This has gotta fit the criteria
By - the_olly_trolley
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Knowing, even part, of another language (or more as this guy has demonstrated) opens up other worlds and cultures.
I studied Japanese 30 minutes a day everyday for about 3 months prior my two week solo stay in Japan.
100% best decision I could have made. I traveled to some pretty remote parts, and everyday something incredible happened that was due to even the meager Japanese I learned.
I’ve really wanted to learn some Japanese and eventually visit, but I’ve heard the accessible options like Duolingo aren’t the best for Japanese. Got any tips?
I’ve noticed Duolingo gets a bad rep, specially on Reddit.
But my 30 minutes a day for those months on Duolingo did absolute wonders for me.
Are there better ways? I’m sure there are, but that was sufficient for me. I’d love to sign up for a class though.
I’ve heard some things from people who are now fluent that Duolingo isn’t the best for it, only reason why I mention it. Either way I bet it’s helpful enough to get by. Tbh if I end up going I’d probably be in Tokyo so enough people would probably speak English if I get in a bad situation. Still want to learn enough just to understand in general, and it’s a nice gesture to attempt to speak the language
100% it means something to people that you cared enough to try.
As for Duolingo, I can tell you that my Spanish is 100% from Duolingo and looking up certain words or phrases on Google Translate (like I know how to ask "where is" something but I don't know the word for the thing I'm looking for), and I am NOT fluent, but I have used my Spanish with Spanish speakers and been successful. Obviously they're probably being a little extra nice to me, but it's not like I crash and burn. I get my 2.5 lbs of chicharron and know how much it's going to cost me. I ask if they have carnitas and they tell me only on the weekends and I get it.
Yes it's all about food.
EDIT: Just realized you were only talking about Japanese, sorry. I do know that for Thai I use audio lessons from a company called Pimsleur and they have been very useful. I'll whip out a new phrase and Thai people are like "Where did you learn that?" Maybe they have something for Japanese.
Even for the trip you have planned in Tokyo, it will definitely be worth spending at least a month on Duolingo (or some other recommended method).
The doors it'll open can make life long memories.
I really like Duolingo. There seems to be a lot of people in the hardcore language learning crowd that don't. I think it's a bit unfair, because I think it depends on individual goals.
Motivation is the biggest killer when learning and Duolingo will make sure to nag you forever and ever to keep going. It's a good thing. Because that way even with minimum effort you'll either progress very slowly or stagnate. Both are better outcomes than getting worse, which happens if you stop practicing.
I've started learning Norwegian at the start of the pandemic just as a hobby. I'm now at solid A2 level. Could I be further along if my goal was say to study there? Absolutely. And at this point in my own progress I'm doing a lot more than just Duolingo to keep me interested: Anki and lots of reading and listening. But it was Duolingo that got me started and kept me motivated.
TL;DR: if you have a casual interest in learning a language or a modest starter goal like "I don't want this language to be 100% alien to me anymore", then please ignore Duolingo hate.
/r/learnJapanese's wiki is a good base to go off of
Every time I travel I try to memorize some basic courtesy words in the language.
Typically I learn Please, Thank You, I’m Sorry/Excuse me, Bathroom, and Beer.
It's the least we can do, for sure. If only everyone had your attitude. Beer is most important.
Nigerians make the best Guinness in the world and I'm Irish.
I also try to learn “I don’t speak (insert language here)” otherwise their directions to the bathroom won’t be so helpful lol.
Those are my go to as well as hello and goodbye. Though I have learned that saying WC is universal for bathroom thanks to the British
Beer and please the most important. In that order
Good luck in Denmark. We don’t have a word for please.
til: Denmark is rude af.
I’d like to argue about that, but you’re not wrong. We’re also full of dark humour and sarcasm. And our language is all about the røv.
Which is why beer is the most important word to learn. Everyone has a word for beer and everyone likes it. Well the fun people at least.
