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If You Remember Nothing Else…

Remember this.

A language is not actually a skill. It’s not something you can take and “have”. We talk about “acquiring” it, which implies possession, but in fact it cannot be possessed as such.
A language is a habit. It is a way of being.

So if in doubt about just how to go about it, if in doubt about what you should do to “acquire” any language, forget about acquiring it…just try to be it.

Be it. Be the language.

Every moment. Every day.

And so you realize that probably one of the funnest ways to get this habit is simply to copy other people who have it.

Nothing new here, but I wanted this to have its own article. Now I’m going to wait by the phone for my family to call and tell me that they’ve disowned me for saying “funnest” 😉

  13 comments for “If You Remember Nothing Else…

  1. nacest
    January 31, 2008 at 23:06



  2. milk
    February 1, 2008 at 04:12


    What are we eating?

  3. nacest
    February 1, 2008 at 04:36


    Japanese, of course! 😉

  4. vgambit
    February 1, 2008 at 05:05


    It’s most fun!

  5. Saru
    February 1, 2008 at 06:40

    Japanese what? Japanese people?

  6. nacest
    February 1, 2008 at 07:22

    If that helps me achieve fluency…

  7. Charles A.
    February 1, 2008 at 07:54

    “Funnest? You are dead to me.” and what’s with the midori sourantu discussion Saru is having?

  8. February 2, 2008 at 23:21

    I read it as ‘funniest’, which didn’t make sense in context, but oh well. If you hadn’t said anything, I wouldn’t have noticed. 🙂

  9. Nivaldo
    February 3, 2008 at 04:24

    Hi, everyone! Just wanted to share a useful(I think) alternative for kanji input using Heisig’s book.
    Khatz said somewhere that the process can be a bit tedious so I thought about an alternative to overcome that(some months ago). I put the keywords in the question section but in the answer section I don’t write the kanji, instead I put it’s frame number and follow along with Heisig’s index to simulate the immediate appearance of the kanji in the answer question when doing the reviews. It’s for those who are starting now or anyone that wants to try it. It worked for me especially because I type VERY quickly. 🙂

  10. nacest
    February 3, 2008 at 07:51

    I’m sorry, could you explain it again? I’m not sure I understand. What does the Heisig frame number have to do with recalling how the kanji is written?

  11. Nivaldo
    February 3, 2008 at 16:32

    Well, I use an exercise book to write the kanji when I’m learning and when I’m reviewing them. This way I’ll write them over and over again gaining a feel for the strokes. I think that drawing the kanji in the IME Pad(or whatever…) slows down the process, instead I just put the frame number because numbers are right above the letters. It’s all a matter of input speed.
    Advantage: Input is faster(at least for me).
    Disadvantage: It does not practice kanji writing. But that can be compensated as I said above. Just use an exercise book and write the kanji when you learn and review. I think it’s even better because when I first input and only used that for recalling, I got the stroke order but not that writing “fluency”(the only name I could think of).

  12. Theo
    November 23, 2009 at 10:15

    I got what u mean. Instead of put Kanji you put only the Heisig’s index kanji (stroke’ numbers…) and to compensate you try to remember the kanji write it down…. I think it’s brilliant, I really do!

  13. Theo
    November 23, 2009 at 10:22

    And addin to that, ? mr.K this post was really motivating, ‘language is a habit’ it’s gonna change my life, i know that! In fact, I’m graduating on english education and literature and I’ve considering to do my dissertation about internet , language acquisition and self-taught’, something that could help in teaching for sure. I’ll probably use your example…

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