Sorry It’s been so long since I’ve made a post, but a lot has happened. I’m now in Washington, USA. Moved back to America but in a completely new/foreign place to me, so the past couple of weeks have been a bit of a learning curve and I also didn’t have a computer (laptop) so I couldn’t really do much.
Anyway, I want to start working more on oikisama so I’m going to start by posting some stuff I already have ready, and I’m going to start with this.
Some swag advice for Reading with Kindle
Here’s a little AJATT tip I’ve got for anyone out there doing immersion based learning and uses a Kindle.
If you are a visual type of person or would rather just watch the video (which I probably would suggest. Then click the link above, or press play on the embedded video :3)
YO send on the tip fam.
Alright Alright, I gotchu bruv
So when you’re reading on Kindle, by default, a number of things show up on the screen.
Normally at the top is the time, then at the bottom right you got the percent.
and finally on the left you have either line count or time left to finish either the book or the chapter.
Somethin like this
Now of course you can change this to whatever you want, and even turn them all off so that they won’t show up on the screen anymore.
Whiiiich, is actually what I would recommend you to do and is the main idea of this tip.
Alright so lissen ye
Make your Kindle look like this:
Why shouldn’t you leave all the other shit on your screen?
Well to put it shortly…
You see, In psychology there’s a state of mind called the “Flow State”
I’m sure you’ve heard of it.
The flow state is when you’re so impeccably focused on what you’re doing that everything else seems to disappear and you become fully immersed in what you’re doing.
What the hell does that have to do with reading on my Kindle?
Well, its simple.
In my personal belief when you have the time sticking up on the top, the percent on the bottom right, and the line count/how long you have left to finish the book/chapter on the bottom left, you put your self in a situation where its very hard to stay focused, and therefor nearly impossible to get into the “flow state”
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the only reason, but I believe this is a very important and useful thing to realise.
If you’ve ever had the experience of being in the “flow state” you know that you seem to almost forget about time completely and the next thing you know however many hours have passed and you didn’t even realize it.
So by that same logic, the more distractions you have around you (and yes, the time is a distraction), the less likely you are going to get into this “flow” state.
Why do you want to be in the “flow state”
Because its fuckin awesome.
Ever had a time when you felt so productive, so active, so focused and determined, that you actually felt satisfied and happy with yourself?
Well, that’s what happens when you get in this Flow State.
Not to mention, your efficiency and also the quality of the activity you’re participating in (in this case, reading) , might as well have been duplicated, because that’s what it feels like.
If you watch/watched the video you’d know. But I reference a time where I was in the flow state while reading.
I was sat outside having a cup of tea reading this book I was really into about lucid dreaming called 無敵の明晰夢
and I was listening to this album from this Japanese instrumental artists whom I really like :
3 hours had gone by and I had finished reading the entire book.
Albeit I had already read maybe 20 % or something before I started reading, but still. Within a few hours (without me realizing it at all) I had finished the entire book in one sitting. Why? Because I was able to enter the state of Flow and maintain that state due to the little to no distractions that I allowed my self.
You don’t need to know the time.
Think about it, if you’re really interested in something and want to fully indulge yourself in it (in this case, reading), why look at the clock?
All its going to do is make you conscious of how long you’ve reading, and it’s going to make you dwell the activity as a whole.
Stop setting goals for your self
I don’t know if you’re anything like me, but if you are. Then you might use the percent at the bottom right :
to set imaginary goals for yourself while you’re reading.
what I used to do all the time was tell my self “okay, I’m not going to stop reading until I get to this percent”, or “5 more % and I’ll be set” or something like this.
In my opinion, this isn’t good.
When you’re reading, or doing anything. The best way to get fully immersed into what you’re doing is to be generally and intrinsically interested in the exact activity you’re participating in.
If you were truly motivated to read/and or (were) actually interested in what you were reading, you don’t need any arbitrary motivation. All you need is the intent.
I want to read, therefore I’m going to read.
I like this book, therefore I’m going to read more.
It’s as simple as this.