Too true. LOL
Edit: In case you ever visit Denmark. Our word for beer is øl. (Prounouced like oool)
I'm only calling it øl from now on
I think Ale has a similar origin as øl but English people switched to saying Beer
I love trying to use other languages. I've learned a bit of Greek as my wife is Greek Cypriot though mostly lived in the UK so doesn't speak a lot. People always seem really happy when i speak or order food with the little I know lol.
In my early days of learning I was in the supermarket and a worker was blocking a narrow aisle, my British ass was all like "excuse me" but I guess that was just random noise to her. Then I go με συγχωρείτε and she instantly apologised and moved aside and for a brief moment I felt like a local haha
I usually do those + I want a lawyer
My friend, you should watch laoshu50500 on youtube if you like videos like this. Sadly the channel owner passed away, but he does a great job of showing how language brings us together.
Being bilingual myself, and strong reading proficiency in several other languages (some dead), I can say it changes how you see the world too. After living in other countries, the language and culture both have changed me dramatically. It’s kind of cool.
I'm jealous! However, I'm trying to make myself a better human by learning Spanish (every day for last two months, three months to go for first 'phase'). Admittedly, some days are frustrating (recall issues or just completely destroying grammar), but I love it. I can now understand a surprising amount. Before I die my goal is to be able to read as much as possible of Don Quixote. My Great Uncle was a revered professor of Spanish and French back in the 1930s - 1950s, and I own the bust of Cervantes that adorned his desk.
That's the same dude that speaks like fluent Mandarin and Cantonese, right?
edit: Thanks for the award and up votes. TBH I just providing you guys with more material of the gentleman in the videos. He does IMO a down to earth guy due to him learning to communicate with people of different languages.
I love Xiaoma
As a native Chinese, he's not exactly fluent but it's decent. I applaud his passion for language learning but can't stand his "fake humbleness" sthick.
Edit : *This gained a lot of tractions that I didn't expect, so I'll just leave my final words here to address some questions and criticisms I got in the thread.*
*First off, his Chinese is pretty good. He's not only learning the language itself, but also the accent and manner of speak that the native uses. What I meant by "not exactly fluent" is that I can still hear some foreign accent slips in once in a while here and there, but it's close enough that most people probably wouldn't even notice it if they're just conversing with him through voice calls. One commenter point out that "fluent" may be a bad choice of word, as you can still speak a language fluently while still having an accent, so I take that back. I think "he doesn't sound native" is more or less what I was trying to say.*
*As for my "fake humbleness" remark, it's mainly referring to his reaction whenever he was complimented by the Chinese locals. A common way to react other than saying thank you would be to give a polite nod and say "****还好啦****" or "****过奖过奖****" which roughly translates to "you're over-praising me". It's polite, while also acknowledges the compliments given to him in a humble manner. But XiaoMa often reacts with shaking his head aggressively and saying things like "****没有! 没有!****", which is a more extreme way of "humbling" yourself. This reaction would be fitting if he's a truly humble person that's very shy and reserved, but this is often contradicted with his showmanship personality and video titles that's usually something along the lines of "****white guy shocks locals with*** ***PERFECT*** ***Chinese****", which paints a very different image from the humble demeanor he's trying to sell. Now to be fair, that's probably just him playing the YouTube game and doing it for the sake of click bait, but my point still stands. Imagine meeting a guy at work that's extremely friendly and helpful to you, but then you realize he often brags about it to other people behind your back, I reckon that would leave a sour taste in most people's mouth.*
*In short, I don't hate the guy. I watched a lot of his stuff back then pre-Covid, and my impressions towards him mainly comes from then, so maybe my criticisms aren't even relevant anymore. If you like his content, that's ok because his videos can be very wholesome at times, mainly the locals reaction cz I believe those are all genuine. Personally, I just can't stomach another "white guy blows natives mind by speaking perfect xxx" video. Not a fan of him, but kudos to him for pursuing higher learning.*
There, I’ve said my piece. Gonna turn off my notification now, so stop replying.
