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The End of AJATT

It’s been a long ride. When I started this site back in late 2006, I didn’t know I would get so much love and support from all of you. Thank you all so much for reading and sharing. Things change; people change; I know I have. It’s been a wonderful growth experience for me. And now it’s time to say goodbye. I will be taking down this site effective immediately.

Because the folks at Pimsleur have figured out a way to teach you Cantonese in ten days.

TEN DAYS! That’s less time than it takes to lose a guy! Screw this immersion crap! Get me one, no, two boxes of the ten day stuff! In fact, get one for all my friends!

And fries! And some diet pills to slim down with after the fries! From now on, I’ma “learn like a spy!” and “pass for a native”. Ten days, be arch!

See ya!

  79 comments for “The End of AJATT

  1. Ernesto
    May 5, 2009 at 15:21


  2. Jonathan
    May 5, 2009 at 15:30

    Sheesh, Khatz, don’t scare me like that 🙂

    Yeah, I see crap like this all over the place these days. To be fair, there’s nothing wrong with learning some Standard Travel Phrases if you’re just visiting the country for a week and have no deep interest in mastering the language, but one should not kid oneself that this is even the faintest semblance of a glimmer of a blip on the farthest edge of the radar of Native-Like Fluency.

  3. sprtfgd
    May 5, 2009 at 15:47

    Yes Khatz, i seriously, in all my eighteen years of man almost shed a tear in fear of this site going down. I have used this site to start spanish JUST THIS WEEK, and i have already seen more improvement in TWO DAYS than in all SIX years of my learning spanish in school.

    And i also agree with Jonathan in the fact that ten days is in no way possible to learn to speak a language in near or in same fluency as your mother tongue. It is just not possible, unless within those ten days, you pause time and gather the tens of thousands of hours of listening you need to be able to pick up and decipher and learn by heart the words you will be hearing in the country of said language.

    That being said, Khatz, if you EVER, EVER take this page down without making some form of this information in a book available in stores or online, i will personally hunt you down and erase all knowledge of Japanese/Cantonese out of your mind until you make a book or something of similar value available. >=|

    (That last threat was jus a lil joke, haha ^_^)

    (but really, dont take it down.)

  4. Richard V
    May 5, 2009 at 16:06

    I have to say, I was 100% convinced for approximately 10 seconds. The worst 10 seconds of my life. No, really.

  5. May 5, 2009 at 16:19

    I read this in my RSS reader and almost cried. Seriously, man…. it’s funny NOW, but don’t do that too often, ok?

  6. May 5, 2009 at 16:44

    Hmm I see it comes with a free carrying case. Presumably you don’t need that after ten days?

  7. May 5, 2009 at 16:56

    I love that picture of a guy in a lab coat looking into a microscope! “The Pimsleur approach is Scientific!”

  8. Sebastian V.
    May 5, 2009 at 17:04

    Okay, now that caption actually fooled me.

  9. nacest
    May 5, 2009 at 17:10


  10. May 5, 2009 at 17:27

    damn man, I almost had a heart attack!

  11. NachieJack
    May 5, 2009 at 17:58

    That…that was truly truly harsh.
    I’ve been sick at home, and decided to check this website befor ei go see the doctor…Almost didn’t need the doctor anymore.Harsh, bro…harsh….

  12. Nukemarine
    May 5, 2009 at 18:03

    For a minute, I thought Khatz was going to Rick Roll me like Tofugu

    Sadly that Pimsleur link was about as bad. Ten days? Yeah, I’m sure I can learn pat phrases in 10 days. Notice they never advertise “Understand Native Chinese in 10 days!!! Yes, you too can go to any and all areas of China and understand what is being said to you in just 10 days!!! Order now, money back guarenteed!!!!” Anyone can be a parrot.

    To be honest, I first thought that AJATT was ending and ACATT (All Chinese All the Time) was starting.

  13. Iseya
    May 5, 2009 at 18:14


    In the library 2 mins down the street I used to live (hehe), they had Pimsleur cd sets that you can borrow for 2 quid (I think!)—-and that stuff is seriously seriously boring….

