There’s a little Ubuntu in all of us… (Or there should be)

And, here’s what I mean by that :P

Also, in case you didn’t know, today we’re brought to you by the mora “ぬ”. Just because I like it.

Anyway, back to the topic on hand. Ubuntu, as the developer and Canonical love to tell you, means something like “Humanity”. But that means nothing to us right now. Right now we need tools. And I feel one of the greatest tools to someone learning Japanese is Ubuntu. And I’ll tell you why.

When I was reading the AJATT website for the first time (All those years ago…more like 1 or 2. Heh) his advice about being completely immersed in Japanese seemed like a great idea. I mean, why wouldn’t that help? Maybe we should still study, but there’s nothing wrong with immersion, right?

Well…Living with anybody and immersing yourself like that is difficult. Now, it’s definately doable, but you probably have to hurt some feelings along the way. But, as he says, if they’re truly friends, they’ll be cool about the whole thing, and maybe even try to help you out. Or maybe they become a quivering little girl as you stop paying them as much attention, who knows? But I digress…

Well, turning your computer to complete Japanese takes a lot of balls. Maybe not as much as tiger fighting, or skydiving, or walking on the roof of a building while talking on your cellphone (But that’s a story for another day!) but, dammit! Balls nonetheless. When you go from being able to read everything, and understand exactly what you’re doing, to not being able to even tell what copy and paste is (Unless you can read katakana…at least for copy. Paste is weird.) switching it back to English is probably one of the first things you would wanna do. I know I did. However, it does wonders for you. Honestly, I can’t say that my Japanese has improved greatly because of it, but I can say that computers in English look very strange now. I love reading the menus and actually knowing that I at least know what happens when I hit those crazy characters. Now, the error messages still mess me up pretty bad (I usually just ignore them like I do in English >_> I didn’t realize how many English things I just flat out ignore…) but I can understand what’s going on.

I recently bought a new netbook, and I’ve installed Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR for short) and I really haven’t had too much of a problem navigating it. It’s genuinely a fun experience. So, if you’re looking to immerse yourself, and you have a computer that’s your own, I strongly suggest you switch to Ubuntu. If you’re a crazy hardcore gamer, or need specific programs, maybe just dual-boot. But I do think it’s definately a step in the right direction.



  1. Eh, I would defiantly recommend anyone with a netbook switch over to Ubuntu(UNR). However give it a few days before you think about put it into Japanese. Simply due to the fact that just being in Linux based environment will be scary and unfamiliar enough already. Adding the issue of putting it into a language you aren’t fluent in is basically suicide.

    That said I do agree it is a good way to immerse your self and have practice reading and working in Japanese. For those who want to actually move to japan and live there. This would be a great first step. Since obviously most everything in japan will be in Japanese even the keyboards.

    So it is a good idea to immerse yourself like this. However just wait till you are ready and used to a Linux world before you jump into the deep end. Especially if you are going to dual boot.


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