- Sun Tsu and Language Learning
- Famous Japanese People
- Timeboxing is Scary
- A Goldmine of Japanese Dubbed Shows
- Learning Japanese = Playing a Video Game, Part 1
- Learning Japanese = Playing a Video Game, Part 2
- Are you learning Japanese the wrong way?
- Improving Your Life Through Japanese
- What is it about these MCDs? Part 2: The Awesomeness
- What is it about these MCDs? Part 3: The Format
- What is it about these MCDs? Part 4: The Active Output
- What is it about these MCDs? Part 5: The Variety
- What is it about these MCDs? BONUS: The Easy Button
Rigabamboo here with another post from what I consider to be the best of the AJATT+ forum.
Do you like 塊魂 (Katamari Damacy)? AJATT+ user Kalek does, and he has an epiphany that sentence mining should be like playing Katamari.
Well, I realized that learning Japanese is like playing an especially long level in Katamari. You begin with picking up small sentences that come into your path that are easy to pick up, and if something is too big or hard, you ignore it for now. But, as time goes on, without even noticing, you’ll be picking up larger words, phrases, and even paragraphs/articles/etc.
When you have a small katamari the size of an apple, and you try to pick up something big like a dog, it’s going to ruin your balance. This is just like trying to put a sentence or MCD that’s completely over your head into your SRS. Every time that card comes up, you’re going to be miserable. You’re going to lose your momentum, just like having a horribly lop-sided katamari. Luckily, with the SRS, there’s a simple solution. Keep items that are at or below your level. Lose ones that just exist to flummox you.
Okay, so here’s my favorite part:
However, we (especially including me) may feel the need to pick up all the little things before moving on to the bigger items, but it really is unnecessary, time consuming, and boring. What this game made me realize is that as my Japanese ability gets better, the little things will take care of themselves, probably without me even noticing them (just like I wouldn’t notice picking up a thumbtack off the ground when my Katamari is the size of a person, or a building, or even land masses).
YES! Exactly. Imagine you were playing Katamari, but instead of only rolling up items directly in your path that enticed you and going for the fast win, you forced yourself to constantly stop your momentum pick up EVERY. SINGLE. ITEM. around you. You have a katamari the size of a house, but you still trudge over to every little thumbtack. Just thinking about how dull that sounds makes me want to never play video games again.
And yet that’s what many try to do in their quest for Japanese perfectionism. We want to roll up every kanji, every vocab that we see in our immersion environment, even if it’s mind-numbingly dull, because we think we “should.” Forget the perfectionism. Forget what you “should” learn. Just grab the items that are directly in your path and look fun.
You’re listening to, watching, or reading Japanese – you’ve got the katamari rolling. Don’t constantly stop it to pick up every little thing. Just keep rolling and occasionally grab something simple and fun. But the main part is, keep rolling the katamari. Stuff will cling to it naturally. Just… please… don’t make video games a chore.
Original post here.