Simple English Listening

(Intermediate) 5 LANGUAGES + Lived in 9 COUNTRIES! Interview with Frank.

March 07, 2021 Tristan Palumbo
Simple English Listening
(Intermediate) 5 LANGUAGES + Lived in 9 COUNTRIES! Interview with Frank.
Chapters
Simple English Listening
(Intermediate) 5 LANGUAGES + Lived in 9 COUNTRIES! Interview with Frank.
Mar 07, 2021
Tristan Palumbo

This man has lived in 9 countries and speaks 5 languages! Meet Frank.
Transcripts here:  https://simpleenglishlistening.buzzsprout.com

Join us on Sundays. EXCITING topics in simpler English.

Please subscribe on your podcast app.
👉 Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkcrx6ESrFxlDC8EEXUbnlw?sub_confirmation=1
👉 Facebook page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/simpleenglishlistening

Here, I speak in SIMPLE English about interesting topics. The best way to learn is to listen to as much English as possible which is ONE level above your level. This way you pick up maximum amounts of new language and pronunciation naturally. 

My name is Tristan, from England. I'm a native speaker and I've been a qualified English teacher for nearly 10 years, and taught in five countries - UK, Italy, South Korea, Japan and Vietnam. I have post-graduate qualifications in education and English-teaching. 


Show Notes Transcript

This man has lived in 9 countries and speaks 5 languages! Meet Frank.
Transcripts here:  https://simpleenglishlistening.buzzsprout.com

Join us on Sundays. EXCITING topics in simpler English.

Please subscribe on your podcast app.
👉 Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkcrx6ESrFxlDC8EEXUbnlw?sub_confirmation=1
👉 Facebook page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/simpleenglishlistening

Here, I speak in SIMPLE English about interesting topics. The best way to learn is to listen to as much English as possible which is ONE level above your level. This way you pick up maximum amounts of new language and pronunciation naturally. 

My name is Tristan, from England. I'm a native speaker and I've been a qualified English teacher for nearly 10 years, and taught in five countries - UK, Italy, South Korea, Japan and Vietnam. I have post-graduate qualifications in education and English-teaching. 


0:13  
Okay, welcome to another episode of Simple English Listening, today we have a special treat for you. We're introducing my friend, Frank. Hello. Yeah, we work together. And Frank has a an interesting life story. So he has lived in so many countries, right? Yes. Yeah. Right. About how many would you say?

0:42  
I would have to think about, but yeah, I'd say around nine, about close to nine countries almost 10.

0:50  
Wow. And then you speak like, like a million different languages? 

0:55  
Well, not a million, but 100. But yeah, so I thought it'd be interesting for you guys to listen to what somebody who's gone through the language learning process, and had to adapt to many different cultures around the world. Don't forget to check out the new website, www.simpleenglishlistening.com. There's a mailing list there. So, you give me your email. I'll email you new releases straightaway. And any new updates for this project. And check out the Facebook Simple English Listening and the YouTube and the podcast, Simple English Listening on Spotify, iTunes, blah, blah, blah, and the podcast app Castbox. So, with Castbox, you can slow down the speed of what we're saying. So you can better understand it. Okay. So don't forget Castbox we can change the speed of the podcast. Castbox - C A S T B O X. Okay, so first off, how many schools do you think you've gone to?

2:11  
Oh, wow. So from K through 12, I probably went to about maybe six, maybe six different schools, six or seven schools from kindergarten until 12th grade. And then I ended up, I went to three different high schools. And I went to three different universities to actually but finally got my degree from, from one in the US

2:40  
So, many times. He was the new kid at the front of the class. You know, everyone introducing you. Hi. Say hello to your new student, Frank. And you're there like a little boy at the front waving at everyone?

2:54  
Yeah. Being perpetually the new kid everywhere you go. It's interesting. It's sort of a double-edged sword because

3:07  
we have his pet dog here.

3:10  
Sorry about that. Be quiet. So yeah, you're kind of perpetually the new kitten.

3:19  
Stop. He's like, ''pay attention to me''.

3:28  
So yeah, you you it can work for you. And it can work against you. You know, it sort of gives you a chance to reinvent yourself when, especially when you're younger. You know, teenagers love to do that sort of, alright, well, I'm going to be the, the art the artsy kid this time around, or I'm going to be the I'm going to be really into sports. And this I see.