  14. Sheethra
    May 5, 2009 at 18:23

    Is it me or does Dr. Pimsleur look like a character out of Dr. Strangelove in his photo?

  15. adshap8
    May 5, 2009 at 18:54

    “Within thirty days of receiving your Pimsleur Approach course, you’ll learn to speak Cantonese or we’ll refund your money.”

    -Should’ve made it double your money back!

    “you’ve already learned one language using the Pimsleur approach. Your first language!”
    – thank you Pimsleur for your approach in teaching me English. I’ve been using it since I was born.

    Numerous studies have revealed that in every country, native-speakers use only about 2,500 distinct words and phrases on a daily basis.

    – I’ll give you 2,500 distinct words in a short good conversation.

  16. Gav
    May 5, 2009 at 19:01

    For a moment I felt the sharp thrill of fear, which is an emotion I am unaccustomed to feeling.

  17. vgambit
    May 5, 2009 at 19:44

    See ya, Khatz. Can’t wait to use the Pimsleur 10-day method to learn Japanese. Hell, since it’s so quick, I’ll go ahead and learn a bunch of languages afterward; cantonese, korean, spanish, german…. the sky’s the limit! And I’ll be done before breakfast!

  18. Adam
    May 5, 2009 at 20:29

    Damn.. it’s just a joke? Fo real??

  19. May 5, 2009 at 21:07

    Khatzumoto, you are a cruel, cruel man. That was possibly the meanest joke ever.

  20. Terence
    May 5, 2009 at 21:17

    Khatz, you just earned yourself an E-finger(^_^)凸

    No more of this please, you would want to wake up to a mail box filled with court orders from around the world for causing so many people to drop dead of shock, making you a murderer now would you?!

  21. Maya
    May 5, 2009 at 21:26

    Katz… I love you 🙂

    I was just debating yesterday whether or not it was worth it, getting Pimsleur Canto from the library. You answered my question.

    I’m gonna go watch the Cantonese Lion King clips on youtube instead 🙂 joi gin~

  22. Cush
    May 5, 2009 at 21:40

    Whoa, dude don’t scare me like that!

  23. Konta
    May 5, 2009 at 22:29

    ZOMFG! My heart stopped for a second. And in that second, my mind was racing trying to think of a way to download the entire site before it disappeared into the internet ether with all the videos that have been yanked from YouTube.

    Then I got it, and almost spewed toothpaste on my compy. (Yes, I surf the web while I brush my teeth. What! What of it! So I got a short attention span, geesh…)

  24. Ciaran
    May 5, 2009 at 22:57

    Huh , 10 days , too much effort , I think that we need to get it down to 10 mins

    Seriously , I have tried Pimsleur before using the method on your site , yours is more rewarding and unlike pimsleur I can understand some japanese rather than repeat parrot fashion. Please do not give up 😉 as you make sense.

  25. Capitalist
    May 5, 2009 at 23:08

    T_T the moment I read the first line I archived a good amount of the site through ScrapBook. Whatever, it can’t hurt I guess.

  26. Caomei513
    May 5, 2009 at 23:09

    Khatz… do you have any idea how much of a jerk you are? I seriously got teary-eyed…. this was not a good thing to wake up to first thing in the morning. No more jokes like that, man!

  27. Harry
    May 5, 2009 at 23:24


    HOLY CRAP, In all of my life I have never felt my stomach drop like that when I read that-.- Don’t scare me.

  28. Harry
    May 5, 2009 at 23:25

    In other news, I have a question guys. Am I suppose to delete old Kanji I know really well? Or keep them?

  29. Erick Garcia
    May 5, 2009 at 23:43

    Well, let’s not be too hard on the Pimsleur system. When I started learning Mandarin, I did the whole 90 lesson set and it provided a good “boost” so to speak. I was pretty limited to access to media as a missionary, so anything I could have gotten my hands on would have been good.

    Pimsleur was much better than grammar books and other materials for learning the basic syntax of the language. For me, it gave me a solid grasp of how the language works. I still recommend it to people who are starting from zero, but of course the AJATT style needs to be predominant.

    Anyways, loved site! I felt pangs of sadness when I first read this post, don’t scare us like that again!

