Long time no see... is this a habit, or what?

  The topic of my blogging today is to do with *clichéd drumroll* Japanese. To be more precise, learning Japanese. I may have blogged about it before (or it could have been in one of my many other blogs), but in my quest for Japanese fluency I stumbled across a site called All Japanese All The Time (AJATT). The site describes a method to attain native fluency in Japanese - basically, immersing yourself in the language 24/7. I found it slightly difficult at first to find what the main ways in which you achieved this were - but, after poking around into various corners of the website, I think it clicked. Thus, I decided to compile a short, easy list on the basic principles of AJATT. (All of the following is attributed solely to Khatzumoto, the owner of AJATT.)

1. Play a little game called "I don't speak English". Whenever you have the chance, pretend like you're a native speaker of Japanese and don't know any English whatsoever. This means that you do like the Romans do - you get Japanese books, music, guides, EVERYTHING in Japanese whenever possible. Read the Japanese Wikipedia instead of the English one (ha, that's self-condemning).

One thing with the AJATT method that I'll have to disagree with is making Japanese my life. For me, there's Someone more important than Japanese that I'm living for. Yes, Japanese is important to me. But it's not my life. This is why I have slight problems with step number...

2. Get rid of everything English that you have - books, music, movies, etc. - and replace them with Japanese ones. This is probably not something I could do right now. Maybe in uni. It would involve re-buying my precious book collection (Lord of the Rings, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Count of Monte Cristo) in Japanese. Ehehe... not yet, my friend. I'm also not quite ready to get rid of my English music collection - but I'm more likely to do that than give up all my books. *uncomfortable squirm* Yes, I can understand just how much this would help my advancement in Japanese. But not yet, not yet. This will be the final step for me. Maybe others wouldn't have such a big problem with it.

3. Get materials to learn Japanese. Sure, this means textbooks and Japanese podcasts or whatever - but sometimes, a lot more importantly, it means the Japanese movies, comic books, music, etc. If you don't have money to spend (like me, haha) then use what you have. Search for the lyrics (in Japanese obviously) to your favorite song, and learn them. Repeat them. Analyse them. Before you know it, you'll have picked up new phrases in Japanese. Repeat phrases from books and movies. It doesn't have to be "official learning material" for you to learn Japanese. In fact, the more it's not "official", the better.

I guess the main point in immersing yourself in Japanese is to "become Japanese". Eat Japanese food, buy Japanese furniture, listen to Japanese radio, think in Japanese. That's pretty much the idea of AJATT - make Japanese your lifestyle, and fit everything in around it.

(And yes, I'm listening to Japanese radio at the moment. ^^)


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