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Linguaholic
Accredited Online TEFL

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Studying the hardcore way...

When it comes to studying a language, there are many different ways of attacking the „target language“. Some people open their internet browser and scan the internet for study resources for the respective language, others might buy a book in a bookstore and some simply listen to an audio book  in language XYZ.

There is nothing wrong with that. However, there is also a „Hardcore study approach“. Click on the link to see how „Khatzumoto“ studied ((maybe still studies)) Japanese (this study approach can be applied  to any other language).

http://www.alljapaneseallthetime.com/blog/japan-is-wherever-you-are-10-ways-to-turn-your-environment-japanese

What do you think about it? Is it too Hardcore for you?  :millionaire: :laugh: :sweating:

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Well anybody who recommends getting rid of Avril Lavigne CDs has got my vote for a start! :smile:

Seriously, his method seems to recommend turning everything in your life into Japanese from books to TV and even your computer. It all seems a little impractical to me without some kind of grounding in Japanese language in the first place.

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Learning Japanese is a little bit more complicated than learning Spanish. For one thing, the writing system is probably one of the most complex on Earth, combining Chinese characters, hiragana and katakana and even Roman letters in a complicated system with many words that can be pronounced in different ways whether they stand alone or in a phrase.

Speaking is another problem as a fluent speaker must be able to control the complex honorific system, where different words, expressions and even verb conjugations are used depending on whom you are speaking too as well as whom you are speaking about!

Informal Japanese even has different forms used by men and women. I knew an American girl who learned the language from her Japanese boyfriend, and let me tell you, her informal Japanese was so masculine, some people thought she was a butch lesbian!

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  • 2 weeks later...
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This seems a bit... too extreme. Throwing out Avril Lavigne sounds like a good idea, though. More than half the music I listen to is Japanese, and I can understand bits and pieces, as well as pick out individual words.

Wait... Hold it right there. Japanese food only? Japanese floor and furniture only? Japanese brain and thoughts only? This guy must have gone off his rocker. Also, this doesn't seem like it'd be very reliable if you don't have much of a sense of direction.

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It's all about immersion, so while it seems extreme, I can definitely see the use for it. It would be similar to abruptly moving to a country with a different language—you would be forced to learn it, like it or not. In addition, you would be learning real, natural language, and not stilted classroom phrases.

Unfortunately, this didn't work for me. I dare say most of us have school or work that forces us to read and write in our native language continuously, so it's not practical to go full Japanese. I remember changing my browser and operating system languages to Japanese as a compromise, but I simply learned to recognize the symbols and placement without really understanding what they meant.

I do love his site as inspiration, however, and I'm happy his method has worked so well for him. I'm sure it's worked well for others, but it's simply too much sacrifice for me. I can give up Avril Lavigne, but you'll have to pry Queen from my cold, dead hands.

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I can't imagine doing something like that, even though I study Japanese in college and I have many friends with whom I could have tried speaking Japanese only - not too many native speakers, though. I guess this approach could work if you don't really have any duties and can just spend time and money on getting your environment 100% Japanese-like, but I don't think this would work well for a normal person.

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  • 1 month later...

If I do this, I would lose my job as I currently work for an IT company and my job involves talking to other people, mostly based in Australia. However, I can do most of the things in the list such as listening to Japanese music only, watching Japanese movies / TV shows only, as well as Japanese-only walls.

BANZAI!

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Of course complete immersion is not possible or desirable for everyone, however, I think that it is most likely the best method to learn a language. "Complete immersion" can be pretty difficult and not very pleasant at times. You will need lots of courage, time and self-confidence.

I am pretty sure that Khazumotos method would work for almost everyone, but it is a little bit extreme that is true. I like it though :=) The method is also applicable for every other language, doesn't really matter whether it is Japanese or Chinese or Korean or French.

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Would following this method not disrupt your normal life? Complete immersion is not possible for a working professional and even if you find time just for it, how much time can you put in surrounded by just one language.

It will work if one can some how apply it but I think its not practical for everyone.

