Linky Friday: Daily Routine

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonder and Home. Andrew is the host of Heard Tell podcast.

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15 Responses

  1. fillyjonk says:

    Mo2: I suspect the “need” for breakfast depends a lot on a particular person’s physiology. I know I do badly if I have to skip breakfast – but I eat early dinners and effectively fast from about 7 pm to 6 or 7 am. I also know if I have to do hard labor of any sort, I darnsure better have something with protein in it for breakfast.

    Le3: there are other reasons than “being able to understand another person” for learning another language. Like being able to make some stabs at understanding another culture. Or thinking about the roots of your own language. I know I understood English grammar better after taking French in school, because my French teacher talked explicitly about some grammatical concepts (e.g., the subjunctive) that had been glossed over in English class. (Granted, the proper teaching of ‘grammar’ in English was pretty much dead by the time I came up through school – I can’t diagram a sentence, for example).

    I dunno. I learned French in school and am refreshing it now with Duolingo, and I’m trying to learn German after having a brief class in conversational German some years back. And now I’m trying to learn Irish Gaelic, because why the heck not? (Duolingo has a free version so it only costs me time).

    Maybe I’m weird but I find that kind of thing fun. Will I ever go to rural Ireland and need Gaelic, or to Germany and need German? Almost certainly not. But it’s still fun.Report

    • Mo2 working years of 6-6 nightshift ruined me on breakfast.

      Le3 I struggled with learning foreign languages. For example I took 3 years of Spanish in HS with excellent grades and cant speak a word of it. I picked up enough German living there to order my food and function, so it may be my learning process of immersion vs academic.

      My amazement with language is my German and Austrian friends that after years of study their English is so good they couldn’t understand my West Viriginian without significant adjustments. Living in Germany and realizing they have regional dialects just like we do changed my perspective quite a bit.Report

      • I watched a YouTube video in “Bayrisch” (the Bavarian dialect) and it broke my brain. I can understand maybe 50-75% of clear spoken German, with this video I was doing well to pick up one word in 10.

        I can’t think of a comparable dialect in American English that I would have so much trouble with (but that may be the difference between being a native speaker vs. learning a language as an adult). Maybe some of the really heavy Scots accents would give me similar trouble, I don’t know.

        I have known people that I would never have guessed learned English as a second language had they not told me – zero accent and not even any syntactical unusualness. I had a TA from Holland and I was shocked when he mentioned to the class he only learned English as a teenager. I figured he was a kid from California or somewhere.Report

        • There are parts of WV that I can take you to that will accomodate your wish for a challenging regional dialect my friendReport

        • Aaron David in reply to fillyjonk says:

          German is actually very dialectical. I have a good friend that speaks Hock Deutsch as he is Austrian (also what my wife speaks) another friend speaks Schwabisch, my father learned Lieder Deutsch concurrently with English (his mother and grandparents are part of the German diaspora) and Bayerische is famously difficult.

          Also, there is Plattdeutsch (low German) and Alemannisch (Swiss German). I think there is another Berlin accent, but my mother would know more as it was her aunt and uncle who ended up there, fleeing Berkeley in ’60. My high school German is about non-existant at this point.Report

          • LeeEsq in reply to Richard Hershberger says:

            Years ago I saw a British movie on TV that took place in Scotland. The accents were so thick that the production team decided that English subtitles were needed for a movie in English. This clip reminded me of that movie.Report

    • dragonfrog in reply to fillyjonk says:

      Le3 – I agree absolutely that learning language is mind expanding for all the reasons you describe.

      The more I learn of Elon Musk’s opinions, the less impressed I am with the man. He seems like the perfect image of a clever white man who’s decided that since he has a good deal of innate intelligence, he must be able to understand everything, and sitting down to learn with his ears and mind open and mouth shut is beneath his dignity.Report

    • Brandon Berg in reply to fillyjonk says:

      Why learn a totally useless language when you can expend the same amount of effort to learn a useful one? Is French really that much more interesting than, say, Mandarin or Spanish?Report

      • pillsy in reply to Brandon Berg says:

        Depends on your reasons for learning it. If I were to learn a foreign language [1] French would be my first choice because I visit France on business once every year or so.

        I mean it’s not Esperanto or something. Hundreds of millions of people speak it.

        [1] It’s a pipe dream. I have an anti-knack for foreign languages. My brain vapor locks when I try to study them.Report

      • fillyjonk in reply to Brandon Berg says:

        By that argument, why do anything that can’t advance you in business or your job? Why have a hobby when you could be working more hours?

        I like to learn. I have some Irish heritage so it’s interesting to me to try to learn Irish Gaelic. I’ll never use it but it’s fun.Report

      • Maribou in reply to Brandon Berg says:

        @brandon-berg In my case I want to expend the *right* amount of effort. Spanish (though I keep practicing it to keep my hand in) is too *easy*, too much like French where I’m already fluent. Mandarin is too hard for me. WAY too hard. Irish is the right amount of hard to be interesting.

        (Of course I’m also desultorily studying Swahili, Russian, and German, so what do I know? But they’re all in the same “flow zone” of neither impossible nor simple to learn…)Report

  2. LeeEsq says:

    Mo5: Climate change is going to cause lots of disruptions in the world. Many people seem to know this. Very few people want to deal with it or acknowledge it.Report

  3. Kolohe says:

    Le3 – It’s possible that the only 2nd language Musk learned at school was Afrikaans, which is useless internationally, and may be close to extinct by the end of this century.Report

  4. Brandon Berg says:

    Le3: I don’t think this says what you said it does. The finding, as I understand it, is that language learning aptitude (not actually having learned a language) is correlated with certain other aptitudes, and that first-language learning aptitude in children is correlated with different aptitudes than second-language learning aptitude in adults.

    It’s possible that learning a second language will strengthen those regions of the brain and improve other aspects of cognitive ability, but I don’t see anything in the article ruling out the possibility that these abilities are fixed.Report