3:48  
You can redesign.

3:50  
Yeah, you sort of redesign yourself. Yeah. And you learn to be very good at first impressions you also learn to be whether for whether for good or bad. It's you become a very quick judge of character. Now you're not always right. You know, so you can still miss judge people. But you do learn to be more judgmental of people faster, I would say then the normal

4:18  
picked up his dog and holding him down. So I think now the dogs got more attention on him. Maybe he'll stop barking. Oh, yeah. So when you start schools, would they like pair you up with somebody to be like, you know, your buddy,

4:35  
usually? Yeah, that was actually a quite common strategy. Yeah, you'd be the new kid. And usually it was. It was either one of two types of student who was either the lonely nerd who had no friends. Before it was like, the overly popular and vapid like, girl you know in the class though. Yeah, they didn't have sense about anything but was was kind, you know? Yeah.

5:03  
And I have to show you around and you have to sit with him at lunch and all that.

5:06  
Yeah, yeah, exactly. So

5:08  
you know, so you're not, like the kid with no friends on the table by himself eating lunch. Yeah, I

5:14  
actually learned to enjoy prefer eating alone. It's, you don't have to, you don't have to carry on pointless conversation with people you don't like.

5:26  
Yeah, fair enough. So why, why did you go to so many different schools, and so many different countries?

5:34  
So my father was a career naval officer. So he was in the US Navy for almost 30 years. And the career path that he had selected. Basically, he had to move constantly, he was always getting stationed to a new base, a new, you know, a new place. And so every two, on average, about every two years we move, sometimes it'd be three years, sometimes it'd be one year, you know, it would change, but on average, about two years in one place, and then we moved on to the next one. And we had no idea where we were going until maybe three or four weeks before

6:13  
And even your father. didn't know

6:14  
Yeah, if I didn't know we would just be just waiting, you know, and we'd be sitting right, sometimes it was great, because he'd come in and say, ''hey, guys, like we're moving to Italy next month'' is like, yeah, and then other times, it'd be like, ''hey, guys, we're moving to Indiana''.

6:32  
Yeah, wow. It was quite a thrill! Even for him. Yeah, wherever we go next. So it must have been very exciting to hear you are going to like Italy, is one place you lived, Portugal.

6:47  
Spain, Spain, yeah, Spain, and Hawaii. That was a quite a thrill.

6:54  
Oklahoma, oh, yeah, middle of nowhere, middle America. You know,

7:02  
they all have good things and bad things, you know, and I think that's something you learn to appreciate. When you get older, moving around so much, you're kind of always looking for the most ideal place, right? Where do you want to live? It needs to have, it needs to have this needs to have that. And you realise as you get older, that there really is no, there is no perfect place, but a good way, a good way to sort of manage your expectations is to make a list like a top 10. What are the top 10? Things you want out of somewhere you live? You know, does it have mountains, or beaches, or shopping or parks or public transportation or you know, things that you find important for your quality of life.

7:51  
But when you're put somewhere, you've got no choice. So you just have to make the most of it!

7:55  
so you have to make the most of it, exactly. And you know what, if you end up in a place that has eight out of 10

8:05  
you end up in a place that has eight out of 10 you know, things you need, that's those are really good. That's really good. You know, it sort of teaches you to manage your expectations a bit and also to be more realistic.

8:22  
And how is it to be the son of a military man? You know, is he like 'attention' every morning, ''shine your shoes''. 

8:31  
Yea, we had to do PT every morning. And actually, my dad was very, very laid back. Because he wasn't a soldier. He was, he was a sailor, but the Navy, the Navy is a little bit more laid back than like the Army or the Marines. But also he was, he was an engineer. So he's he's a very smart, very educated guy. Very, very calm. very analytical. So you know, he understood.

9:00  
Yeah, so and moving around that often was his job, was something along the lines of you'd have to teach people how to do a certain skill and then move on to the next phase or something like that? Maybe?

9:13  
well, and I have to say he was probably the best father for the situation my, my sibling and I were in because he grew up the same way. My grandfather was in the army, and Okay, career army guy. So my dad did the same thing. My dad moved more than I did. He, he went to 12 different schools for K through 12. So literally, he never finished the same school. He started that in that fall. It was all he was just constantly moving. So he understood very well what it was like to grow up that way. So he was, yeah, he was a great father.

