2009年3月28日土曜日

Why are you learning Japanese?

You have to know this question. A large part of the reason people get so lost and off point, is because they look at Japanese learning as a goal unto itself. If you want to get past your hump, to do more than the minimum everyday, to step up from mediocrity, you really need to get your goals in order.

Many of us follow AJATT method. A good amount of people who follow the AJATT method also like to be apart of online forums, twitter groups, etc. And it's in the community that they further their learning.

There are enough people who say 24/h listening to Japanese isn't that effective, and not a lot of evidence to say it is.
So in the interest of efficiency, we don't have to do that.
There are enough sentence lists and people talking about the efficiency of learning them. They're such great learning resources.
So in the interest of efficiency, it's a good idea to worth through them in order to enjoy fun things more.

I can understand, even empathize with the thinking here. It's just about creating the more efficient method, to make it better. It is here that the point of learning the language becomes itself.

This isn't to argue how people are doing the AJATT method wrong. But rather, I see people take a method originally created with the intense desire to learn Japanese based around enjoyment. A process where the author would refuse to accept defeat of any kind, constantly putting himself in situations where he was forced to get better. And we will take this beautiful method and turn it into a lifeless process. A lifeless process where we consider enjoyment a worthless investment. Where there isn't a point in trying for the difficult, if it's above your level. Where success is met with spite and mediocrity is condoned.

"I spent every waking minute when I wasn't at my day job reading, studying, and learning. I picked out 'enemies' and did everything I could to defeat them, which meant being bigger than them. I refused to accept defeat of any kind." And the money comes rolling in

This man had goals. This man wanted to create the most efficient website he could, among other things. And if you bother to read the article you'll find that once he achieved his goals, the most he amounts to is playing war games all day or pulling pranks. Content to wallow in sloth.

Tell me your goals.

7 件のコメント:

  1. Goals: I don't have any.

    Somewhere along the way, they disappeared. I started learning Japanese because I wanted watch anime, read manga, and play games in their original language and before they were brought to the US.

    Then I realized a few things...

    1) Almost all the best manga/anime/games are brought over to the US, translated, immediately. Sometimes officially, sometimes not.
    2) The small amount that isn't translated immediately makes it here eventually.
    3) There is more of the 'best manga/anime/games' than I can possibly consume as a single person... As least, without quitting my day job.
    4) The fan translators don't really do that bad of a job... It's usually pretty close to the original. (There are always exceptions, but they are not the rule.)

    So then... Why -am- I studying Japanese now?

    It's partially because I find it to be fun to study the language. Yes, the studying has becomes the end instead of the means.

    It's partially because I enjoy reading mangas in Japanese.

    It's partially because I have a big ego and I look forward to knowing things nobody around me knows. In fact, I already do this at work in Japanese since we're a world-wide company and I'm the only employee in the US that knows any Japanese at all.

    And lastly, it's partially because it's the only hobby I have that actually has any practical use to it. Everything else just wastes time. (And de-stresses me.)

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  2. I originally thought of Japanese as a useful skill, but now I see that was just an excuse. The truth is, it's just a way to relax. Strange as it may sound, SRS reviewing is kind of relaxing and fun to me. It's something to do while listening to music. When I went to Japan I quickly discovered that learning Japanese is basically a very time-consuming party trick. So, it's just a luxury hobby for fun and there are no goals.

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  3. I am living in Japan as an exchange student for 1 year. I fell so much in love with this country that I definitely want to come to university here and afterwards live here forever.
    During my stay here I found RTK and got serious about learning Japanese. My simple conversation Japanese is good, but I still lack in soo many ways... So I finished RTK, wanted to do the movie method, but saw that I needed to do it before RTK (which kinda sucked, since it seemed like a cool method) so then I found the AJATT method and noticed that that was already happening for the past half year. My Japanese is the best of all the exchange students they say. Why? Because of 2 reasons. 1: I finished RTK. and 2: I didn't read english books in class, I didn't sleep in class, I wasn't constantly crawling back to the english world through the internet... No, I was studying with RTK every day, and if not speaking to my friends in Japanese. If I did had free time to spend on my computer I would watch anime without subtitles. ^-^
    I was only always afraid of manga though... But AJATT convinced me and now I am constantly reading that aswell + I made my first Anki deck!

    My goals: Live here, work here.
    YES WE CAN! (The phrase that EVERY Japanese person knows and constantly uses in funny situations)

    -Mesqueeb

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  4. Reasons are nothing more than an excuse to do something you would rather not do. A reason is something you fall back on when you begin to burnout. If you ever have to step back and think about the reason you are learning a language then you have already lost.

    Ask any kid what reason they have for playing their favorite video game, watching their favorite TV show, or hanging out with their friends. You'll get the look of "uhhh, whatda yah mean mister?" every time.

    I've found that the most successful language learners are those who have lost their reason to learn the language. They began with one, maybe, but lost it somewhere along the way. Language learning is no longer is something consciously thought about, it just exists. They just do stuff in Japanese everyday with no intentional effort. They wake up and toss on the headphones, the listen to podcasts in the car, they browse 2ch at work, they come home fiending for the next volume of their favorite manga, etc. When learning Japanese becomes your life, when you can no longer imagine yourself doing non-japanese activities, that is when you will truly begin to succeed.

    Take note from addicts. Once it becomes habit, you're f**ked, and in this situation, that is exactly what you want. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have 3 unread volumes of 魔法先生ネギま that I've been fiending for since I left for work this morning.

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  5. I wanted to say something cool and noble. But it'd be something false or just off.

    I agree with SolarWind here. By his/her definition I certainly haven't found success yet, but I'm getting there. I don't think about listening to Japanese music, I just do it. My movies, books, sites, etc. are all Japanese or Japanese related (in the case of sites and books) I still need to force myself to get up and read, but.. that's more of a problem I've had even without Japanese.

    I just want to get more Japanese in my life. I want to build the habit of waking up and reading that book, that manga, that site, in Japanese. I want to read, hear, say and write so much Kyoto-ben that people can't tell I was a foreigner or born and raised in Kyoto. I want to learn so many Kanji that I couldn't not pass level one of the 漢字検定.

    In this way, I know native-level Japanese fluency will come to me, quite painlessly.

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  6. My Goals right now are to become more fluent then your average high school student.

    Anyway two things I wanted to bring up

    1. What do you think of using Furigana inserters when reading websites? Crutch or useful tool to confirm readings?

    2. I think you need to recognize that you are incredibly intelligent, and not put down some other learning methods. Question: why do you learn all the kanji first? why don't you just learn them from context as you see them. It's the same thing with grammar and some vocab to an extent.

    Let me take myself as an example I lived in Japan for 2 years, never bothered with studying and just did the fun thing(I admit I spent a large amount of time speaking english during this period/in an English university setting though), I could have conversations with people that only speak Japanese for an hour, I worked in a Japanese Food shop with co-workers who only spoke Japanese/ manned the cash register. But I never learned the potential form! I just took not doing it as not being able to do it.

    Finally one day I told my Chinese co-worker 酒ぜんぜん飲めない or ぜんぜん飲まない
    (don't remember which) They respond 飲めない? 飲まない? I had utterly no clue what they were talking about. It took me a year and half to get that, only because a Person who wasn't even Japanese corrected me.

    Some people need a more formal study map(even if it's studying the grammar from native Japanese materials, which I do now)

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  7. Furigana inserters are notorious for being inaccurate at times when they need to be accurate.

    Learning kanji was to learn how to write them, it's not very effective to learn them from context. (Benefits have been discussed quite a bit: http://forum.koohii.com/viewtopic.php?id=1958)

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