- Cute Girls, Mathematics, Language
- It’s Not The Years, It’s the Seconds: A Stack of Washingtons Is Not Worth The Same As a Stack of Benjamins
- So Should We Track and Log Every Second of Japanese?
- Why Seconds And Not Hours?
きのこ on September 19, 2011 at 11:20
“Come on, Khatz — who really keeps track of every single second?”
No one does. And I would never suggest you do 1. What I mean is that we need to be aware of “real time” — the time we actually spend in physical contact with Japanese, and not “project time” — the amount of time we’ve been verbally claiming to be committed to getting used to Japanese. The only reason the 18 months of AJATT seem so magical is because, if time is money, then my bills were in larger denominations — more of my real time was in Japanese than most people thought possible or sane. I didn’t get used to Japanese in a short time, but it in a focused time, a concentrated time, a dense time.
When people come a-talkin’ about “years” of language X, what they’re really talking about is project time: they did not actually spend tens or hundreds of millions of seconds in contact with Japanese. And often, so am I. It just so happens that my project time for Japanese was closer to real time than practically anyone else who bothers to write about these things.
There are about 31.6 million seconds in a year; that’s about 8770 hours. I sincerely doubt that most people who’ve been on a multi-year Japanese project have had even that much real time exposure. Do you know what that means? It means that most people who’ve been “studying Japanese for years” have, in truth, not even been exposed to it for a single year. So they have a heavy wallet full of pennies and they’re angry and bitter and going about saying that big money doesn’t exist coz look how effing heavy my wallet is and it still hasn’t bought me the ability to so much as read normal Japanese.
That’s all I’m saying. Keep real time straight. Not necessarily directly or quantitatively (through tracking and logging), but indirectly and qualitatively become aware of and exploit all those spare moments, all that dead time. Recruit your time, resources and electronics in the pursuit of getting used to Japanese. Ask yourself every moment what you’re doing and how you can Japanize it.
That’s all 🙂 .