9:44  
Wow. So if you could quickly summarise your life story, and where are you moved to? All right. All right. I'll

9:55  
try that. All right, lightning round, so you were born, I was born in in a suburb of Seattle, and then we moved to Virginia, just actually Virginia Beach. And then we moved close to Washington DC in Northern Virginia, and then ended up in Oklahoma. And then we went to Italy.

10:14  
And how old were you about then? This was all before five. Oh, before five.

10:19  
And then when I was in kindergarten, first grade, Dad was stationed in Sardinia, Italy. And then we went to Hawaii. And then we went to New Hampshire, right on the border of Maine and New Hampshire. So Stephen King land to the north east and the USA. Yeah, very, very beautiful. And then we moved back to Italy, but this time, Naples, Italy, ''Napoli!'' and that was from 12 until about 15. Yeah, and then we moved to Indiana to rural Trump Land. Yeah, we went from the bosom of Mediterranean culture, to, you know, literally the first thing anyone ever said to me in that town was ''hey, there, where are you from?'' And I said, ''well, I'm American, but I, I just moved here from Italy''. ''Italy. You are I-talian? Well, we don't like fags or foreigners around here.''

11:20  
Yeah. That's the first thing they said.

11:22  
They said to me, that was a conversation.

11:27  
Yeah. And you must have been thinking, you know, what has my Dad done to me? Moving me here?

11:36  
Well, and that was it, man. I had such a strong distaste for living there. And, and all the all the negative stereotypes you can think of, as far as like, you know, deep red Republican American was true, you know, and, and half the girls were pregnant before 16 and all the guys were, you know, they weren't going to college. You know, they're, they might, they might get a job at a factory or go in the military.

12:03  
Otherwise, they're gonna start, you know, doing meth and like, end up in prison. Yeah, it was it was bleak, very bleak, sad, sad place to live. And I was there and there was this little foreign kid in my class. He's from Armenia, I think or Georgia, Georgia, Armenia. Yeah, I should probably get that right. I hope any of your listeners aren't upset. I yeah, he was a cool little kid. He was very, very soft spoken. He could play the piano like insane. He was like a classical pianist. It was unbelievable, how how good he was at the piano. But I asked him, I said, Hey, man, Like what? Like, what are you doing here of all places? And he was like, Oh, I'm doing an exchange programme. Whoa, like, how do you do that? He said, ''Oh, well, I can put you in touch with the chairman of the local club here''. And there you go. And then the rest was history. I signed up and I was like, get me out of here as quickly as possible.

12:54  
And so they asked me where I wanted to go. And I had been studying French for years in school. And but I didn't wasn't too keen on France. We can get into that later. But basically, it was either gonna be Switzerland, Belgium, or Quebec. Okay. And I basically narrowed in on Belgium because I had actually travelled there before and and remembered how much I liked it, how it's Belgium such an interesting mix of Latin culture and germanic culture. And it's, it's, it's the farthest north Latin culture in Europe. Okay, so when you get up to like Brussels, like it's basically the surrounding areas are all germanic. So the beer and the the religion and the well the language and just sort of the culture in general is very, very germanic. And yet, you still have this little French bulge pushing into, okay to germanic Europe. So yes, fantastic place. So I went there for one year on a exchange programme,

13:57  
And that was before University.

13:59  
Yes, that was my last year of high school. So I left a 17 and stayed for one year and came back to start uni. And then did uni. I originally went to, I started at a community college, because I had no clue what I wanted to study or what I wanted to do with my life. I went to community college for about six months. really disliked it. It just wasn't a, it's not like that television show 'Community'. I wish it was, that would have been awesome. It was it was a much more depressing, it was all, it was filled with just like, you know, non-traditional students. So everyone was you know, a lot of moms and housewives and you know, guys who just got out of prison and like,

14:46  
yeah, just everyday people.

14:48  
Yeah, so like the you know, the typical 18 to 22 year old college experience was not, was not there. So I transferred and went to school in Oklahoma. Yeah, Oklahoma in the middle of middle of America.

15:04  
There is a very famous musical called Oklahoma. That's my first experience of Oklahoma. Yeah, I just, I just remember being there, when I was, like 10 watching a musical. And it was all, you know, like tradition and cowboys. And, and yeah, like, small dusty towns in the middle of nowhere, is it like that?

