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Old 07-03-2013, 12:28 PM
 
Location: New York City
4,036 posts, read 8,943,879 times
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Learning a language, any language, is difficult and success often is based on (1) perceived need in the future and (2) practice, practice, practice.

If you donít take it seriously because you think youíll never use it, or if you donít practice, read newspapers, listen to the radio, etc., to keep up your skills, you lose much of what you learn.

South Korea and Japan have big economies, but are not known as outward looking countries. Japan is made up of islands, and South Korea is effectively an island (because of North Korea). Itís not like Europe where ordinary people cross borders and come into contact with different languages all the time.
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Old 08-18-2013, 01:59 PM
 
448 posts, read 499,924 times
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The national pride of not being colonized by an English-speaking country.
Why promote English in the country widely? No historic factor to do so. They are proud of their original culture. Avoid culture invasion from other countries.
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Old 08-18-2013, 03:12 PM
 
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I have seen some Europeans/Americans who have lived in China for quite a few years and speak next to zero Chinese.
I have also seen some Africans without much education but they can carry a conversation in Chinese.
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:19 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,256,138 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lokeung) View Post
The national pride of not being colonized by an English-speaking country.
Why promote English in the country widely? No historic factor to do so. They are proud of their original culture. Avoid culture invasion from other countries.
Yep Japan is a country quite enamoured by British and American culture, so the 'invasion' is already going on. Of course, the cultural movement the other way, from Japan to the West, is just as strong.
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:21 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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I wasn't aware most Japanese/Koreans took English from such a young age. In that case I'd expect most younger ones to speak it. Most of the Japanese who come here on working holidays speak very basic English, but I am impressed with anyone who can learn a language, especially one so different, and even communicate. I took Japanese for 2 years and have retained very little (if it even was absorbed in the first place). I might start learning seriously.
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:34 AM
 
69 posts, read 126,713 times
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There are some letters Koreans and Japanese can not pronounce correctly
Korean unable to pronounce the sound R,like "SORRY"
the Chinese English pronunciation better than South Korea and Japan
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:43 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,256,138 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deliwanger View Post
There are some letters Koreans and Japanese can not pronounce correctly
Korean unable to pronounce the sound R,like "SORRY"
the Chinese English pronunciation better than South Korea and Japan
I find all three tend to speak with pretty heavy accents, although some try to speak in a sort of American accent.
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Old 08-19-2013, 04:49 AM
 
Location: NYC
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Many East Asians who has learned English through school know it on paper...as in they can read decently. But conversation is much harder to teach without an immersive environment.
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Old 08-19-2013, 05:31 AM
 
Location: Striving for Avalon
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From talking with non-English speakers (European and Asian) in my travels/residencies around the world, I will toss in my coins here:

1) English pedagogy, like any other subject's, is highly variable dependent on your teacher, school, and local/regional/national educational systems. As any English teacher in Asia will document, the quality of education is HIGHLY variable. An elite preparatory school in Hong Kong will offer far better English instruction than its state-funded counterpart in Wuhan. Unfortunately, a great deal of "teaching" provides more a benefit to the parents' egos than to the student's language capacity.

2) The students are highly variable. A friend of mine from Germany described his experience. His class was barely functional in English upon leaving/graduating secondary school. However, we met as university students in Scotland. The difference between him and his classmates? His parents are both fluent English (and French) speakers. They vacation yearly in Florida. His brothers and he are amused by American culture (the simpsons, English language video games, and the packaging of microwave meals). Despite some meagre German fluency, when I visited, they insisted on English for the benefit of the younger (20 and 17) brothers.

3) Exposure. (English language) Cultural penetration is weak compared with Europe. You'd be moderately amazed at how many Europeans will improve their English by watching British or American movies, TV shows, and youtube. We met a waiter in Bremen, Germany who learned his English from a British TV show Jeeves and Wooster.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:43 AM
 
6,726 posts, read 6,611,101 times
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Many Chinese are actually bilingual (Mandarin + a dialect), so they are more use to speaking a "different" language than Korean and Japanese are, maybe.
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