I have a lot of great ideas. Really, just a ton. Oh sure, to the untrained eye, I’m kicking it on the balcony drinking Asahi beer and watching sardine trains packed with commuters ride into the sunset, but really, I’m thinking. Hard. Like about my tiny Japanese apartment, and how to make it more livable. So, first I bought a sofa-bed. It’s a little lumpy. Then a lamp. That came from Ikea, so actually it’s great. They really understand furniture, those Swedes. And meatballs. Then I thought, Hey, how about a little hydroelectric power plant? That’d be a nice addition.
Surprisingly, there aren’t many YouTube videos about doing this at home. But I figured, Well, how hard can it be? I mean, I’ve got a sink, and what am I gonna use it for? Washing dishes? Heh, that’d be the day. Continue reading “Why no one Helps you Learn Japanese”
Making the Jump from Intermediate to Advanced Japanese
Recently, a reader posed an interesting question:
I’ve done the entire Pimsleur system, gone half way through Rosetta Stone, through RTK1, taken up an SRS, spent countless hours listening to Japanese audio, watching untranslated Japanese TV, trying to read sentences, and I feel I have very little to show for it. Continue reading “The Real Japanese Learners”
Anyone with an interest in Japan should learn a little Japanese, I really believe. Daily life is much better when you know a few key phrases: Hello. My name is. Please. May I? No really, please. Why not? Oh come on, please. You sure? Last chance. Well fine, be that way. Sorry for causing a scene. Even if I pay you? No? Hmph, well I didn’t want to anyway.
But when I say “a little” of the language, I mean it. Beyond a handful of survival sentences, you should give a really good think to whether or not you want to continue learning Japanese. Continue reading “Why You Shouldn’t Learn Japanese”
Someone on Facebook recently asked me: What’s the best way to begin learning Japanese, for someone starting from zero? Never one to shirk authorial duties, I did the responsible thing by jumping up, slamming my laptop closed, and running to the convenience store for a bottle of cheap white wine and a bag of spicy dried corn snacks. They’re super salty, but man, are they ever good. But then at the store I ran into this girl I know and she invited me over for some tea, and then we drank the bottle of wine, and then a bottle of red she had, and then I woke up and it was 3 a.m. and I didn’t know where I was, and by the time I got home I’d forgotten all about the question. But I really meant to answer it. Sometimes Japan just gets in the way like that. So anyway. Continue reading “How to Start Learning Japanese”
So you want to learn Japanese fast? Great—you can!—in just seven easy steps. Just like the pros.
Now don’t deny it, you want to believe those guys on the internet claiming to have “learned Japanese” in like a year or two. For some reason it’s always guys too—why is that? Aren’t women supposed to be better at languages? Nah, that can’t be right. Anyway, since they apparently learned Japanese so quickly, you (presumably) can too. But how’d they do it, and more importantly—do you have what it takes? Let’s find out. Continue reading “Learn Japanese Quickly – in 7 Easy Steps”