15:28  
I mean, the town I went to school in, the nearest city is about maybe one hour drive. Oh, so this, this town is, you get a lot of these types of towns in America, where in college towns where you have, you know, maybe 100,000 people live in these towns. But over half the population is under the age of 25. So, you know, very few people live there, year round there. They're either seasonal workers or they're students. So if you go there in the summertime, the town's completely empty, that town goes from 100,000 to like, 30,000, you know, over the course of just a week, and then it's dead all summer. Yeah. And then the week before school starts again, everyone comes back and the town explodes again. So it was actually a fun sort of experience to live in a town like that, because I don't think you can find that many places in the world.

16:21  
Mm hmm. I mean, in the UK, there are some towns like that, you know, just student student heavy towns. So, as a man who's never settled anywhere ('settled' means to live for a long time for the rest of your life). As a man who has never settled anywhere. Will you ever settle anywhere? Do you think? And if so, where would it be?

16:47  
Good question,

16:48  
Or, do you think you'll always live a life on the road? Like a gypsy? Yeah, Viking. 

16:56  
Yeah, I can't see myself really settling down for anywhere longer than a few years. I mean, actually, now. Here is the longest I've lived anywhere going on for four and a half years.

17:08  
Yep. And we're in Vietnam right now.

17:12  
But again, you know I don't plan on staying here forever You know, I'm gonna I want to move on to the next place. However I do, I would like to have maybe like a part time home or like maybe buy like a little farm somewhere and

17:31  
as like a go-to place just a regular place to go on holiday.

17:35  
I'll go there once a year, just you know, head back to the farm for the summer and work on stuff and just slowly maintain a small little farm

17:44  
and all summer just making a pointless wall in the backyard. Yeah, exactly. In the sun. Because he's got nothing else to do. Exactly.

17:53  
Yeah. little chicken coop.

17:54  
Yeah. You know, then potbelly pigs. Yeah, exactly. There'd be a donkey to help you do your work.

18:03  
Yeah. And depending on where where this farm is, I mean, ideally, you'd be like in a Mediterranean climate.

18:10  
Yeah. But, uh, I don't know. I'd probably be in Indiana. Yeah.

18:16  
I would say I don't think I'll be able to afford to live in Europe, but who knows? We'll see. But maybe South America or somewhere in North America. And yeah, and then, you know, after, who knows, 10, 20 years when I start to get old and decrepit? And, you know, move permanently to this little farm that I've had for years. That would be a nice, sort of, what's the word I'm looking for? 

18:41  
- lifestyle.

18:43  
Yeah, I think that's, I will get to there eventually.

18:47  
Say and you've also lived in Brazil. Nice. Yeah. Spent about six months in Brazil, Spain, Italy. All around America. And Belgium, and Belgium and Vietnam, Vietnam and South Korea, South Korea, and China. And China. Yeah. These are all the countries Dave's lived. South Korea, China, Vietnam, all as an EFL English teacher.

19:12  
Well, Brazil and Chile as well.

19:14  
And Brazil and Chile. Okay, and Chile?

19:17  
Yeah, yeah, I spent about four months in Santiago. And I loved it. It was just, financially I couldn't stay there. It's quite an expensive place and you don't make much money as a teacher there, so

19:31  
and you also lived in Hollywood, Hollywood.

19:35  
Yeah, I went to LA and caught the acting bug and although wasn't really much acting, but..

19:42  
but you went to some auditions. Did Yeah. Yeah. Dave tried to, I guess make it as a an actor, screenwriter, or a script writer. Yeah. Something like that. In the LA. Yeah. Hollywood.

19:59  
That was the the, I was writing I was in my 20s. I was in my mid 20s. And I had I had a good job, very boring job, a good job. It was a sustainable job. I could have probably stayed there at that company for 20 years, you know, however, I realised that I was going to spend 20 years of my life in this big factory stuck behind a computer talking to strangers on the telephone eight hours a day all day. For for yeah, for a majority of my life. And I just thought to myself, good God, like, what a horrible life?

