Thursday, January 04, 2007

The brain and language

Learning a new language is a big issue and involves a huge investment in time. For me it makes sense to spend at least a little time studying the learning process, if you find something that makes even a small improvement to the way in which you study it will pay off hugely over time. Whilst looking around for something to teach me more about the brain and language I discovered this video on Google videos. Just the ticket to get started.

IMHO Google video rocks as you can download easily from it unlike youtube where you have to jump through hoops using things like the unplug plugin for Firefox, even then you need a media player that will play flv files. There is a lot of Mandarin stuff on google video and the mp4 download option means it is easy to convert or play directly on mobile devices. Yes I do know Google bought Youtube but at the moment the interfaces and content are seperate.

The same people have also produced a long video in both Mandarin and English about the Nanjing massacre. This is obviously a very heavy subject and at the complete opposite end to the spectrum from the girly talk I mentioned in my last post. However the documentary is over an hour long and the presence of both an English and Mandarin version makes it a potentially valuable study resource.

English version

Mandarin version

I am acutely aware that emotive issues like this, the holocaust, the bombing of Dresden etc. etc. are open to much interpretation and many viewpoints. If you want to get a perspective on the many viewpoints issue you could do worse than watch the Japanese film Rashomon, also available in Google video. Apparently like a lot of good old media it is now public domain (happy days).

Rashomon (not Chinese but worth a watch)


liulianxiaoyu said...

I can not watch the videos although I have installed the Adobe Flash Player 9. :(

Chris said...

Maybe because of the recent problems of internet communication between China and the West. Also maybe they are blocked.

I have tried watching videos from the Chinese video site (yoqoo I think the name was). I can watch them but I have to wait a very very very long time to load them first.

对不起,现在我没有办法。 :(

liulianxiaoyu said...

Maybe, it is because I was not patient. I tried several times. Every time, I only waited for one or two minutes and then gave it up.:(

Next time, I will try my best to be patient. :)