitude test, you won't even be admitted to a language like Arabic or Chinese. So that 2000 hours is the amount of instruction time estimated for someone who already has a high aptitude for learning languages.

I read about the experiences of some people who went through the linguistics program... Man. After they finally graduate, a lot of them talk about how they don't actually do any translation work. They end up doing random, brainless jobs while the military pays some other guy from overseas a 100k salary to do it for you. No surprise, because it's impossible to do any serious translation if you spent less than 2 years learning a language with minimal real-world immersion in a foreign country. To be fair they take a "select" few on a 6 week field trip to the foreign country for immersion. Again, not even close, and that's only for the best students.

Some people yes, some no. This is a YMMV area. Truthfully, they are sending way more people through the language school than they have jobs for. I myself spent my days doing translation and transcription after the course, but a lot of my peers did not. It wasn't due to their lack of proficiency (although some people that were doing it should not have been) but a lack of demand. And it's a somewhat targeted proficiency, that "general professional proficiency". No, you're not likely going to be able to translate Pushkin in anything but the most literal sense.

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