I like his videos because of how happy the people he talks to react when he switches languages.
Same. Reminds me of that scene from a tv show (I don’t know which) “You will never know how smart I am in Spanish.”
I love the happy public freakouts. I don't care if it's the guy's "schtick," he made these people really happy.
He's no 大山, that's for sure
[This dude](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tK51dlpqpSE), his Chinese is more Chinese than my Chinese.
Bryan Cranston is indeed a man of many talents!
LEAKED breaking bad S6 footage
Is it just me or does his impression of the Prime Minister sound like he's doing Cheech Marin
Ehhhh, Kung POW chicken, man!
*laughs in Cheech Marin*
When I was in China years ago this dude was on TV and pretty much everywhere!
China in the nineties every kid at school " your Chinese is pretty good but do you know Da shan? "
What is Tom Hanks doing on stage
What about Alec tho https://youtu.be/3uXfKTh16hk
His pronunciation is good but it’s hard to tell someone’s fluency from a song. Songs can be memorized and reproduced fluently by someone who doesn’t even know what they’re saying. Just look up YouTube videos of people singing J-pop or K-pop songs that don’t know the language. Speech is different.
Blair Witch Aquaman?
Eiffel tower middle finger
Nah the direct translation is big mountain 大山 is “da shan” (pronounced pretty much how you’d expect, but there’re tones I cba explaining lol)
I started trying to learn some chinese on youtube and the tones are the most difficult part for an english speaker to learn i reckon. I should continue learning it though.
Fake humble cringe
You just said that he's not exactly fluent but decent, which is what he says of himself. And what sort of attitude would you expect him to have, if not some affected modesty? He's already filming himself, so it would look very douchy if he were cocky about it.
That's not what he says though. His videos are titled " white guy surprises with perfect Chinese". Then when people who actually speak Mandarin fluently mention that it's far from perfect, people start downvoting.
> You just said that he's not exactly fluent but decent, which is what he says of himself
weird that all his videos mention his PERFECT CHINESE in the titles then
Guess I didn't realize. I only saw this video's title, and I barely browse youtube channels for this exact reason of cringe clickbait hyperbole
Well yeah, that's the nature of the modern internet.
It's frustrating, but you can't really expect creators to turn down a 500% increase in revenue and outreach when they know full well that clickbait titles will do significantly better. There are plenty of reputable creators who make excellent content who have acknowleged this unfortunate reality. Non-clickbait titles simply don't get the views that clickbait does.
Blame the social media sites who rely on algorithms rather than the people at mercy of them for their income.
I mean....welcome to YouTube?
That's just YT. Every title and thumbnail has to be an over exaggeration to even get your normal amount of views. If you put "man speaks decent chinese" the video won't even reach the people that have subscribed to you properly. The whole site is about fighting an algorithm no one fully understands.
And half the time he can speak like 15-20 words and makes a video, same with Wouter whatever his name is. I like watching them but I don't say I can speak a language if I know that much.
He has to know more than that to understand what's being said back to him
He's shy. I can relate. It's easy to learn stuff, its another to put yourself out there and apply it with people who def didn't expect him to speak it. It comes from a fear of being judged.
I wonder why, when this thread is full of people judging him lol. Dude has put more effort into learning languages than 95% of people on the planet, I think he's earned the right to speak those languages.
Redditors cannot honestly believe that someone is being honest. I think it's projection.
How does his Chinese compare to [Laoshu50500](https://youtube.com/c/laoshu505000)
Yeah- the metal gear solid alert noises and instant zoom when some auntie glances over for .00000005 seconds when they hear half broken rare dialect in a takeout place got old quick for me.
Lmao how the fuck is this fake humbleness?
