Preparation Over Pride

If you threw away your pride, you might actually learn something. And if you learned something, you’d actually have something to be proud of.

If you were really thirsty, you’d be drinking right now.

Pride is inversely proportional to success.
If you’re so proud, start preparing now.

Pride is inversely proportional to output success.
If you’re so proud, start input now. Start shadowing now.

Real pride starts. Real pride is preparation.

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  14 comments for “Preparation Over Pride

  1. 李便神
    August 29, 2012 at 12:51


  2. johnchuck
    August 30, 2012 at 06:46

    What’s shadowing??

    • Travis
      August 30, 2012 at 13:13

      Shadowing is where you talk over (shadow) naturally spoken language, checking your pronunciation and getting your mouth and brain use to producing the language. Check this guy out ( – Alexandar Arguelles), one of the greatest polyglots of our time and the guy who practically invented modern shadowing. He knows roughly 34-35 languages.

      • johnchuck
        August 30, 2012 at 22:03

        Sweet link!! That guys a boss of language learning!
        It seems that everything thinks ajatt is all about immersion and just doing sentences, but after going through your link i bet shadowing is one of the techniques that boosts your japanese considerably. I bet along with that extensive reading and copying out texts (scriptorium) are part of SS. I’ve read all of this blog and I remember these being hinted at. Still an awesome site! Just my 2p on AJATT.

        • Narcoleptic
          August 31, 2012 at 10:08

          I find it a bit ironic that a link to that page is in the comments of an article stressing practice and preparation over pride… That’s a pretty long winded list of “I’m awesome, look what I can do.”

          • Travis
            September 3, 2012 at 15:21

            I think you missed the part of the quote that said, “…if you learned something, you’d actually have something to be proud of.” Being proud of your accomplishments isn’t a bad thing. Settling, fossilization, and plateauing are.

  3. ebutler
    September 2, 2012 at 00:54

    Is anyone else on here on the autism spectrum? I’d like to find out the experiences of others on the autism spectrum when it comes to language learning.

  4. ebutler
    September 3, 2012 at 01:04

    This seems to confirm the warnings of Antimoon and AJATT regarding early, forced output:

    “One possible way to account for pronunciation errors in both the L1 and the L2, but
    especially so in the L2, is by using Krashen’s Input Hypothesis and possibly positing that 119
    bilinguals are reutilizing their own incorrect pronunciations as input and perceiving this input to
    be correct, thereby eliminating any opportunity for correction. Krashen (1985) argues that simply
    speaking in the target language does not result in complete acquisition. He contends the
    commonly held belief that language learning of acquisition is contingent upon speaking abilities.
    Instead, he proposes that comprehensible output is the outcome of language acquisition. Thus, if
    mispronunciations are rarely corrected early in the acquisition process in the home, the family
    could speak a language that is different from the target language, and the individual has a
    diminished opportunity to produce comprehensible output. This could be a possible future
    direction in which my research could lead, potentially yielding more interesting findings.”

  5. ebutler
    September 5, 2012 at 07:18

    This too, though I have a feeling this has been posted on here before:

  6. September 7, 2012 at 05:24

    This post reminds me of Sun Tzus “The art of war”. You should make a book filled with these little nuggets of language learning knowledge.

  7. kai
    October 21, 2012 at 08:40

    Pride has been holding my back in a way since I started. I thought being fluent would be cool and I could stay in my little immersion chrysalis until that happened and come out and everyone would be like “wow!”. I thought anything less was unacceptable. Trying to talk to people at 4 months in I thought was unacceptable. However that really started to kill my motivation. I realize the only times I feel inspired to learn the language are when I know I can use it. And if I keep my headphones on or stay in my room listening, I’m not using it and its like I am going against what I really want to get out of the language making the process ASM instead of fun. Now I’m starting to realize that fluency is just an abstract concept, like perfection or infinity. Its not a goal worth aiming for and my brain knows it so it says either do whats fun or give up. The aim in my opinion should be to reach that point where the language feels like its yours. Its feels native to you. That is the beauty of language learning IMO. Its like you grow a second soul when you have a second language that feels natural to you. Also its like growing a second citizenship. Second soul more so tho. I reached that point at around 8 or 9 months and I had maybe a 2000 word vocab but gained through immersion and audio srs cards so it was in there like swim wear not just memorized by rote where I could forget it if I shook my head too hard lol. Also though, having fun with it, talking to people as soon as you can, is probably the best way to become fluent because why would you quit when you have built relationships with real people and comic book characters maybe. I was also kinda scared I would reach a point where I would be content with how much I knew of the language. I think that situation might be reserved for people who only wanted to know enough to get by and not have fun in the process, like people going overseas to work but were never interested in the culture in the first place. We arn’t in that situation. we like other cultures, japanese, chinese or whatever, and if we have that, and fun, we can’t lose. We can only win.

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