20:36  
Well, yeah, when I was 19, because I'm a musician. I love rock and roll music. I'm in a band. When I was 19, I moved to London, to try and become a professional musician. And in the end, it was just 12 hours a day just working, like picking up phones, people complaining why their free housing benefit hasn't gone through people threatening me on their phones, 'oi mate, why isn't my house in benefit''? Just office, this soulless, spiritless office just picking up phones for like, yeah, eight hours a day, it was like two hours to get to work two hours back. By the time the weekend came. I was too tired to make any music, you know, but anything creative. I think now with the internet, with YouTube, Spotify, or these great apps, you can be a creative person, an artist, musician, you can be based in many countries around the world. And if you're good enough, you'll be discovered on the internet. More than 15 years ago, when you were in Hollywood. I was in London. Yeah.

21:51  
I mean, I think about that, too. The the idea of the YouTube celebrity did not exist, YouTube was around. Yeah, it was still this brand new, sort of no one really thought of it as a content site. And we just thought of it as though it's a site you can upload videos. Yeah. Whereas, uh, you know, subscribing and channels and things like that hadn't really become a thing yet. Yeah, it was like, it was at maybe 10 years ago. Yeah. 2011 / 2012, something like that. It was still in its in its infancy. And so yeah, when I went to LA, streaming hadn't taken over yet. Netflix hadn't taken over. I mean, it was starting, but it was still very much like the old vanguard of Hollywood. And I think you see it in music.

22:39  
I feel if you've created a music track, like a song, which is truly good. People will listen to it by word of mouth, people start sharing it with each other, you know, sharing it to friends, and it will get out there if it's truly good music, like you just put it on the internet. And it will spread. You know, it's awesome. But yeah, this is the new age. Yeah, we're talking about 15 years ago, and things were different. So let's talk about language. And how many languages do you speak comfortably? That's a good question. And uncomfortably. All right, well, comfortably as far as I have either studied or worked speaking the language at the end the office and having it be a part of my everyday both French and Spanish. So my my French and Spanish are professionally good enough to to use the workplace or, or to study at university. My Italian and my Portuguese are probably the next best however that a lot of that is sort of cheating because

23:55  
but he's a great actor. So he puts on the accent of Italian and Portuguese and you and you think he's absolutely fluent? Because he can sound like perfectly like a real guy from Napoli or Italy or whatever. Yeah, and

24:11  
as far as like um, so so i can i can stumble around and ask directions in order food, and probably a few other languages like German and Dutch. Probably Korean as well. I'd throw in there. Vietnamese, the same you know, sort of a advanced beginner if you will, like me, not not good enough to be considered intermediate but but better than a beginner. And the language is you're best at.

24:38  
They are all of the romance languages. The Romance languages is what we call the language family of languages that mostly come from Latin, Greek like Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese,

24:52  
'Romance', as in taking after Rome, not not romance like 'romantic'. Okay. Yeah, romance. comes from it comes from Rome, from Latin.

25:02  
I've learned something new. I just thought it was because they were romantic!

25:09  
yeah. But yeah, well The fun thing about romance languages is if you learn one, the amount of effort it takes to learn the other is it's incredible how little effort it takes. So if you're a Spanish speaker or an Italian speaker, or a French speaker, or even a Romanian speaker, Portuguese, what have you. To learn one of the other Romance languages or even a dialect like if you want to learn Catalan, although a lot of people insist Catalan is a is a separate language entirely. But I mean, for example, if you look at the word exit, in French, so the word exit in French is 'sortie', right, S O R T I E. The the Spanish word for exit is Salida. La salida. The exit. So, the Catalan word, if you look at Catalonia it's in between France and Spain. What's the Catalan word for exit? Yeah, sortida. So okay, salida, sortie, sortida, yeah. So you get a lot of just, just minute miniscule changes in the language, enough so that if you aren't around it, it is you know, obviously, it's a different language. But it's so, they're so similar in so many ways that you can you can learn another romance language within probably a few months, I would say.

26:32  
Yeah. So what was the first romance language that you learned? Italian actually from living in Italy as a as a small boy and again, as a teenager. That sort of planted the seed. So then you found it, did you find it quite easy? Do you remember having to switch from one romance language to another? Or from French to Spanish or Spanish to French? Because those are the strongest languages? Yes. So the the process of like transferring from one romance language to another? Was it quite quick? And easy? Or was it? Yeah, or how did you do it?