Sometimes by setting these arbitrary goals for yourself, you are actually making yourself prone to “burn out” or dislike the sensation of reading, even if you actually LIKE to read.
For example, I would force my self to read 5-10 more % of the book I was reading even though I already felt like I had read a lot and wasn’t really interested/enjoying the time spent reading anymore
Then, even if I was able to meet my goals and finish the extra 5-10% the actual sensation, how I felt whilst I was reading, was complete and utter shit. Not to mention the quality of what I would’ve actually gotten out of that extra 20-30min or so of reading would’ve nearly nothing.
The opposite of this is also true. Sometimes these arbitrary goals can actually be TOO easy, in that, you finish 10% like you had originally sought out to and so you then stopped reading, even if you felt like “oh wait, I could actually read way more”.
All in all, setting goals for your self is only going to make the process much more slow and painful and there’s little to no benefit.
How to turn off the Time/Percent/Line Count etc.
The easy answer:
For turning off the time
If you press the very bottom left of the screen while you’re reading you can filter through all the different options of things to show, and even turn the time off completely (at least on Kindle Paperwhite)
For turning off the time at the top and everything else:
When you’re reading, if you click the top area on the screen you can see
and Icon that looks like this Aa (two A’s)
If you click on that you can go through and change all the settings, including font, size, orientation, and of course, whether to show the time or not.
I know this is a small tip, and some people might even think it’s insignificant or maybe you already realized this and have been reading like this, in which case, good job, but I still figured I should make this as its helped me out and I do think its useful.
I hope you benefited from this in someway shape or form, and I appreciate anyone out there who reads this :))) <3
As mentioned in the title, this is an archive of a post I wrote in 2018 on this blog service website, the post was answering these questions I got from a friend who was currently living in Japan and studying there and had some questions for an assignment with regards to language learning or language acquisition. These were my answers back then.
Sorry I haven’t made a post in a while I’ve been pretty busy with school and exams and trying to balance that with Japanese and….blah blah blah, anyways o’l pal Michael had some interview questions for his homework and I figured it’d be cool to share them because maybe some of you guys might be wondering the same sort of things, and I think I answered them fairly well(?). You guys can let me know what you think. (NOTE: I probably made a few spelling/grammatical mistakes, beware)
How long have you been studying Japanese using this method?
I have been studying Japanese for about 1 year and a few months give or take through an “immersion-based method” known as AJATT/MIA. Although I did know a decent amount of Japanese before I started AJATT I pretty much knew nothing in that I was unable to comprehend even basic dialogue from TV shows or movies, So I was basically starting from scratch.
Did you study Japanese before with other methods? If so please explain (how long, did you use textbooks, take classes in school etc.)
I did study Japanese with other methods before discovering AJATT for around the span of about one year. Albeit still through self-study and not formally utilizing any textbooks or classes (mainly because there weren’t very many opportunities at the time). I was diligently studying exhausting multiple different resources during that time, I used to use websites like “Memrise”, “Imabi”, “YesJapan” and a few others. I remember really stressing grammar because I had read a lot on the internet saying that grammar was extremely important and without it you would not be able to understand Native Japanese. Most of the process consisted of me finding a new resource, exhausting it, then moving on to the next, I also attempted to output a lot because that was another thing that I heard was very crucial, In fact to the average language learner practicing is generally considered speaking or “outputting” the language, and so I would use apps like Hello Talk in order to talk to Japanese people despite not really being able to speak or effectively communicate with them, Long story short I think, I definitely DID make progress however most, if not all of that progress did not translate to actual ability in Japanese. (still couldn’t comprehend much of anything without subtitles)
How do you go about learning Japanese?