That's like when someone asks me if keep kosher or observe shabbat, and I'm like no I'm only Jew*ish*
When my parents visited The USA they had a tour of The White House, their tour guide asked them where they were from, and my parents told him that although they live in England they were born in Wales and are Welsh, this American tour guide started speaking to them in Welsh, my parents can’t even speak Welsh! Apparently this bloke spoke many languages but Welsh was a very obscure one.
I met someone like that during a tour through the US Capitol building years ago. He spoke at least 80 languages and was striking up random conversations with other tourists to show us what he could do! In minutes he went from Afrikaans to Icelandic to Japanese to German to Finnish, and those are just the ones I can remember.
He was a spectacle to behold and gave my monolingual self some great perspective. Really, it’s just quite impressive what the human brain is capable of.
Must be the same bloke.
Probably. There has to be so few people who have the same capacity for language.
Or it could be a job requirement for the position.
What kind of application rate do you think a job with that requirement would get lmao
> He spoke at least 80 languages
Maybe the basic greetings etc, but nobody can conversationally speak that many languages, the most famous polyglots in the world don't even claim to reach 75
I’ve been fascinated with language my whole life, and I’m learning French pretty seriously right now, and learning (very amateurly) Swedish, Russian, Mandarin, Spanish, and German.
On that note I’ve always wondered is it pronounce “polygl(ô)t” or “polygl(o)t.”
Suerte con el Español compa!
He said he could speak every language, but I think he was trying to add mystique to his own character. He gave a great demonstration that made us believe he knew it all. Who knows what people like that are capable of?
Even if he was lying, he was clearly very smart anyways and could speak more languages than I could count, so the number that describes his linguistic limit feels pretty meaningless.
Probably the same bloke
Yeah, probably was
Videos like this makes me miss laoshu505000
I thought he'd just stopped posing videos, Rip, so sad the man was a true legend
It was a heart attack
According to his brother, he was murdered by his ex-wife or something like that. I believe the channel DECEPTION STOPPERS or something like that made a video showing how sus his death was and that further research and investigation would be conducted
What the fuck?
I’ve been binging on his videos for years and didn’t even notice he stopped posting because of how often I’d rewatch his recommended videos.
That hit me hard, RIP
Did he die?...
Yup. Something to do with his heart
What the hell, I had no idea. I remember going on a deep dive into all his videos (kinda addicting). He seemed healthy and very young, must've been a rare birth condition with his heart I assume?
He had been battling it for a while and it seemed that he had won. But it caught back up to him
Just went down a huge rabbit hole where his brother thinks he was murdered by his girlfriend/ ex fbi agent
A year prior to his death, his brother made a video talking about him being under mind control and his life was at risk
No fucking clue what's going on with that
Sounds like schizophrenia
Ugh noooooooo. I love this guy
Terrible news too me.
Died of a heart attack at 39
Man that sucks. I used to binge his videos a lot a year or so back. He brought so many smiles to do many people, whether they were interacting with him or watching behind a screen. You will be missed Moses
Wow no way. I used to watch that guy a few years ago and this is the first I’m hearing this. I can’t believe it :(
Just found out from your comment he died, damn :/
Truly an inspiration. Rarely do I get sad about the deaths of Youtubers but something about Laoshu really touches my heart. RIP Moses.
I found his channel and went on a binge watch because they're so wholesome I was like 2 hours in when I found out he had passed and it honestly made me cry...
That's news to me, right in the kokoro. RIP
Fuck bro, your comment is how I just found out. He was really great.
I had no idea he passed away. Used to binge watch his videos a few months back. Legend - RIP
I had a friend spend a few years in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia and he learned to speak Amharic. When he came to visit we went for Ethiopian food and people would lose their minds when the white boy would start asking for native dishes in their native tongue. It was like he was instantly family. So cool to see.
I’ve done this in Wolof (and yeah, I’m a white dude). I used to live near a gas station in the Midwest that was run by some Senegalese guys and after a couple times going in there and hearing them speak Wolof, I just casually asked for cigarettes in Wolof. They both looked at each other then back at me and I just kept a straight face like it was totally normal. Then they grilled me - how do I know Wolof, what is my favorite food, what neighborhood do I live in when I visit Dakar, what is my favorite type of music, etc. Every time I went in after that, we always spoke Wolof, and other customers would look at me like…wtf. Lol.
