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Old 09-23-2007, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,916 posts, read 6,238,888 times
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Hi,

Maybe you are Chinese....I don't know Chinese. I just know that we found out that a basic newspaper and other written items in Chinese usually require about 2,000 to 5,000 characters. And, according to her, you combine various characters that mean different things ... so it's easier to learn more words because you'd combine already known characters to create other characters, thus, other words. It seemed fairly logical when she taught us. It's basically hieroglyphics. But I'm not a linguist -- I took Linguistics in college, however, it did not cover Chinese, although it was taught by a Chinese professor (how odd).

And, realistically, some people just seem to be more adept at picking up languages. And if you know one Asian language, the use of Chinese is pretty handy, since there are derivatives of Chinese in other languages. And, yes, our Chinese student knew Chinese, but because English and Asian languages are so different, she found English quite hard.

My daughter just seems to be drawn to languages and seems to pick them up easily -- I have no idea why. When she was in 7th grade and they had to take some Spanish during a semester, at the end, she won some award where the teacher proclaimed that my daughter would certainly be bilingual someday, if not trilingual or more. She was right.

My kid only spent 6 months in Chile and came back totally fluent, knows more than her Spanish teachers in school now, can easily converse with any Spanish-speaking person. She's also picked up various differences, on her own, from other South American countries and Spain, and can tell by listening where they are from and what those differences are, when I don't hear anything! She also picked up idioms, slang, and....of course, swear words. She went from first year Spanish to fluency in 6 months, while many of the other exchange students either did not progress from where they were, or even digressed in their language ability.

I was completely surprised that she came back so conversant and able to read, write and speak Spanish in such a short time with little background in it. My friend from Chile, of course, tested her by sending a long letter in Chilean Spanish, and my daughter translated it. When I told my friend that she hadn't sent ME an English version and that my daughter had to translate, her response was: "Of course, she had to translate it. Do you think we would let her go to Chile and not use it afterwards! She has to keep working at it!" So, I think that for some people languages are somehow easier for them.

I know many people who easily flow from one language to another, especially in Europe. I remember being in a restaurant in Germany, with a friend from France, and another American, and my French friend easily went from talking to the waitress in German, to her boyfriend in French and to us in English....no hesitation involved -- I just marveled at that. I wish that I had learned more than high school Spanish, but in those days most people learned English in the States, and only used their native language in the home. I was raised in a very multi-cultural area, but although people had accents from their native language, they still spoke English. Now you hear all kinds of languages all over.

So, I think that if one is motivated to learn the language, and, especially if they have that natural ear for languages, then it can certainly be learned...and often more easily than expected. I live near the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, and many people learn a difficult language in a year (such as Arabic). Those who drop out usually are those for whom it is difficult; others stay in and graduate with fluency. I think it just depends on the individual. My daughter excelled in learning the language quickly --- but.....she had a big motivating factor....she wanted to mingle with the boys!! So an interest in the language and the culture from which the language emerges, is probably the best motivation a person could have.
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Old 09-23-2007, 09:39 PM
 
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Please stick to discussing Incheon, please.
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Old 09-23-2007, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,916 posts, read 6,238,888 times
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Sorry, got sidetracked with the other post about learning Korean....

Well, I don't have anything else to add, but hope some of the stuff was useful to the OP. I tried to get info, but couldn't get as much as I hoped for, and thought some of the other info might be helpful .. and interesting.

Okay, I have nothing more to add about that city -- sorry.

Bye folks. Good luck, OP.
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Old 09-24-2007, 09:27 AM
 
Location: the midwest
492 posts, read 2,148,728 times
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Wisteria, thanks for the info! Btw I was almost crying from laughing while reading some of the stories about teaching English in Japan!!!

Sorry it's taken me a while to get back. I'm on vacation and the internet has been down...