To put it simply, I basically live my life doing everything I would do normally in English, in Japanese (or at least as much as I possibly can). Of course, I still do “formal study” or I guess what could be considered “conventional study”, Although that is mainly just reviewing things that I already know so that I can keep them in my memory for longer and expand my conscious knowledge of Japanese. I won’t get too much into it but that whole process involves a “SRS” or “Spaced Repetition System”, Basically a app that uses our knowledge of how memory works and utilizes an algorithm to try to predict when you might forget X piece of information so that you can review it that day (right before you would’ve forgot) and by seeing that information it refreshes your memory therefor letting you retain it for a longer period of time. So, I use an SRS called “Anki” to learn/retain information such as: Vocabulary which I learn through sentences, Kanji (meaning&writing) through trying to recall a kanji by memory with nothing but a keyword, and a bunch of other stuff related to Japanese or Japan itself. Now I could go more into detail about what Anki is or how I use it, but in all practicality Anki is maybe 10% if not less of what I do, The main thing is Immersion, like I said earlier I try to just live my life in Japanese, So for me often times it can be as simple as just watching anime without subtitles in Japanese, Reading the Japanese Wikipedia instead of the English one, talking to Japanese friends, etc. The approach that I follow emphasizes doing things that are fun and enjoyable so that I don’t feel as if its “work”. So I guess to simplify the process, I wake up, do my reps (Anki), and throughout the day I try to immerse in as much Japanese as possible and occasionally I will find sentences that seem comprehensible to me except one or two words, take those and put them in a text document, then at around 18:00 I take all of the sentences that I found throughout the day through immersion and I put them into Anki so that I can learn them formally. Here is a very comprehensible picture of what the process might look like. Now, this is isn’t entirely how it looks and is more of just a broad outline but the key thing to take is the “Immersion Environment” at the top. Meaning everything is in all Japanese all the time (or as much as possible), and this depicts what I try to emulate quite accurately.
How many hours a day do you listen to or read native Japanese material actively?
On a good day most likely at least 8 hours, Of course this depends on the day and can change depending on the situation at times, but on average it’s usually 8+ hours. Most of this time is spent watching/listening to native Japanese media as opposed to reading, but I plan on adding more reading into my schedule soon to balance that out.
How many hours a day do you listen to native Japanese material passively?
Before I used to passively listen much more than I do nowadays, although, because I feel like it can be distracting at times especially if I am trying to get something done I have stopped passively listening to media that I have already watched actively almost entirely. I still passively listen to native media, but it is usually things like Music, Podcasts, YouTube videos etc. I guess if I had to put a number on it I would say around 2~3 hours per/day. At what level would you say you are currently at? I would say I’ve reached an intermediate level of fluency, meaning I have no problem understanding most things like Anime, TV, Manga, Everyday conversation, etc. I can also understand some more advanced thing’s recently such as Novels, Wikipedia articles, and so on. I still think that in the big picture of things I know close to nothing, there is still so much more to be learned and I can sense that. Although I think that I am decent, and most definitely better than most other foreigners who have been studying for around the same time that I’ve been, I still feel as if I could be so much better, and the idea of greatening my knowledge and getting good is what really keeps me going/motivated.
At what level do you expect to be in 2 years?
Well because I am currently a high school student I intend on going abroad and studying as an exchange student in Japan next year, I think that by the time I get back and definitely after that I will have reached a really high level of fluency, Probably still not “Native”, and maybe not even close, but I think I will have filled a lot of holes and gaps in my knowledge. It’s insane to even think I’ve made it this far in just 2 years, So I can only imagine that in 2 more years (4 years in total of study), I will have gotten extremely good. Of course this is just my conjecture, but I feel like that’s where I am heading.
Here is the file for anyone who might wanna check it out, The format on the blog is ok but I personally think it looks better when viewed in Word.
I’m going to start by saying that this is a topic that I’ve wanted to talk about for a while. Way before MIA even really become a thing that people knew about and talked about, and certainly way before I created this website. I understand that just by the title of this post alone, there may be some die hard MIA (or what used to be?) fans out there that may get a little triggered. Listen, I can assure you I have absolutely nothing against MIA, hell, if anything I incorporated a good amount of the core elements from it my self. This post is not meant to bash or make fun of either “methods”, if you can even call them that. With that out of the way let’s just get started
AJATT vs MIA
What is (/was?) MIA and what is AJATT
Let’s start with MIA or the “Mass Immersion Approach”. MIA was a an “approach to acquiring foreign languages” as put by the founder him self, Matt vs Japan. MIA was constructed as a team effort made up of owner/founder Matt vs Japan, and the cofounder Yoga Pants, or Lucas (god damnit, same name as me lol). MIA was also in a lot of ways the “successor” of AJATT. The founder Matt gained a lot of his ideas about language learning and his general method basically stemmed from the inspiration that AJATT had to offer. That being said, MIA and AJATT are very different in my opinion, which I will discuss in more detail later. There is definitely more I could go into but I think this sums it up enough. Now let’s talk about what AJATT was.