  30. Amelia
    May 6, 2009 at 00:34

    Holy hell! Sure it’s funny now, but I was devastated 5 minutes ago.

    On pimsleur: I bought the full-on Spanish I-III a few years ago. When I was almost through it, I happened to need to chat with a Latino who spoke no English. I couldn’t find one intelligible or relevant thing to say. Not even about the weather.

    Thanks to this site, now I know why.

    NEVER scare us again, Khaz. You’re free to move on, just break it to us gently when you do.

  31. May 6, 2009 at 00:40

    Oh my god… that scared the HELL out of me. I was so afraid. If you ever do decide to stop writing, at least let somehow host an archive/mirror. Jesus christ. I think that was the biggest scare I’ve had in a while. Jeeeeez!!!

  32. Tyler
    May 6, 2009 at 00:40

    NEVER EVER DO THAT EVER AGAIN, EVER. my chest actually got that horrible feeling you get when you hear that someone died.

  33. Johann
    May 6, 2009 at 00:50

    Oh gawd, I can feel my heartbeat in my eyebrows….

    But yeah, even aside from those ridiculous claims, Pimsleur is overpriced crap. Not that I’ve tried it myself, but I did, on many occasions, have the questionable honor of witnessing the results it produces when you rely on it too heavily. I used to visit forums for language learners, and man, this Pimsleur guy has an awful lot of obnoxious fanboys who tend to suck really, really hard at the languages they’re learning, even after years of study. I was LOLing away like no tomorrow when one of them tried to make a point by chatting me up in German and I couldn’t decipher any of the gibberish he wrote.
    275 dollars… I could buy enough Japanese movies, books and video games to last me half a YEAR for that kind of money, and they really expect me to pay it for 15 hours?

    Anyway, keep it up Khatz, you’re doing a great job with this site.

  34. NachieJack
    May 6, 2009 at 00:59

    @ Harry
    Keep em. Your SRS will keep em from coming up too often since theoretically you’d “easy” them ad infinitum.

  35. 克己
    May 6, 2009 at 01:26

    I thought for a moment he was just going to be changing the name to something for Cantonese. Must admit the title can make one’s heart leap. This is the point where everyone should go buy some phone consulting from Khatz. 😉

  36. Scuba
    May 6, 2009 at 03:25

    I hate you…

    Ok, I take that back… I’m just mad at you until you make another full length post.

  37. Diego
    May 6, 2009 at 03:34

    (O.O)…..not cool man, not cool…worst joke ever…well actually it was a pretty good one, you sure got a lot of people with it haha you rock man!!!

  38. Rochella
    May 6, 2009 at 03:51

    I’m waiting for the moment they can just upload the information into our brains instantaneously!!!!

    Go Go Pwr Matrix like Machine! you know, like they have on that one movie, Battlefield Earth!!

  39. Hashiriya
    May 6, 2009 at 04:00

    but 10 days without sleep is 240 hours of pure study… would make a good start 😉

  40. Brian
    May 6, 2009 at 04:43


  41. jubilantia
    May 6, 2009 at 04:48

    WHAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHoly moly, you scared the crap out of me.

    Never mind that if the site were actually shutting down, it wouldn’t have been here when I clicked.

  42. V
    May 6, 2009 at 04:54

    Ouch, almost choked on my tea when I’ve read the title in the RSS reader. Cruel, Khatzu, cruel…

    I’m relieved though.^_^;

  43. Ed
    May 6, 2009 at 05:13

    Wow… I thought that was a cleverly-crafted joke at first. The page is just to silly to be serious. What does a guy looking through a microscope have to do with language (even if it’s being done “scientifically”)?

  44. NDN
    May 6, 2009 at 05:25

    NEVER DO THAT AGAIN! NEVER! My heart almost jumped. It was as if I heard that (I HOPE IT NEVER HAPPENS!!!!) Obama had died.

    You know, your site is one of those things that simply should NEVER disappear. Pimsleur loses to AJATT in one thing (or maybe two, three…?), it’s that AJATT doesn’t give (at most suggests) material, it lets the learner(?) choose the material of his own interest. This free choice thing is 素晴らしい。

    Man, I believe anyone of us here could spend the whole night talking about the pluses of AJATT. It gave me hope when I had the probability of (roughly) 0.001 in 100000000000000000000000… of learning japanese much like man going to the moon before huh…(in what year did man go to the moon? Whatever…) in the real sense.

    I would never dream of reading a web page of mathematics or chess or forums or VOLUMES of manga from the beginning to the end in Japanese!

    NEVER STOP MAN, PLEASE! ずっと前へ行こうぜ。

  45. Mallory
    May 6, 2009 at 05:37

    I bought Pimsleur Japanese beginner before I found this site. WAY BORING!! T_T And they talk slow as heck, I listened to a news broadcast and I was like O.o” Biggest waste of $30+ ever.
    Keep it up Khatz!!!

  46. heart attack
    May 6, 2009 at 05:48

    Oh God, I almost thought it was true, my eyes got kinda watery.
    If you ever abandon AJATT, please at least keep it online, you have no idea how useful your texts are…

  47. Kira
    May 6, 2009 at 06:00

    that…. scared me…. so badly!

    Don’t do that again xD

  48. ジャズ
    May 6, 2009 at 06:13

    Omg that scared me. i was so confused at first.
    aha learn languages like a spy, its funny cuz pimsleur actually makes that claim.

  49. Satoshi
    May 6, 2009 at 08:16



    Damn you, man… I felt like crying here!

  50. Gav
    May 6, 2009 at 08:37

    Wow, it’s kind of bordering on ridiculous how many people literally; felt sick, scared, wanted to cry/die when reading this post (myself included). I guess it just shows how much we all value this site.

    I have seen the donate button so many times and ignored it just as many. It has kind of faded into the landscape of the site for me. I think if you have read this site a bazillion times and trawl it regularly for inspiration it’s time for a donation. I haven’t ever donated, but I am going to now. What better way to make sure Khatz can keep posting? If you value something you invest in it!

  51. Scuba
    May 6, 2009 at 09:28

    Gav… I suppose your right (khaz is that you???? I’m on to your tricks!)

    Joking aside, Khaz, your site has undoubtedly been the single biggest aid to my acquisition of Japanese. I would have given up again (like the many times before) if I hadn’t stumbled across your site.

    So, donation sent!
    Don’t ever take this site down, and now you owe me another full length post by the way after that donation!

  52. Jonny
    May 6, 2009 at 11:47

    That wasn’t funny. 🙁

  53. KREVA
    May 6, 2009 at 12:22

    You totally PUNK’D me with this one.

  54. KREVA
    May 6, 2009 at 12:36

    Just read that guarantee on their website (pasted below here), and they seriously went from 30 days to 10 days to “now!” Big claim…

    “Maybe you’ve already tried to learn a language but realized it was all in vain. Don’t give up. It’s time to change your approach! Within thirty days of receiving your Pimsleur Approach course, you’ll learn to speak Cantonese or we’ll refund your money. It only takes ten days and you don’t have anything to lose… You can start to speak Cantonese now!”

  55. Chris
    May 6, 2009 at 13:00

    Damn you Katz for scaring the crap out of me like that!

  56. 克己
    May 6, 2009 at 13:23

    I was going to say, “But Khatz, you already managed to show us the way to learn Japanese in a mere one second!” — But, KREVA above discovered that Pimsleur says “now.” Too bad, huh?

  57. Gav
    May 6, 2009 at 14:44

    @Scuba, nah Bro. I wish I was Khatz, seriously. I just value this site so much that I am willing to advocate for him.

  58. Daniel
    May 6, 2009 at 15:46

    Judging from these comments you could probably start a successful cult.

  59. Fred
    May 6, 2009 at 19:31

    God, I just found this website today…
    I get to love it and here you plan on putting it down immediately…

    I was about to think of a way to download all content locally!


  60. Member1KULTofAJATT
    May 6, 2009 at 19:33

    very sneaky Khatz….that was some joke to play just to get an outpouring of people telling you how much your site means to them…please don’t resort to such tactics in future. you should know that everybody who reads your site find it immensely helpful

  61. May 6, 2009 at 21:46

    Congratulations on shaking the foundations of this little corner of the Internet to its core, Khatzumoto殿. Well played indeed.

  62. nacest
    May 6, 2009 at 21:54

    As you can see you have a responsibility now, pal. You’ll be chained to this website for ever!

  63. starscars
    May 7, 2009 at 00:36

    that was the saddest 10 seconds of my life. this site has given me so much. u are chained to this baby for life! 🙂

  64. May 7, 2009 at 01:43

    I’m reminded of that song by the cranberries. “You’ve got me wrapped around your finger…” Yeah, that pretty much explains the relationship between you and your readers.

  65. May 7, 2009 at 02:21

    I did a few days of (pirated) Pimsleur Mandarin lessons and got several compliments on my accent, so…yeah. But it was way too boring to keep doing, and sometimes the male speaker says something in one tone, and the female says the same thing in another tone, which one to follow? And did I already mention it was boring? It was boring. Why pay $274 to be bored out of your mind?

  66. May 7, 2009 at 08:54

    …you suck. I went on vacation (with no internets! no!) and came back to find Khatzmemo replaced with Surusu and then this post… I almost died. You are a sick sick man.

  67. Derek
    May 7, 2009 at 12:50

    OMG don’t scare me man, I just found this site and was seriously going to try it, then you throw this thing up. not cool man, not cool!

  68. Tagore
    May 7, 2009 at 15:21

    Hmm- reminds me of seeing this recently: At least his “How to learn any language in 3 months” is an upgrade from an earlier post that was more like “learn any language in a week.” Actually, he has some things figured out- he apparently learned a lot of Japanese from reading a book on Judo, and he is aware that classes don’t really work.

    I’ve been learning languages in a manner similar to the khatzumomo system for years, and when I try to explain it to people they always say something like “There’s no way something that easy could work.” And I don’t understand how they could misunderstand me so badly- it’s not easier than classes, it’s harder. But it’s not as boring and it works better ;). That’s the difference between this sort of “system” (I find it kind of weird to call something people have been doing for thousands of years, naturally, a “system”, but…) and the “learn any language in a week” programs.

  69. Tagore
    May 7, 2009 at 15:28

    And Daniel, etc.- Khatz p[robably could start a cult of language learners. He might have already done so, inadvertently. There are always some people looking for The Truth. This site doesn’t feature The Truth (I disagree with Khatz on a lot of things, and I think I am right about at least some of them) but it does provide a healthy dose of the truth in an area where there is a lot of bull**** being slung. Some people get overly excited and mistake that for The Truth. That’s pretty predictable, and not really Khatz’s fault. His penchant for self-promotion may encourage that as a second-order effect, but hell, who can blame him for a bit of self-promotion in the age of the attention economy?

  70. May 10, 2009 at 05:04

    Don’t abandon us Katzu, you are the Buddha of Japanese learners 😉

  71. Michael
    May 10, 2009 at 22:33

    You can’t take down AJATT, it’s the Castel Grey Skull of Language blogs.
    Being on vacation in my language of choice has only reafirmed what you and Steve Kaufman preach; massive hours of enjoyable content.

  72. May 11, 2009 at 20:28

    I found myself checking the date. “What the hell, is it April 1st?” 😛

  73. Chris
    April 16, 2010 at 09:21

    Okay, I have to admit, a while ago I read this post. I read the first paragraph and never came back because I thought the site was closed.

    I’m glad, now in 2010 I came back.

  74. DR Talon
    August 16, 2011 at 13:38

    Seriously, I dont know what to say. I’m like that far down the page blank.

  75. エサミ
    November 3, 2011 at 06:00

    ” the Japanese system combines Chinese characters called kanji, and two other sets of modified Chinese characters known as hiragana and katakana. Imagine trying to learn three sets of thousands of characters in order to speak a new language. How long would that take you?” says “dr.” pimsleur. Yea, so just be illiterate: it’s less bother people.

  76. Nagoya Blue
    November 4, 2011 at 13:22

    Funny, people would rather pay money than make the effort.  Unfortunately, in language learning there is no substitute for putting time in.  So if you pay more but don’t put the hours in, the results will still be crappy.

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