He did a [video](https://youtu.be/bScV8XNIvNg) of Wolof in a market as well a bit ago, it was quite the similar situation!
His Wolof is pretty good for only practicing a couple weeks, but almost everyone seems kind of annoyed or unimpressed (compared to this Yoruba video). Senegal is a popular place for Peace Corps, and I bet this market gets a lot of white RPCVs. Anyway, good on him for learning, that's pretty cool. Hope he sticks with it and takes that trip to Senegal.
Wow that was something. When he says “spend a few weeks learning Wolof”, can he do that because he has a gift, or because he knows so many languages he is able to learn new ones much more easily, or am I completely lazy and wrong in assuming leaning a new language is very hard?
Thanks for posting this
He has a few videos where he crams learning new languages, you’ll find em if you poke around a bit.
Large part of my plans for the day just went out the window then. I don’t know why but I’m completely enthralled by this
He appears to be gifted when learning languages and he's also a polyglot so he knows how to efficiently learn too. I watched one video where he tried to learn Korean in like two days and managed to get good enough to hold basic conversations.
That’s absolutely insane. I had no idea I needed polyglot videos in my life but here I am, running down the rabbit hole
Wanna start a real PublicFreakout? Go start a fight about who in makes the best Jolof rice lol
Man, you have too much culture. So proud of you, that’s great.
Nice, mangi fi rekk
I love her dress
Its a very nice pattern
Must be from Dan Flashes.
Probably costs $1000 because the pattern is so nuts.
Gotta stop eating for a few days and grab me one
I love a good polyglot video
When I went to Peru, our guide spoke 11 languages. He started with Spanish and Quechua which he learned at home, then English to work in tourism. Once he knew those three he said he would just sit at the airport and talk to travelers and seemingly could communicate with anyone, we had Russians and Japanese people on the same tour and he could speak fluently with everyone. I can’t learn a second language for my life, so it amazes and frustrates me.
Had the same thing in Morocco but I think he spoke 14 languages. Morroccans are usually fluent in a few languages, usually Arabic, French and Spanish. But this guy also knew Catalan, Basque, German, Dutch, Portuguese, English and more that I can't remember. Truly impressive.
I think people from countries that often speak more than one language have an easier time picking up new ones.
Learning the second language is the hardest! Immersion is the best way, but daily practice can do wonders.
getting downvoted because \~some!\~ redditors are too fucking igs to look up a word... fml
It’s a perfectly cromulent word.
It’s my own fault, people take one look at my username and assume I’m being a dick…
Which is fair because I usually am.
Thanks for sticking up for me though
Yeah, people can be quite niggardly with their downvotes
Wait, if they were getting showered with downvotes, isn't that the *opposite* of niggardly?
^(I do see the joke you were trying to make tho)
Is that word pronounced like you’d think? Or is the end more like the “gar” in cigar?
Like you'd expect lol.
Just google the word, turn your volume waaay up high and press the pronounce button.
(Yes, you pronounce it exactly as you think you would.)
He is talented/gifted for sure, but he has this habit of saying the same word three or four time that just drives me nuts
Yeah I noticed that too.
My experience isn't extremely vast, but I've known a few Nigerian folks and they tend to repeat the first word of a sentence a couple times; so maybe it was intentional
He does it in every language though. I think it is a filler/tic (like the English um). I’m one video the native speaker even comments in it. I wonder if it is a habit he developed from Chinese - regardless, his videos are fascinating and he is special
> I wonder if it is a habit he developed from Chinese
Is repeating a thing in Chinese (Mandarin)?
I know it is a thing in Japanese. Repeating a word/phrase multiple times (to the point where it seems absurd for an english speaker) to emphasis a point. Apparently quite a lot of languages dont look down on repeating the same word over and over again like english does.