AJATT or All Japanese All The Time was a blog created by a guy who is known to this day as “Khatzumoto“. The blog was about how he learned Japanese to a fluent , and pretty damn decent level within 18 months by simply just living in Japanese (a.k.a Immersion). His moto was
Khatz (his nickname), had a very particular style of writing which was either a immediate turn off to some people or quite the opposite for others (more on this later). When most people think of AJATT they are referring to what’s known as the “table of contents” which was basically the heart of AJATT. Basically a compilation of articles stringed together in order to get YOU to start your own path to Japanese fluency with this pretty, (especially at the time) niche method. I think that’s a pretty decent start and analysis of what AJATT was on the surface so lets move on.
Why am I talking about this anyways?
I figured it would be good to point a few things out before I really move on. First, I am not making this because any of the recent “stuff“ that has gone on within the MIA community, or I guess what was the MIA community (we don’t know what the new name will be yet). In-fact, this goes way before MIA even starting gaining that much traction, or maybe even before it was really constructed. So, Why AM I talking about this. Why am I going out of my way to talk about this topic. Well to be honest, AJATT was really inspirational for me, and I will get on to why later but, I think that as much as people bash AJATT for one thing or another like, oh well, his writing style was awful and hard to read, or his site was just a general mess and difficult to navigate, or he was too “hardcore”, or he was too immature, whatever it may be. In my opinion AJATT did a lot “right” and a lot of what MIA lacked in my opinion AJATT had already incorporated. Perhaps by accident.
How I found AJATT then Matt Vs Japan.
As the text above states, when I found AJATT back in early 2018, MIA wasn’t really a thing. It was just Matt Vs Japan. So how DID I find the two, well I originally found AJATT, the first time surfing the internet and I think it was on reddit (I’m not quite sure since this was years ago now) I remember searching for ways to learn Japanese and stuff on the internet and coming across it one way or another, although, the first time I came across AJATT I actually didn’t think much of it at all. In-fact, I probably just skimmed over the poorly organized blog and then exited out of it practically immediately after. It wasn’t until the second time that I revisited it until I actually gave it a read then I was enlightened to the ways of AJATT and Khatz’s (in my opinion) hilarious sense of humor and down to earth personality. I later would find Matt Vs. Japan on Youtube probably in the recommended sidebar after watching some video. I can’t remember the first video of his that I watched, it was either the kanji one that he made and was really popular or the 3 hour video. Either way, once I found his channel I was immediately intrigued and watched literally all of his videos. My favorite being the 3 hour one, it just had so much juicy info and raw experience that was easy to relate to and he seemed like such a cool guy and I really looked up to him. At the time Matt still labeled all of his content under the “AJATT” tag, so like “AJATT tip” etc. Even though a lot of his content was original and wasn’t really discussed on the AJATT site he didn’t take any of the credit. Obviously this would change later on as Matt would end up meeting Yoga and the two would create MIA.
AJATT vs MIA
What was the “path” that MIA took.
