Ask a Korean had an interesting post a while ago. . . but what struck me most was the last paragraph. He writes:
Which brings us to the Expat’s last question: “Do I have to become fluent in order to properly debate?”
The answer is: OF COURSE! To be sure, even if someone are a racial minority immigrant, she can go on with her life without necessarily having to learn more than basic language and customs of her newly adopted home country. But if she, for whatever reason, do not become fluent in the language and assimilate into the society, there is no way in hell her opinion will be taken seriously in that country. That is true in any society. Being able to persuade and convince others in your society is a powerful function – it is a way in which you impose your will upon that society. It will never come for cheap. (bold mine)
I want my Korean to at such a good level that I can convince people, that I can persuade people. The last year even though I’ve been out of Korea (or perhaps because I’ve been out) I’ve got much much better at both of those skills. Since reading this paragraph earlier this fall I’ve been trying to think of how I can further my ability in these areas. One answer is lies in learning and mastering magical words. . . what are some other tools?