Showing posts with label language. Show all posts
Showing posts with label language. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Put That In Your Funk & Wagnells!

If you aspire to become a serious scholar of the manosphere, like me, you've got to learn the lingo.

Yes, like any subculture, the manosphere has its own specialized jargon.  You may not find these terms in your standard dictionary, so here are a couple of links to consult when you run across a cryptic reference to, say, "hypergamy" "gynocentrism" or "pussification."

David Futrelle has put together a glossary at his website.  The webmistress of Bodycrimes has also compiled a helpful "Dictionary of Misogyny."

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Roosh Asks a Question I Can Address With Some Authority

How many people do you know who became fluent in a language they started learning in their 30's?

I have been a language teacher for over thirty years, and I have to say that based on my experience, the answer to that question is, unfortunately, none.  Even young adults (early twenties) are at a marked disadvantage compared to adolescents in acquiring second language fluency.  Of course, there is individual variance.  Some people are innately gifted at languages.  I knew an Afghan guy whose oral proficiency in English was astounding considering he did not learn the language until he came to the U.S. in his mid-twenties.  Of course, he was raised bilingually (Dari and Pashto), which may be why a third language came relatively easily.  And we can look with awe at linguistic virtuosi like Conrad (who learned English in his early twenties by reading newspapers) and Nabokov (who in fact grew up with a melange of French and English governesses).  But these are the exceptions that prove the rule.

Roosh has been trying to learn Russian for a couple of years.  He has indicated he plans to stay in the FSU forever, so naturally he wants to become fluent in the lingua franca.  I for one fully support his ambition to never return to the U.S.  Unfortunately, he is probably about twenty years too late.  He needed to have moved to Ukraine when he was fourteen or fifteen years old to have had a real shot at achieving true, "native-like" fluency.

I'm surprised that Roosh, the child of Iranian parents who immigrated to the U.S. in their twenties, doesn't already know this.  He has only to look at their limited English ability after 35 years in America.

Right now I have a Korean gentleman of 80-odd years in one of my classes, and I'm happy to have him there because he is a quite pleasant person, but in terms of becoming more fluent in English?  He is a lost cause.  That doesn't mean he is wasting his time or money, necessarily:  continuing to study is probably helping him maintain his skills and providing him with all kinds of cognitive and social stimulation that is beneficial.  And he seems to be enjoying the camaraderie and companionship of being in class.

That doesn't mean that adults cannot learn a new language, simply they can never realistically hope to learn it with fluency.  The older a student is, the less successful he or she will be in being fully proficient in a second language.  This has to do with the decreasing plasticity of the areas of the brain responsible for acquiring new language and that first language acquisition does not seem possible after a critical stage (pre-puberty).  There are some interesting studies out there that I'm not in the mood to review right now -- and I'm surprised Roosh hasn't googled the research himself -- but maybe he already suspects what they're going to confirm.  

Poor Roosh!  How frustrating it must be to realize that the Russian speaking ladies he fancies will never be able to fully appreciate the depth and breadth of his intellectual prowess -- since, no matter how hard he studies those flash cards, he will be pretty much confined to eighth grade discourse with them.

And it will be hard for him to maintain the facade of being a dominant "alpha" male when he must rely on his girlfriend to navigate doctor's visits, commercial transactions, or complex social situations of any kind.  Sure, he'll be able to go out and buy a kilo of potatoes for supper, but with whom will he discuss politics and philosophy or the great issues of our day?

(Curiously, first language development can continue to improve into late middle age.)