MIA from the very beginning took a very different path than AJATT, both Yoga and Matt came to the conclusion that they wanted to create their own approach that was much more comprehensive, easier to navigate, and more accessible to the public (for example, not just Japanese, but applicable to any language, which AJATT was too really, but because it had Japanese in the name it might’ve not come off that way). That being said, Matt and Yoga also did their fair share of bashing AJATT for what it wasn’t good at, but I mean, I don’t think AJATT ever “intended” to be what it became. I think Matt had a much more rigid, goal motivated approach. That being said, most of what MIA created was add-ons, for the longest time it never really had a comprehensible functioning website that was really even worth checking out, and this could be another thing that AJATT might’ve done better. And I’m sure some people may disagree with me on that because they might argue that at least the MIA site was more organized than AJATT or what not but, what I’m referring to is the actual content that was put on the web site. Most of the content on the MIA site was like a in-depth user guide for some of the addons that Matt and Yoga would create, I’m pretty sure Matt did have a plan on making this table of contents where he would split the language learning process into a certain amount of steps and go through and explain them all individually, but I’m pretty sure that never fully came to light. Matt has explicitly stated in the past that he himself is a “goal orientated” guy and so it makes sense that he and Yoga would go on create something much different than AJATT, something rigid, with more specific time frames and more tailored to people who want results over everything.
Where did MIA start to go wrong. My personal gripes
I guess I should’ve mentioned this earlier but some people might make the argument that, “well that’s just your opinion” or “that’s subjective not everyone agrees with that”, which I guess technically isn’t necessarily an invalid point. A lot of this IS my opinion. That being said, I’ve talked to a lot of people who agree with this opinion and all the “OG ajatters” out there who’ve gotten really fkin good all generally agree that them finding AJATT was a huge part of their success. So where did MIA go wrong, what did AJATT do that MIA didn’t, Well let’s first talk about the mentality of the two (Matt, and Khatzumoto). As I mentioned before Matt is a very goal motivated person, or at least that’s how it comes off and I’m pretty sure that’s what he himself would describe himself as. Now well there’s nothing particularly wrong with being a goal motivated person, I feel like with the efforts that MIA were trying to outgo, the methods in place just don’t work when trying to widespread a method as niche as language acquisition (which is still not something the public has caught on to yet). See, it’s kind of hard to explain what MIA failed to do with out comparing it TO AJATT, for one, AJATT had no boundaries like MIA did, Khatz was always real and his personality was so open. He spoke so freely that it was easy to relate with him. He wasn’t this *god* who just magically got good at Japanese after reading an entire libraries worth of books and studying rigorously for decades. He was a real dude in his early 20’s who was pretty immature (like most of us), who didn’t have loads of money or any special circumstance that would prompt him to have the tools TO get hella good, he just did whatever the fuck he wanted to, in Japanese. He liked Japan, liked Japanese shit, ya know, the anime, manga, video games, drama, you name it. Everything Japanese, and so he basically incorporated that into his life style, he created what he would describe the Immersion environment (creating an environment that prompts an almost 24/7 constant flow of immersion). I know this might seem like I’m just being a major fanboy of AJATT and not really explaining what it is that MIA did wrong but instead just explaining what I liked about AJATT, but listen, hear me out. For starters, even I myself, someone who connects with AJATT way more than I did with MIA, don’t like to call my self an “ajatter” I think its stupid, and tbh Khatz did a lot of shit that was really messed up like, practically scamming ppl for their money’s worth on really shitty products like silver spoon. That being said, when it comes down to it, all the major core ideas and “philosophy” if you want to call it that, that I got was from AJATT.
More focused on reaching the majority than actually getting you good.