27:10  
I mean, it would depend because I think French and Spanish there's, there's enough of a difference in culture. In language where it was pretty seamless, it was fairly easy to change my mind and think in a different language. But the one that got me was Portuguese and Spanish, okay. And I went down to South America, my Spanish was very, very strong. And I ended up in Brazil and particularly Brazilian Portuguese, you, I would say about half 50% of the language is practically identical to Spanish, it really is. And but the other 50% is completely different. And especially in Portuguese, or Brazilian Portuguese, because they use a lot of indigenous words and a lot of borrowed words, because they had they have a massive,

27:59  
('indigenous', indigenous, meaning the people ethnically native to a land)

28:05  
Yes. So like the Native American people, the tribes and stuff. So for example, the the Brazilian Portuguese word for pineapple. It's one of my favourite words to say it's a 'abakaxi'. Well, I guess she derives from a native indigenous Brazilian tribal word for, for that, so you get a lot of these funny interesting,

28:29  
That's an amazing word! Yeah, very fun to say, insn't it? One more time for the listeners - 'abakaxi'

28:37  
Yeah. Awesome. And, but I would I noticed a lot in Brazil, I use Spanish, a lot as a crutch because I would basically speak Spanish with a Brazilian accent, and everyone would would understand. They call it Portunol. Yeah, so basically, you speak a hybrid of Portuguese and Spanish. Okay, and they'll understand you But yeah, Portunol

29:04  
Awesome. Do you remember any language learning ideas or techniques? Or were you too young to consciously know it well? Because you probably learned language quite naturally because of your environment.

29:23  
Exactly. I mean, that that's the the one the one thing I noticed is the languages I am proficient at are the languages where I lived in those countries and I was basically surrounded by non-English speakers. So learning the languages really came down to survival. And you know, if I want to have a life here, I need to learn the language. And you know, I remember in, in Belgium, I had studied French for years in school, but I didn't remember, remember much. So the first like, three, four months, I was in Belgium, every day when I'd come home, I would, I would study, you know, common verbs, common nouns, you know, the most, the most common expressions and things like that to sort of, it's actually similar, it's what the Defence Language Institute does in the United States, for military and for embassy workers, they send you to a school. And basically, they teach you, you know, the 100 most common words, like that's the first thing you learn, and then they teach you, the next, the next round is, you know, common expressions, and then sentence structure. And so they basically work almost in a similar way a child would, you know, if you have a small child learning, whether they're two or three years old, they're going to know water, milk, you know, poopoo, or peepee, or whatever, you know. And they learn those, those because those are the basic common words that they need for their survival.

31:01  
Yeah, for those listening to the podcast, you might know by now, I'm a big fan, believer that you should first learn the 1000, then 2000, then 3000, most frequently used words, because for most languages, you should understand to some level, I think, is 82%, of a language spoken language is within the 1000 most frequently used words, and then 90%, is it within the 2000 most frequently used words. What you're saying makes lots of sense to me using that as a foundation. Yeah.

31:41  
Yes. And you know, it really would work. It was the same in with Spanish. You know, after, after I learned French I started University, started studying Spanish. And I noticed how I didn't even have to study for the Spanish, because it was the grammar and the words, like I explained earlier with Catalan and Spanish and in French, that there's, there's, they're all from the same language family. Yeah. And so it was so easy to remember the vocabulary. And the conjugation of the verbs was almost identical. Especially written, you know, spoken is a little different. But, But the way it's written, I mean, it's almost identical, the rules are basically the same. And so learning Spanish was it was a breeze in school. And then I went to Spain, thinking, Okay, I got this in the bag, like, my Spanish is really good. But then I was hit with a different problem I wasn't ready for and that's sort of the delivery, and the speed at which Spanish people speak. Especially people from Madrid they, they speak incredibly fast, they speak so quickly. And they do speak with proper grammar, because Madrid is sort of the gold standard of Spanish in the Spanish speaking world, and, but good, yeah, good night nurse, they would speak so fast. And you would just have to sit there and tune your ear to try to get everything they were saying. And then processing what they're saying, in your mind. As they're continuing. It was, yeah, that was, the listening became a really big challenge as far as, but again, after a few months, it was fine. You know, your, your ear sort of adjusts to the to the speed and

33:21  
well, that's one thing. I remember, when I first heard Spanish when I was much younger, I could not believe how fast like, it sounded, you know, like,

33:33  
well, it's also one of those languages that lends itself to speaking quickly. Because a lot of it is soft, consonant sounds mixed with a lot of vowels, mostly a and O. And so it lends itself to be spoken quickly, because you can just kind of go, I think at that time, you don't have to, it's not as harsh on your throat, or your mouth as say German or French, is really like, you know, like it really hits you. It's spoken in a different part of the the mouth. And yeah, it comes more from the front of your mouth, rather than the back of your throat.