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This seems very hardcore, but I found that living in Japan and forcing yourself out of your comfort zone of finding and making Japanese friends (compared to people who speak your native tongue). Whenever any of my friends learn a language and say they're spending time in that particular country I give them the same advice - mix with the locals.

I have studied at a Japanese language school in Osaka, and of course the only Japanese people were the teachers - most students spoke Chinese and I saw so many students also stick together where as I went and made friends, and joined a community that was bilingual and I hung out mainly with Japanese people. Half way through this course, I was already speaking fluently (and relatively strong Kansai/Osaka accent) with other students and the teachers and sounding like a native. This isn't my opinion, I was told this so many times especially by the teachers. I personally don't follow pop culture even in English so I didn't listen to jPop or watch anime (other than Studio Ghibli) or have a TV to watch Japanese shows or read manga or novels. Having friends, forcing yourself to be in a situation where you'd prefer talking to family or friends on skype and being a hikikomori can definitely prove wonders on your language learning.

Learn from and with the natives, not just other people who are learning too.

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Would following this method not disrupt your normal life? Complete immersion is not possible for a working professional and even if you find time just for it, how much time can you put in surrounded by just one language.

That's another thing, yes, some of these kinds of things are great in theory but only actually possible for a privileged few.

I see it as the equivalent of people who can afford to have a personal trainer to get them into optimal physical shape; yeah it's the best way to achieve the best possible result, but who has the time or money for that?

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This seems very hardcore, but I found that living in Japan and forcing yourself out of your comfort zone of finding and making Japanese friends (compared to people who speak your native tongue). Whenever any of my friends learn a language and say they're spending time in that particular country I give them the same advice - mix with the locals.

Well, obviously. Going abroad to study the language is always great and lets you greatly improve in a very short time. However, it's not something a lot of people can do; it requires time and money. I'd say that it is something that's beyond reach for many language learners.

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I have tried most of these methods for Hindi. I went through a whoel phase where besides school and talking to my friends and family, I tried to everything in Hindi. I have Hindi tv channels and that would be the only thing I watched, along with Hindi movies only, I also only tried to do Hindi websites (which was hard because most of my favorite websites don't have Hindi versions. There were a couple problems while doing this. The first one was,(which probably wouldn't happen with Japanese) is that Hindi speakers on TV/Radio/Movies almost always mix english in. So no matter what you are watching you will probably hear English sometimess. This didn't happen as much with the Indian serials on tv, but still when it went to comerical, most of them would be in English. It wasn't a huge problem though and it was still useful. Another problem I had with this method, is although its great for vocabulary, pronuciation and pretty much everything else, it's bad for grammar. Although I was starting to pick up grammar naturally, still in my grammar there is a lot of mistakes. I have a few grammar books now trying to correct this problem. I would be able to regonize and understand some of the harder grammar using this method, but trying to produce it was difficult. Besides these two things, I think this method is great for learning any language. I think it would be hard to do for some languages though, because some languages there just isn't engough in it to do something like this. For example, here in the United States I think it would be very hard to find Swahili TV.

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I honestly think that an extreme method like this is what it would take to learn a difficult language on your own from home. If you can travel to another country and spend a decent amount of time there, then you should do that. I learned Chinese by living in Taiwan.

But if you cannot afford to or do not have the time to do this, then you probably need to do something extreme like this. Otherwise it is too easy to plateau and lose focus.

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Yeah, dealbreaker. I mostly communicate with people who speak my language and English. I can't afford to change my whole life just for a language. I'm sure it can work if someone funds my living in Japan. Otherwise, no. I'll stick with learning casually. It will take longer but at least I'm not sacrificing a lot.

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  • 2 weeks later...

To be honest, this is more or less the way I managed to learn English.  Granted, it wasn't quite as hardcore, but I did spend some time watching and hearing English media only and throwing myself headfirst into various English forums.  If dictionaries and resources won't help you learn, I can guarantee the embarrassment of committing several grammatical errors will. 

It's definitely a little harsh, but it's a good way to learn through trail and error.

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