This was another big problem that I think MIA faced, when MIA first started, there was this idea to have two different “paths” one path that would be more for the average joe who worked the 9-5 and had a family or some shit, and therefor he couldn’t grind Japanese 24/7, so just a generic path that would still get you *good* but not really that good, or not that good, that fast. Then there was the (I forget what they called it) but, pretty much the *hard core* path, that was honestly only slightly different in terms of what you did, but pretty different in terms of “how MUCH” you did. Now to be honest, I didn’t think this was that bad of an idea, I mean, you get the best out of both worlds, let’s say you’re really passionate about learning Japanese but also don’t WANT or maybe don’t have the time, to dedicate multiple hours a day, well then there’s a certain path for you, and then there’s the certain path for the opposite, the person who has the time, and is very passionate and wants to get really fkin good so he grinds Japanese 24/7. I mean, in a way this stuff is kidna self explanatory so I don’t even see why you would have mention “do less if you don’t have the time it’s okay”. But regardless, Matt, or I guess MIA, would eventually end up giving up this plan entirely and going the mainstream way which is complete and utter moderation, to reach the vast majority of people easier. This was the time when Matt starting getting way more viewers, way more traffic to his channel, so it makes sense that he would want to grow even more and lets be honest people don’t like to hear the truth what people want to hear is a blurred out version of the truth that involves them having to put in maybe a third of the work to get relatively the same results as some of these people who have gotten really good. In summary, MIA took off the “hard core” path (or whatever it was called, I forget), and just kept one path, which would sum up all of MIA and that was the moderate path. I mean, It’s still a lot more realistic than other “methods” out there talking about you do 20 minutes of kanji a day, study some genki 1 and then in like 6 months or something you will be a god at Japanese. No, definitely more realistic than that, but still no where near what AJATT was, which in my opinion, is how it should be. Down to the point. Hardcore Realistic.
Why AJATT was so goddamn good
Look, I’m just gonna say it. AJATT was gold, I mean, seriously. A gold mine, a treasure, and I’m saying “was” as if it’s not now but in all reality AJATT is STILL, even now, amazing. you could literally go from zero to really fuckin good if you have even some passion for learning Japanese just by reading AJATT. Looking back at it, Khatz was a genius. Obviously he didn’t create all the ideas, and it wasn’t like he was the first to mention most of the methods, but in my opinion, he created the standard, his wicky personality, outlandish analogies, down to earth and sometimes even overly honest persona. He was relatable, not special. It was easy to compare yourself to him because he never gave the impression that he was somehow “magically” better than you in some way you had no power to change. When you read Khatz’s articles, it feels like he is writing to him self, like most of his jokes and sense of humor and way of understanding things is something that only he himself intuitively understands but once you as the reader catch on to that everything starts to just “make sense”.
Moderiation, aka Nothing in Moderation.
One of my favorite posts that Khatzumoto made was the notorious “All In Moderation?” post, before reading AJATT and becoming “red-pilled” into his mentality, everywhere I looked, whether it be about language learning, or virtually anything really, It seems like society is so stuck out not being out of the “norm”. It’s almost forbidden to over perform or spend more than a few hours a day studying or practicing anything. A lot of people would rather call something “too hardcore” and not give it any consideration, than actually give it a fair try and stick with it because that actually takes effort. Khatz made the process of spending copious hours a day, (as close to 24/7) a fun and enjoyable thing. In-fact, Khatz was all about fun it might as well has been his moto. It wasn’t about the results, it was about the journey, the process, getting good IS fun. How to do the shit that you’ve always been doing that’s FUN and get rlly good at Japanese just by doing it. Something about that, just the practicality of it all. I mean, compared to MIA, a result based approach focused mainly on add-ons, efficiency and production. Doesn’t sound too fun does it?
Sense of humor
down to earth personality
no bull shit, keeping it real
selling you on fun. The key is in the pudding ( or in doing fun shit )
AJATT vs MIA
So In conclusion obviously MIA and AJATT weren’t designed to be the same and just aren’t, lets face it. That being said if there is anything that I would want you (the reader) to take away from this, incredibly drawn out, and unorganized post, it is, take AJATT for what it is, not what people shit on it for, not the poor organized site, not the seemingly deceptive author or had to make some cash so created some sketchy looking services, none of that. AJATT has a lot of really good useful and interesting perspective, It did something that in my honest opinion MIA didn’t even come close to doing. Don’t just listen to what I have to say, if you don’t believe me go give it a read, hell, every once in awhile I re-read it myself because it’s motivational. It lifts my spirits to be honest. It’s also nostalgic, I can remember over a couple years ago finding the site for the first time and giving it a proper read and how intrigued I was from the get go.
(EXTRA) My good friend Max is a really good artist and just started his own little character logo design gig (he’s the one who created the amazing character logo on this site), he’s a really good friend of mine and he’s really good at art and character design, if you would be interested here’s a link to his gig (he’s providing really good pricing)