2009年1月30日金曜日

I believe in Khatzumoto

No matter what the guy does, he just can't get a break. Khatzumoto posts in very good Japanese on his site, and people doubt him. He posts a video of himself, and yet people still give him shit. He gets comments like this one:
"I'm glad something else said this - I was afraid to. (I fear I'm becoming the resident grouch :)).The fellow still isn't "fluent" after 5 years, so hopefully this 18 month stuff can be put to rest and people won't be frustrated by unrealizable expectations. The amusing thing is...his grammar could use some improvement. Khatz recommends acting like you're Japanese. But without lines, not all actors can adlib eloquently."
or this:
"Impressive, but not proof of fluency in other fields - he's a computer guy who studied his computers using japanese textbooks - so he could probably converse about that quite well, and with good computer skills then landing a job is not so surprising. That's a long haul from what most of us would consider fluent - not to diminish what he did, and certainly his blog and ideas have inspired lots of us here to try new methods, and often successfully at that. Not a shot at the guy, just a dash of realism."

And I am sick and tired of this bullshit. We can argue over his politeness level, we can present all the analyses we want, we can squabble over what fluency means. But I'm not going to. I simply can't stomach it anymore. There's a difference between skepticism and being so blindly negative about everything it becomes impossible to find merit in anything.

I say that Japanese is learned when you're deep in a story, from experience. I, along with Khatzumoto, advocate a method of enjoyment over learning the rules of grammar. And yet, they won't have it. I'm just "learning utterances" and such. I try again to tell them, it's more than that. I tell them that's not true and I won't have it. Bollocks, they say, it's obvious that my method must be slower then theirs. Yet here I am, at JLPT2 level after four months. Where does it end?

And I can't stand it, this negativity. It's a pile of fucking negativity that only holds us back.
Right here, right now I declare that I believe in Khatzumoto. I don't care what people say. I believe that he's fluent, and I believe that I can be fluent too. I won't have anybody tell me otherwise. I encourage everybody else to do the same. Don't let people put you down.

I believe in Khatzumoto. Do you?

11 件のコメント:

  1. To he honest i'd think you'd have to crazy to not believe khatz is fluent by now.
    Even if people don't believe his 18 month timescale they can't deny that after years of him applying this technique and even living in Japan now that he is infact fluent.

    The other thing i find strange is that no matter how simply somebody speaks, if it is there native language people are fine with it, "oh well, they're a native so it's fine, they must be correct" but when a foreigner who has learned it as a second language does it, it becomes "his grammar is too simple, he can't be fluent" or near to that effect anyway.

    Nice post.

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  2. While I believe Khatz is fluent, and he got there like he said he did... I still don't believe he knows -why-. I think he's guessing.

    His method obviously worked very, very well for him. And it will probably work for others, if they follow it exactly. But lately he has been recommending changes to it, such as 'Grammar doesn't exist' and 'only study grammar in the native language'. He didn't do that! Without knowing the very basics of Japanese grammar (は、が、を、お、か) it is -very- hard to figure out what is going on.

    Some people can't accept pieces of what someone says without accepting the whole. So when he says things like the above that are obviously untrue, they can't accept anything he says. The above are just the most recent examples. The entire time I've been reading his blog he has done the same thing. Lots of great ideas interspersed with obviously untrue statements.

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  3. I'm with you, I belive in Khatzumoto!
    If after 8 months of AJATT I had to prove to a japanese girl I am italian (because what I write in Japanese seems so natural), something somewhere should've gone right.
    I'm still far from fluent, but I feel I "own" Japanese more and more every day. Maybe I will not be native-fluent after 18 months, but I don't think this is the point of the whole "method".

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  4. I never doubted him in the first place. Whenever I read about Japanese in text books or online, there was never a method that said it would take you to fluency. It was always JLPT3 or some subset thereof. But, when I came across AJATT, and read that it could take you to native level fluency, I kept reading. And the more you read of his blog, the more you'll understand.

    @William: You don't need to know even those basics. It's helpful, but you still don't need to read about them. For example, Rosetta Stone doesn't explain anything at all about grammar, but yet it jumps right with gerunds, subject markers and all that. The same thing can be applied to outside methods, like AJATT. Simply being exposed to the language, and hearing a pattern many many times, you *will* understand it.

    So, I believe in Khatzumoto, and I believe I will be fluent at the native-level. Because, I have decided this, and there's no doubt that I can't reach native fluency by the time I graduate from college in two years.

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  5. (If this ends up being a double post, I'm sorry. I'm just a retard...)

    AMEN! PREACH IT BRUTHA! HALLELUJAH!

    ...Yeah. I agree. Saying Khatz isn't fluent because he can't say some random 23 letter word out of a dictionary or because he doesn't speak perfect textbook Japanese is like saying Beowulf wasn't a hero because, although he killed Grendel, he did it by tearing his arm off and not by decapitating him. What?! Who the phork cares! Dang, man! It was still effective!

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  6. (lol, actually, as it turns out, Beowulf did end up cutting his head off...oh well! I think the metaphor still applies..)

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  7. After reading those comments on the RETK forum I came to the conclusion that what really gets under people's skins who attack Khatz is the fact that he learnt Japanese in 18 months.

    I think alot of the people who attack him and AJATT have been studying Japanese for years and were seriously pissed when this smart arse kid came along saying, "hey, I learnt this in 18 months by having fun, why don't you give it a try".

    It probably made them feel like they had been wasting large amounts of time and they then try and justifiy their wasted time by attacking AJATT and trying to convince themselves that they were right all along in their methods.

    To be honest i'm sure Khatz doesn't give a monkeys what they say about him and I think that pisses them off even more.

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  8. (I know this is more than a year old but I'll post anyway)

    This is exactly the reason I don't go on the RTK forum anymore. It's made up of a large majority of insanely negative people who are 'always right'. They've been following AJATT (minus the no-grammar, doing it all the time, doing fun things and no rote-memorisation rules! *Because those are just silly!*) for 2 years and it hasn't worked but OBVIOUSLY the best way to learn Japanese is their way which generally involves doing RTK then drilling hours and hours of boring vocabulary and sentences from Kanji Odyssey so that they can reach their 'goal of 10,000 sentences'- only then can you move on to real things.

    They say they've adapted and improved Khatz's methods when actually they've pretty much gone backwards and gone completely against the main tenets of his method i.e. "Full immersion environment" and "Have fun doing it" - they recommend you skip 'full immersion' because the high post count members have declared that "What's the point in doing immersion if you don't understand it?", and say that you shouldn't be having fun because there are some things you HAVE to learn, and that drilling boring grammar sentences from a dull textbook is the way to go about it because "everyone on RTK says so". Not to mention that they seem to make no progress at all and abuse anyone with a success story because 'it is on the internet and so isn't credible' and 'doesn't fit with their experiences'. Geez if these people spent more time learning Japanese instead of faffing around trying to 'improve' methods and tear other people down and argue about the best methods, then they'd be a polyglot by now.

    Seriously, Khatz's recommendation not to go on internet forums because more time is spent arguing and postulating than actually picking a method and doing it is a good one. I intend to follow it.

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  9. I believe bro, I believe! (jlpt2 level in few months, for real?)

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  10. がんばって! Us true-believers are out there listening to Japanese while washing the dishes, not hanging out on English-language forums (I only found this one through AJATT on twitter this morning).
    Now back to 日本語...

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  11. I also quit the RevTK forums for the same reasons stated above. They brag a lot about it being a kind and respectful place... that is until you go against the theories and methods of the main posters. Then when you see the videos of them speaking Japanese on Youtube, you come to realize how much they really suck.

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