Thanks again everyone for all the info, especially the off-the-topic stuff!!!
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Old 12-16-2007, 08:29 AM
 
Location: the midwest
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Just a random update. I've been in South Korea for a month now and I'm lovin' it! It turns out I'm in Daejeon, instead of Incheon, which is about 2 hours away. So if anyone has any questions about possibly teaching here, I'll try to help. Just PM me...
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Old 12-16-2007, 10:04 PM
 
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Good to hear, Boardmanite, and thanks for the update.
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Old 12-23-2007, 06:30 AM
 
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Thumbs up Incheon was Inchon

Quote:
Originally Posted by boardmanite View Post
Hello everyone! I was hoping to get a feel for Incheon from someone who has visited the city, or heard anything positive or negative about it. I am applying for an English teaching position there but I don't know much about the city. Wikipedia is quite vague

Thanks in advance!
I entered South Korea there with The U.S. Army Combat Engineers a long while ago. Incheon was called Inchon. It is a major South Korean port city.

Many South Korean cities and towns have changed the spelling of their names so this may confuse you when you go there, or try to find places with an outdated map. Paju-ri is now Paju and Munsan-ni is just Munsan.

Try this link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incheon
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Old 12-23-2007, 07:53 PM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
6,652 posts, read 18,667,875 times
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Yes, I was there back in Jan of 52. Climbed down a rope ladder to a landing craft that took us to a pier. Walked from there thru town to a railroad station to passenger cars with straight back wooden bench seats that were hard as rock. Going north thru center of the capital I saw the bullet ridden city hall and the middle section of a bridge near byhanging in the water due to our bombings. I ended up on a truck going to the fron t lines that night in North Korea. The area that I was in last is today and has been NO MANS LAND since 1953. I have NO desire to see North Korea again. Like the saying, BEEN THERE, DON THAT. North Korea is nothing but a bunch of endless hills, some low and some real high. From what I understand, South Korea is level country and pretty nice. North Korea winters are very COLD. I slept on the ground at 20 degrees below '0'. Thankyou for letting me get this off my chest,,Its been a long time. Stefhen (baja mexico)
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:56 AM
 
Location: the midwest
492 posts, read 2,148,728 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey_NC View Post
I entered South Korea there with The U.S. Army Combat Engineers a long while ago. Incheon was called Inchon. It is a major South Korean port city.

Many South Korean cities and towns have changed the spelling of their names so this may confuse you when you go there, or try to find places with an outdated map. Paju-ri is now Paju and Munsan-ni is just Munsan.

Try this link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incheon
Ahhh yes, I've come across that. My city (Daejeon) used to be Taejon.

I find it interesting that the former way of spelling the city's name (Inchon) is closer to the pronunciation. It's not in-chee-on as one would think, but simply in-chon. Progress, eh?
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Old 12-26-2007, 09:03 AM
 
Location: the midwest
492 posts, read 2,148,728 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bagu View Post
Yes, I was there back in Jan of 52. Climbed down a rope ladder to a landing craft that took us to a pier. Walked from there thru town to a railroad station to passenger cars with straight back wooden bench seats that were hard as rock. Going north thru center of the capital I saw the bullet ridden city hall and the middle section of a bridge near byhanging in the water due to our bombings. I ended up on a truck going to the fron t lines that night in North Korea. The area that I was in last is today and has been NO MANS LAND since 1953. I have NO desire to see North Korea again. Like the saying, BEEN THERE, DON THAT. North Korea is nothing but a bunch of endless hills, some low and some real high. From what I understand, South Korea is level country and pretty nice. North Korea winters are very COLD. I slept on the ground at 20 degrees below '0'. Thankyou for letting me get this off my chest,,Its been a long time. Stefhen (baja mexico)
Very interesting. Thanks for sharing. As a young American, I can attest to the fact that the Korean War is something we briefly study in history class and then forget about. It wasn't until I got here that I really started thinking about the war, it's causes, it's implications, and what South Korea would be like today without US intervention.
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