34:13  
I remember, because I lived in France in Tolouse when I was about 10 or 11 years old. And I started studying Spanish at school when I was about 14. And it was just so easy. Yeah, compared to you know, how I was at other subjects.

34:31  
As far as language goes, you know, maybe I was just really lucky and growing up, you know, moving around and living in, in romance speaking countries, romance language countries. And so I just have a more fine tuned ear to those languages. But it wasn't until my late 20s that I was introduced to tonal languages. So, like Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Thai, Cambodian, and it was my first experience with tonal languages living in mainland China, and I tried to take a few classes. And my goodness it was, it's an incredibly unforgiving language. Any tonal language is incredibly unforgiving with mistakes. Because the moment you make a mistake, it means a totally different word and, and they look at you like a madman when you're trying to order like the most simple thing. Yeah. And you're messing it up and you don't realise

35:26  
instead of saying like, Are you trying to oder some chicken and you're calling it like, 'ghost mum, ghost mum' 

35:31  
Yes, that's exactly it!

35:36  
I think I saw a meme, like the other day. And it was saying, like, M A, in Vietnamese is like nine different things. Yeah, depending on the tone, like ma, ma, ma, and all different ways. And the sound of it is just, if you were an early, like, European, coming to Vietnam, 2/300 years ago, the sound of Vietnamese must have been like, nothing you've ever heard before. It's very unique. Yeah. And you're doing Vietnamese lessons right now? Because, because his wife forces him. So you can better speak to her family? I guess. Right?

36:24  
Yeah, it's, uh, you know, and I am doing the same approach. As far as learning the 100 most common words, you know, the who, what, when, where, one, to 100 prepositions of place and time. And you know that all those sort of beginner level things that you learn, and it works. However, my listening has gotten much better. I can sort of understand basic conversation. But again, anytime I try to say something, no one understands what I'm saying. Because I still cannot get those tones. I couldn't hear the tones for the first maybe two or three years I lived here. Yeah. And it wasn't until after about two or three years, I started to hear the tones differently. But I still can't say the tones differently. So I'm, yeah, I'm sort of like a mute, like, and I'm like a dumb mute in Vietnamese.

37:16  
I've studied Vietnamese, here and there. And I often find that I'll say a sentence in Vietnamese, and then they'll start speaking back to me in Vietnamese, and I just have no idea what they're saying. So difficult, because it's like, Vietnamese people's ears are more attuned to different tones. Yes. Whereas for us, we're not used to tones, it's not, it doesn't change the meaning, you know, so yeah. Yeah. To be able to decipher, like, differentiate the different tones in listening to a whole sentence. Yeah, it's very difficult.

37:57  
Yeah, if someone if someone says something longer than, you know, a few words, I can't, I can't follow like, I get like one or two and then but I don't want to assume that's what they're saying. Because of the two words I understood. And

38:13  
yeah, well we'll both be learning more Vietnamese in the future. And watch this space, maybe we'll be, you know, far improved, this time in six months. We'll see what happens. Maybe we'll be able to listen successfully, to you know, the person on the street like shouting at you about this or that.

38:35  
trying to sell you snail noodles. And

38:39  
out here in Hanoi? Yeah, there's lots of street food on the side of the road. Yeah. Okay. So, anything else you can think of? Hmm, no. okay. Well, I want to say a massive thank you to Frank. Thanks for having me. He's been an awesome guest. And I hope that you guys have opened your ears and your hearts to someone who's had a very different perspective in their life experience, because they've just lived everywhere, you know, like no one place to call home, but just always a life on the road, going through different cultures, different languages, different countries. Just a quick note to say that from next week, we will be doing one video podcast every two weeks. So one video podcast, so it will be on YouTube and Spotify and Apple, okay. Every two weeks, every Sunday. We'll release them every Sunday. Okay, all the best guys. See you next week. Bye.