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How To Use This Website

November 26, 2012
By

You’ve been asking: How do I use AJATT? Where do I start? How do I get the most out of it? What should I tell my friends to read? Here’s the what and how to…of…all of that :) .

Hey there.

AJATT.com — that’s this site — has grown quite  a bit over the years, from its humble beginnings in 2006 to its arrogant, bombastic, decadent present. Over that time, a lot has been written and said. And more is still being written and said right now. I’m writing and saying this as we speak right in front of your face . 1

So what?

Easy now. We’re getting there.

So there you are. You probably came to this site on the enthusiastic recommendation of a pleased AJATTeer 2. S/he probably told you how awesome this site was, how ridiculously handsome I am, how I changed her/his/its life.

But now you’re here and you’re just confused. You’re overwhelmed. By the sheer volume of information and discussion. How are you supposed to get through this? How are you supposed to read this? How are you supposed to take mine and other people’s experiences and distill them into a coherent path of action for yourself?

Short answer: Don’t even try.

I know, you’re thinking: “WTF?”, right?

Let me ‘splain.

You know how like when you get a new cellphone or a new smartphone or a new iPhone, right?
…Or even new laptop or a new PC or a new computer…
Or a new iPod or a new MP3 player or a new media device… 3

You don’t look at the manual, do you?

No. You don’t. Sane people don’t look at the manual.

What do you do?

You take the device out of the box, you give it a little looksee. Then you turn it on. And you try to get just one thing done. Just one thing. Maybe you try to play a movie. Or set the wallpaper. Or get online.

So that’s what I want you to do here. At the very least, it’s what I recommend you do. Treat this website like an intricately bloated piece of consumer electronics. Yes, this website is a VCR. Remember those? So, yeah:

  1. Bookmark this site
  2. Click around. Read an article or two
  3. Find something useful — 1 thing will do
  4. Go away and act on it (the useful tool or idea you found in step # 3)
  5. Come back
  6. Return to step (2)

There. Six easy steps. And they’re yours. For free :P . Enjoy.

A note about step # 4. I know what you’re thinking: “but this site is so full of new information and insights! What if I misunderstand something you say and go do the wrong thing?”. So what if you do? That’s fine. I expect you will misunderstand me from time to time and do “the” wrong thing. And that is fine. You wanna know why? Because when life and limb are not at risk, wrong action is easier to correct than inaction. There is only one “the” wrong thing, and that is to do nothing. So, go. Do. Act. And then come back to absorb and reflect on more of my profound wisdom ;) .

Notes:

  1. Don’t mind the broken metaphor; this site is full of them :P . It’s like hair on the floor of a salon; we just don’t bother any more…
  2. That’s what we call those who have imbibed the local Kool-Aid
  3. Just think how redundant it would be of you tell me how redundant these examples are, and then come tell me anyway
You've got to get your priorities straight, dawg. Donation to AJATT now...Sex-change surgery later.

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8 Responses to How To Use This Website

  1. Jack Cotton-Brown on November 28, 2012 at 10:30

    That’s exactly what I do! I try to connect to the internet! I actually just bought my first Nintendo 3DS in Kyoto two days ago (wow? only 2 days… feels like we’ve been through so much) and I didn’t read the manual at all. I just opened it up, held it in my hands, raised it up on pride rock for a bit, listened to some animals sing, and then hit dat powah button. Unfortunately I couldn’t connect it to the internet as I only have a lame ethernet connection in my room, but I did get to play some sweet ass virtual reality game. I felt like we really bonded after I destroyed the dragon with an extending neck coming out of my pillow and now we are the best of friends.

    FWI, if you are trying to learn Japanese with a 3DS, the only vocab you will learn from Mario games is セーブしています。。。 so yeah. Get something like… actually, there is a game that produced by Level 5, in conjunction with Studio Ghibli called 二の国(にのくに)and it comes with a play through book that is necessary to finish the game. I’ve heard good things about it from my friends and there is no, and never will be an English version for the NDS version. So yeah :) might be something worth buying.

  2. アンソニー on November 28, 2012 at 17:51

    There is this cool motivational guy, Christian Pankhurst, who makes the analogy that finding your path in life works like a GPS system in a car: you have to start driving in a direction first — any direction — for it to register whether you are going in the right or wrong direction. In other words, inactivity won’t let you know if you’re going in the right direction.
    I thought this analogy worked great for this post =)

  3. AnonymousCoward on December 1, 2012 at 13:47

    When my brother saw how quickly my Japanese was improving, he asked me what he should do to learn Chinese. I pointed him to this site. He was like, “There’s a lot here, what should I read?” and I, having never really considered this, gave the stupid, stupid advice to read sections x, x and x of the Table of Contents. Needless to say, he was intimidated by the amount I said he would ‘have to read’ and gave up pretty quickly.

    After I found out he’d given up, I realised what I’d done: I’d taken all the fun out of it. When I found this site I was thrilled! I hadn’t been exposed to any kind of really ‘out-there’ learning methods before and was having a blast just reading whatever caught my eye. When I told him that he had to read all this stuff, though, it turned into just another pile of text, like a boring text book or something, that was looming over him before he could really get going. This made him procrastinate and eventually quit.

    Unfortunately when I realised this I was too late and he had lost his interest in language, but hey, please learn from my mistake: if someone asks you how to go about learning a language just give them the link to this site, tell them to poke around a bit(or just link them to this post, though they’ll probably find it on their own), and make sure they don’t turn it into some kind of dogma.

  4. [...] at memory in order to achieve a knockout.  (Spaced repetition)  It reminds me of a recent phrase AJATT shared with Silverspoon members:  "Get started. Momentum is more precious than well-argued ideas. [...]

  5. Zara » Learning Mandarin on December 25, 2012 at 10:36

    [...] generally subscribe to the philosophy of All Japnese All the Time (which applies to any language, not just Japanese). Basically that language learning should be fun, [...]

  6. Anne on April 13, 2013 at 01:49

    Actually, I’d like this blog to be in Japanese… :P

  7. […] the Kanji. Depois de pesquisar sobre o livro na internet me deparei com o site do Khatzumoto, o AJATT. Esse moço aprendeu japonês fluentemente em dezoito meses com 21 anos. Claro que o método dele […]

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