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Success Story: Just Two Weeks Of AJATT Immersion Revolutionized My Japanese Speaking Life

Lou W shares his success story, where he reports that’s he’s feeling the effects of AJATT techniques after just two weeks. I’m as pleasantly shocked as he is 😛 1 . Don’t take my word for it. Listen to him 😉 :

I was a few chapters into my Minna No Nihongo advanced textbook and I showed to my native Japanese stretch-class friends while on the subway ride home. I take a weekly Japanese stretch class so that I have a chance for real Japanese practice and it is also really good for your body! I showed them the Unit Test at the end of the first few chapters…and they were getting the answers wrong.

I then calmly closed my textbook and I wished it well. That event essentially proved the most important pieces of your nonsense/brilliance were CORRECT. My Japanese friends know Japanese. Whatever that book was giving me was not of real use. I would have clung to those type of low-immersion, high-tedium Japanese-reminiscent language textbooks FOREVER if I didn’t actually find a few pure diamonds on your site.

Twp weeks of immersion and fun have pushed my Japanese speaking comfort level further than years of boring and unnatural textbooks and addiction to external valuations through test scores and other unnecessary benchmarks

I am writing you as I listen to the news in Japanese. By changing my iTunes language to Japanese, I was able to access the Japanese podcast section (which is free) and download 760 25-minute Japanese podcasts and I listen ALL. DAY. LONG. Even while reading Japanese manga. Not to mention that new podcasts come out every day (other than just news) so that things never get stale.

End result: After 2 weeks of your immersion (and 3 1/2 years of being unable to continue a Japanese conversation for more than 2 sentences), I bumped into a Japanese native who lives on my floor. I just moved here last month and my building is about 30% Japanese. So we started talking in the hallway in Japanese. After a few minutes, he asked me if I was married to a Japanese woman or if I had lived in Japan —

I almost pooped my pants! I was so da[r]n shocked!

Thank you, Khatzumoto.

~ Lou W

Has AJATT helped you? What’s your success story? Share. It will make us all smiley and happy. It may even keep a kid off drugs. Will it keep me off hookers and blow? No, but it might save that next kid. Share your success story. Save a life.


  1. Hyperbolic title? That one’s for free, baby *muah* 😛 .

  20 comments for “Success Story: Just Two Weeks Of AJATT Immersion Revolutionized My Japanese Speaking Life

  1. フレヂィー
    April 26, 2012 at 03:33

    I can’t speak on the matter of class-work since I’ve never taken a class in Japanese. But I will say that before I found your site, I was studying on my own for about a year, and was doing okay, but then, your site came along and I started immersing in funner (I know, not a word) ways and something happened, something great. I realized that the ‘fun’ things I was doing had a lot of high-frrquency vocab, grammar, usage, etc. So, in turn, I started finally understanding what you meant by… “DON’T LEARN A LANGUAGE, GET USED TO IT!”

    I am at 1yr and a half, give or take, with Japanese and am more motivated than ever. Thanks to the advice given here.

    Many, Many thanks for that.

    Before your site, I had about 15 anki decks… now, I have 4. Life. Easier. Success.

    ~ fv 

  2. April 26, 2012 at 09:46

    Lou, if you are reading this, can you mention what some of those podcasts were?

    • フレヂィー
      April 26, 2012 at 15:56

      Real quick,

      Don’t assume that his podcasts are the key to unlocking Japanese. I’m sure if you ask Lou where he heard about the podcasts he is referring to, he might just say, “I just browsed and picked at random…”

      What I am trying to say is, just get on your iTunes, change that country settings and start browsing. Quantity over quality.

      ~ fv 

      • April 26, 2012 at 23:27

        Thanks フレヂィー, but my reason for asking is that I’m looking for new podcasts to add variety to my current lineup.

        • フレヂィー
          April 27, 2012 at 05:07

          I know what you mean, I just cleaned out my list and am looking for new ones. Two that always keeps me entertained are SUNTORY SATURDAY AWAITING BAR AVANTI & NIPPONちびっこランド. The latter is similar to a kids show, thinks Sesame Street-ish, but, every episode features new words and it shows visual examples, which really nails the example of usage.

