Your Brain on 10,000 Sentences

You’re gonna need a way bigger hat

All my life goals come from the internet. And so somewhere, in the ten minutes a day I spend surfing sites that don’t need to be immediately cleared from my browser, I stumbled upon the notion that studying 10,000 sentences was the one true path to learning Japanese. Next time, remind me to stick with porn. Hey, if it’s a question of going blind, I figure you’re much better off with a few pictures of enormous asses than two thousand tiny characters.

But anyway, here’s the idea: Continue reading “Your Brain on 10,000 Sentences”

A Friend of Mine Learned Japanese in 1 Year

A reader recently posted an intriguing comment about foreign sumo wrestlers: “Within a year, they have a command of the language that would take most students years to develop.” Implying that with enough immersion and dedication, it’s possible to speak Japanese well in a short amount of time. Apparently, there’s a Japanese book that popularized this notion.

I’d heard this before. Not just with sumo wrestlers but with, well, everybody. A friend of mine learned the language in a year. Actually, less than a year. Well, actually, a friend of a friend.

The first time I heard it was from a random guy in Columbus, Ohio, who told me: “My daughter went to Japan for a year, and came back speaking fluent Japanese.”

That was all the proof I needed. I’m kind of gullible like that. If she could do it, then damn it, so could I. Nobody beats Ken Seeroi, and certainly nobody from Ohio. Continue reading “A Friend of Mine Learned Japanese in 1 Year”

How to Learn Kanji, in 10 Steps

I don’t go to a lot of cocktail parties. But somehow when I do, I always meet people studying Japanese. Maybe it’s just me. Or more precisely, people who’ll eventually stop studying, only they don’t know it yet. Here’s how the conversation goes:

“Ken! I’m studying Japanese! I’m stoked! And I’m completely serious about improving. Just tell me what to do—anything—and I’ll do it.

“Three words,” I reply. “Paint my house. Nah, just kidding. You should learn the kanji.

“Ah, you know,” they begin to trail off, “I just want to speak Japanese, not read it. Continue reading “How to Learn Kanji, in 10 Steps”

The Best Way to Learn Japanese

What’s the best way to learn Japanese?  After pouring years, beers, and tears into  the question (pretty much in that order), I finally have an answer.  Man, it has been one long decade.

They say the best things in life should be savored.   I got that from an instant coffee commercial, actually.  Well, there’s irony for you.   But as far as I’m concerned, most things—like making money, learning Japanese, and folding my laundry—would be best done as fast as possible. Continue reading “The Best Way to Learn Japanese”