Steve and Alex discuss language learning and travel, including Alex’s recent trip to Korea, Steve’s recent trip to Europe and what it means to learn a foreign language in your own country.
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Steve: Do you feel that if you were with a group of Koreans and they’re talking about something that you can sort of jump in there and hold your own?
Alex: It totally depends on the topic, but much more now so than say six months ago or a year ago. And, yeah, I still…like, for instance, I went to a conference, an entrepreneurship conference, which was just like three days long. Everything was in Korean, everyone was talking in Korean and I was very quiet because I was primarily focused on trying to understand what people were saying. So, I didn’t have as much brain energy to put towards thinking of something to respond with but rather focusing on understanding what was being said.
Steve: But, having been in similar situations at various stages of my language learning, did you feel that you could have stood up and said something, commented, asked a question, and you probably could have done it, but you were afraid that you would sort of run out of gas halfway through and stumble and look foolish?