You deserve better.
I don’t really think that. But it totally sounded like the kind of thing that would stroke your ego. So I said it.
I’ll tell you what I do really think, though.
Classes suck. It’s a fact. I know it. You know it. We all know it.
But they have their strengths. They do. That’s also a fact.
In class, all you have to do is show up. Someone else makes the tough choices. Someone else makes all the important decisions. They decide both strategy and tactics. They even handle scheduling for you. They have the big and small picture in their heads, and they give it to you piece by piece. You just kick back and do your part.
So what’s the problem?
Well, at least three things.
They have crappy taste in, like, everything.
They bore you to effing death.
They don’t take responsibility for the results.
You could do every little boring thing they say to do in a class and still not know any real Japanese. And what happens? “Well, Japanese is Asian and hard”, they say. The old “bait and switch”.
Bollocks. That’s bollocks.
You deserve better.
I mean it this time.
Let’s play a game of “what if”.
What if you could have all the benefits of a Japanese class with none of the drawbacks?
What if learning a language could be a series of short, fun, refreshing sprints, rather than some long, drawn-out endless marathon?
What if learning a language for real — to fluency, to high-level proficiency — could have a clear, meaningful, reachable, specific endpoint?
What if someone could tell you, down to the day, when you would be fluent, and then lead you every step of the way the way there, and make sure you actually got there, just like a physical roadtrip?
It took me 18 months to get to the point in Japanese where I could function like an adult — read documents, talk about technical stuff, do job interviews, all in Japanese. That’s about 540 days. The extra 10% on 595 days is to factor in procurement, “mindset flip” and habit-building time.
I am not better than you. I am not smarter than you. Anyone could do it.
So why doesn’t everyone do it?
Smart, perfectionistic people cannot do tortoise math.
Tortoise math isn’t normal math. Tortoise math is the math of tortoises — you know, the kind that race hares.
The ability to do tortoise math and the ability to do regular math are completely unrelated.
Tortoise math requires a level of faith and emotional silence that you don’t have time for right now.
Smart people can’t do tortoise math.
You can’t do tortoise math. You’re too smart. You’re too clever. You’re too quick on your feet. You’re too emotionally unstable. