おっす、何かあった。ブレントでございます。

So, you’ve messed up. You went and listened to Rap God, and then went on an L1 binge, right? Can’t blame you, that’s a great song.

Now you just don’t wanna go back to your L2, right? You just love the comfort of your L1. It’s so nice. It’s so predictable. Nothing can hurt you in your L1.

Do me a favor, right now. Before reading this next sentence.

Do an SRS rep. Listen to a song in your L2 you love. Read one sentence.

#Boom. Now you’re back in.

It’s such a small step. But do you know how you learned your L1? Small steps. Baby steps if you will. The big difference between why it seemed so easy as a child and why it seems so hard now are two-fold.

1. You don’t remember much from when you were a baby. Simple.
2. You had to learn your L1. Or you would be totally useless. And with no friends. Or significant others. Or really anything. Because you can’t communicate.

So, if you fall off the horse so to speak, then just bring your L2 in slowly. Totally what I’m having to do now, because of some issues. This is totally from first-hand experience. Just do something in  your L2. You’ll thank yourself later.

 

 

Starting from Scratch, or Why Failure’s not Always Bad

Suuuuuup.

It’s me again, and it’s been a crazy past year. My son, Alrick, has been in the hospital 3 times since he’s been born (a year ago) for brain surgery, and our family is planning a move to Denver, Colorado on the 19th. So yeah.

I’ve fallen of the wagon several times. It’s not always great, but sometimes life just gets the best of you. The SRS cards start piling up, and after a few days, you just want to totally stop trying to learn and grow. It’s not good times.

However, there are actually some things I’ve been able to take away from this hiatus.

1. Do NOT count the amount of time you’ve been studying Japanese or anything by the years.

It’s just a bad idea. Those years are absolutely lying to you, and honestly, saying it is kind of a lie in and of it’s own.

Like me. I’ve been “studying” Japanese for around 8 years now. However, I actually haven’t. If I could actually tally up the amount of time I have been studying and immersed, it would probably be closer to a year and a half at most. So, yeah. I feel a lot less terrible and honest when I say that I’ve been studying for a year and a half than saying I’ve been studying for 8 years.

2. Just because you fell off doesn’t mean that you can’t get back up.

Do you want to learn Japanese? (Or whatever it is that you want to learn) Then be like an addict. It’s a terrible thing, but they are pretty awesome as a role model in this situation.

I’ve been trying to quit smoking for several years now. I’ve just come to the conclusion that I really enjoy smoking, and that I’m addicted to cigarettes. I don’t think about how many cigarettes I’m smoking in a day, I just smoke when I feel like it. Even if you fall off, if you get back up as soon as you can and treat your SRS reps like a cigarette (Or chocolate, or whatever.) then you’ll be better than wallowing in the fact that you can’t seem to get motivated to actually do anything in Japanese.

Come on, it’s just one more…

I suppose what I was wanting to say with this blog post is that I am back on, and I hope that I can help some people with staying on track. I also have some cool freebies planned for the near future, assuming I can finally get some damn time to do them. But here’s a preview:

1. A 1000 J-E Sentence Pack, culled from my personal collection of random things.
2. A program to help keep you on track, and to record your improvements
3. Something else equally awesome, but much less planned out.

So I hope to talk to you guys again soon, and as always:

じゃあ、またな!

Make Learning Japanese Fun

Ossu, nanika atta. Burento de gozaimasu.

Boom. Just like the videos. And yes, I am completely aware that I’m mixing politeness levels. I just like how it sounds.

So, I was at work, and I was wondering how I can learn at work. It’s not like Denny’s where I can have my headphones in the whole time. And then I thought of something.

What if I started learning the names of the products we sell?

So, if I saw some dog food, I would think “ドッグフード”. Got it?

Everyday, we have a chance to learn something in our L2. Just a simple little game (ゲーム).

“But Brent,” you may ask. “AJATT says not to learn words, only learn sentences.”

Well, fictional reader that obviously hasn’t read my blog before, let me let you in on a BIG secret. The secret that will change how you look at learning Japanese. A wondrous secret that will open your eyes to so very much.

AJATT is NOT a Method.

Do we have to go over that everytime? Don’t try to follow AJATT exactly. You won’t do it. You’re a perfectionist. I know I am. So you know how hard it is to do something like that if you’re a perfectionist. You’ll never, EVER finish learning Japanese if you have a perfectionist attitude about it.

Trust me, I know.

It’s been 5 years since I started “learning Japanese”.

5. Years.

And I still barely know Japanese. All the Kanji I learned? Gone. The kana? Well, not gone, but I don’t remember the ones I don’t see very often. And do you know why?

I stopped interacting with Japanese. I started rapping to improve my Japanese, and then I completely forgot that goal.

So, learn Japanese the wrong way. Make mistakes. Break the rules. (That’s what they were meant for, were they not?)

Have fun. That’s the number one rule. Hell, that’s the only rule. Because if you’re having fun, you’ll make yourself play more. Kinda like crack, you always want another hit.

I feel like I strayed a bit, but honestly, I feel that this all goes together. Because by making little games for yourself, like my word game, then you’ll constantly be winning. And that’s good for a healthy psyche.

 

Well, let me end my rant now. I will have a new video up on Friday, so expect some learning to GO DOWN.