      • Kimura
        April 27, 2012 at 03:28

        Got any suggestions where I can easily get this quantity of Japanese immersion stuff, without using iTunes? I can’t use that program ever again after what it did to my music collection a few years back (long story short, a “bug”, that I doubt they want to fix, labeled ALL unwatermarked files as stolen and autodeleteable, including my large collection of game soundtracks… thank goodness for USB backups)…
        The only places I know of are Japan-A-Radio (inaccessible at school due to the college firewall portblocking all audio streaming), Youtube (which I can’t find anything on without knowing what to look for, so when I’m able to use JAR at home, I write down all the song titles and albums and look them up later on YT… not very efficient, only semi-effective), and Nicovideo (same problem as Youtube, with the additional issue of KeepVid being incompatible with the Nico Player).

        • フレヂィー
          April 27, 2012 at 05:09

          I suggest making an account on

          It’s like YouTube on Japanese steroids! Coz’ it’s Japanese 🙂 

          • フレヂィー
            April 27, 2012 at 05:09

            Sorry, I jumped the gun w/ out realizing that you are trying nico.

        • Travis
          April 27, 2012 at 08:18

          I reccemend the Junk series.  爆笑問題カーボーイ and バナナマン are the two that I like the most.  Of the two 爆笑問題カーボーイ is the best, so funny.  日系テレンディ is not a Junk series podcast but a good one for current technical trends in Japan.  These are all free on iTunes. AJATT: 立派になりました。

          • April 27, 2012 at 12:05

            Thanks for the recommendations! 爆笑問題カーボーイ is actually one of my staples, I’ll definitely have to check those other two out! 🙂

          • Kimura
            April 27, 2012 at 12:45

            “without using iTunes” >_>
            I’ll still look those up, see if I can find them elsewhere…

            • Marcello Nastri
              April 27, 2012 at 22:11

              After reading this article I was wondering if there was an application for android with podcasts in japanese and I think I found one…. The name is TOP Podcasts, developed by John Woo….It’s one of the firsts that apears, I didn’t try the others that apear

              Thanks to this article I can listen to something else than “anime” – I don’t know if it’s called like that in English *I’m Brazilian* – all day long!
              By the way I’m unable to find decent japanese music, that’s why I only watch “anime” all day long.
              Can SOMEONE, ANYONE, please tell me where to find it?
              Now that I’m thinking of it I’ve never searched in english and neither in japanese itself, I only searched in portuguese, can this be the problem?Or it’s dificult to find when you don’t know what to look for?

              • Shouri
                May 20, 2012 at 12:22

                Better late than never right? 
                I’ve pretty much only searched for Japanese music in English so I’d say try that. Also depending on what genre you like, type it into Google and see what others have said,this is how I found tons of artists. I was having difficulties finding what I liked at first but then I broaden the search a bit. Now my iPod is full of J-RnB (Crystal Kay is awesome) and a bit of J-Pop. Good luck searching.

    • Jason
      April 30, 2012 at 10:27

      You can just go to Youtube and start browsing random Japanese videos….that’s the quickest and easiest way.

  3. sikieiki
    April 26, 2012 at 16:47

    Not to be a bum, but this, and other accounts of success are worthless without some sort of proof or measurement. Japanese are very eager to compliment a foreigner speaking in Japanese, regardless of how well they are.

    • April 27, 2012 at 04:00

      heh, I have to agree.

      Khatz: Has AJATT helped you? What’s your success story? Share.
      I thought about what to say, but I couldn’t really come up with anything because on some levels I’m successful, and not on others. Like, I know the kanji and even can read some sentences, but I can’t even read a paragraph, let alone a page in a book. I came to the conclusion that there are really only two ways to define success in Japanese: 1) by being fluent, and 2) by moving in the right direction. I’m moving in the right direction, so I consider myself successful

      • フレヂィー
        April 27, 2012 at 05:13

        100% agree with this. In fact, I find it better to just realize that sooner than later I’ll get to where I want to be. One thing I am very aware of is that, 1.5yr ago, I had no idea about anything Japanese relating to grammar, vocabulary, etc. And now, I look back, and am amazed at what I’ve done. Key word there is “I.” I stopped saying “oh man, that guy got it in X amount of time…” So debilitating to think that way. It’s like Khatz has pointed out before, just compare yourself against yourself.

  4. Totoro
    May 7, 2012 at 23:57

    I LOVE SUNTORY! Do you know any other podcasts of that style? I really like this jazz style and the diversity of topics they talk about amazes me very much! Please leave a comment here!^^

  5. Neil
    May 21, 2012 at 22:31

    hi katz it’s been bothering me this hookers thing, by hookers do you mean girls? lol

  6. Jamie
    June 1, 2012 at 21:55

    Share the blow damn you!

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