Social Language Learning Part 4 – Communication

As I mentioned before, I decided to study English on Lang-8 and LingQ. Still, I keep the other accounts active to help Japanese language learners by correcting their sentences and pronunciations, answering questions and so on. Besides, I started to study Chinese on LingQ and LiveMocha.

As for Chinese, I exchange messages with a little Chinese girl these days. She lives in East China, not Beijing or Shanghai. She is very good at English.   She is busy with school on weekdays, so she sends me messages on weekends. The other day we talked on Skype too. She spoke briskly and smartly.   Don’t you think she is amazing?  The face that a girl who is just 13 year-old can communicate overseas with people makes me realize how different times are now.   I’m wondering if there are such junior high students in Japan?

Incidentally, my first text chat was with a Kurdish woman living in Turkey. It was very impressive that I was able to talk with Kurdish, who I’m not familiar with.  I heard of Kurdish on the news, but I don’t know much about them.  Turkey is the home of the belly dance which I am learning.  So, I asked her about it, but she didn’t know. She said, “What is it?”   While I was thinking how I should explain it for only about 7,8 seconds,  she complained my answer was too late.  What an impatient Kurdish!  She said Japanese has beautiful sounds, especially the word “arigatou” which means “thank you”.   I don’t understand the feeling, but it’s interesting.

Furthermore, my first voice chat was with a Bosnian man.   I felt his sincerity from his voice. Since he asked me where I live, I answered “Kyushu, south Japan”. Then “Saga?”he asked.   Saga is a name of small prefecture in Kyushu.   How does he know such a small area???  He said “I know Saga by watchig Oshin”.  “Oshin” is a famous Japanese TV drama which was broadcast in the 1980’s.  I am surprised that people overseas still watch it even today.   He liked Saga dialects. lol It was a shame that my voice was so echoed with time lag that I couldn’t speak a lot. I want to talk with him again, but I can’t find him.

My story will be continued. Here is LiveMocha video. Interaction on LiveMocha is very active.

Social Language Learning Part1 Lang-8

Have you noticed something different with my posts recently?   To tell the truth, I have published the posts after getting corrections by natives.    In February,  I was motivated by Yumi’s blog and decided to study English.   She is a porcelain artist and studying English on the internet to fulfill her dream.    It is boring for me to study English by using a textbook.   I thought if there were any social websites for studying English, I might be able to continue learning.   Then I searched for language learning sites.  After all, I created nearly 10 accounts.  Wow!

Out of them all, my most favorite is Lang-8 since it provides specialized services for writing.    After submitting your journals in almost any language, some other users kindly correct them for free.  (they are not always corrected though)    Of course, you can also make friends, leave comments and send messages.   As I wanted to do something for my English which has many grammatical mistakes, Lang-8 is just what I needed.   The corrections by native speakers help me learn a lot about English grammar.    Also, it’s just fun to correct foreigners’ Japanese journals.  Please refer to  http://lang-8.com/happyuan/correction_logs/sent   I feel like I have become a teacher. lol

Surprisingly, a young Japanese man, Ki Yoyo 喜洋洋 started up this site when he was 23 back in 2007.   He is amazing.   The site he created helps a lot of people all over the world.  Please read the  article.

Incidentally,  喜羊羊 is a name of famous anime character in China.  Both have the same pronunciation”xi yang yang”in Chinese.  The sound seems to have a happy and hilarious image in China.  Referent: http://bitex-cn.com/teaching_materials/126/show10112301.html

喜羊羊

The next posting will be about another favorite site.