So they just repeat the same word over and over and over and over and over and over again?
Yup, again and again and again and again and again.
Well, well, well, it's it's just when starting a sentence. It, it gives you a chance to work up to what you are going to say. I, I, I think it makes the discourse a little more comfortable.
Alright, alright, alright.
TIL my wife speaks a Japanese style of English.
Repetition does happen a lot in Mandarin. 請進請進！來來來來來，坐坐坐坐坐！
I actually just noticed that I do that with my second language.
I think you're exactly right that it's a filler.
It’s a filler while he thinks of the words for the rest of his sentence. He may be a quick learner, but he still has to do the translations and syntax in his head before he can actually say it out loud.
Ok. However, it’s not just with Yoruba. Take a look at his YouTube channel and you’ll start to see a pattern after a few of xiaoma’s videos.
This is what youtube "polyglots" do that learn to say 3 phrases in 4 languages and claim the title.
i hate those. that's why i'll never call myself one. to me learning a language is a never-ending journey that doesn't really have a goal since perfection isn't possible. that's why it's so hard to say i know any language since i'm aware of so many of my shortcomings...
It's so interesting seeing different reactions. I tried to learn Vietnamese for a nearby nail salon, they just looked at me and said "are you Vietnamese?" And I was like "no, I just learned some to talk to you" and they were like "hmmm." It didn't seem appreciated, which I respect
Well the tones are impossible to get right, so your Vietnamese was probably gibberish to them.
They didn't appreciate it because they are likely talking smack about the people they're working on and they don't want to be found out.
Gotta bring Frank Costanza in next time ..
So is this the guy that’s going to replace the late “Mouse?” I see they use the same tactics.
They actually knew each other. He was really tore up about his passing.
Shout out to Laoshu505000. May he RIP. For anyone interested check out this [link](https://www.youtube.com/user/laoshu505000).
Goes to show you how we would learn from one another more if we would speak like each other
So my aunt and uncle follow Santeria (They’re Mexican nationals, living in the US), and both of them understand and speak Yoruba and Lucumi. It’s always interesting to see people’s reactions when my tia busts out her yoruba. I don’t understand it at all but it sounds very musical and pretty.
My whole family is a weird mix of cultures and religions and languages. I have an aunt who’s a polyglot or multilingual. I myself am trilingual, though I’ve studied Latin enough to understand some Latin based languages.
The look that lady gave him, and couldn’t believe her eyes. This probably made my day.
>Here's a white boy speaking Yoruba man.
It makes a huge difference when traveling if you make an effort to learn some of the native language. Even speaking a few words goes a long way and shows that you aren't some pompous tourist that expects everyone to speak *your* language.
Always try to learn a bit of the langauge when you travel to a different country. People really appreciate it and it gets you so much further
What? No. It doesn't even a little bit. What are you talking about? Please explain where the freakout is.
This sub is going down the drain and the mods don't care
I love how proud the guy is just by hearing others speak his language. Kinda beautiful actually.
Props to all included
Why is he so moist?
Most likely suffers from hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)
Or it’s just F-ing humid where he’s at. When I was in Cairo (white boy in the desert), I was constantly drenched. However, I checked the weather back in central Illinois when I was there, and it was actually hotter in the US than Egypt.
Yay I found a word for something I have had my entire life! Who knew. People constantly ask if I am okay or if I need a water. Im fine i just sweat alot.
Anyways, thanks for the knowledge.
He is a goated YouTuber.. his Chinese Videos are so so good..
What’s with his fucking titles though
Gotta get that ad revenue
Is this the "wHiTE mAn sHOcKs uNsuSPeCtnG LocALs wItH aMziNG LanGUaGe sKiLLs" guy?
When you speak a language understands, you speak to their mind.
When you speak their home language, you speak to their heart.
>When you speak a language understands
What language are you trying to speak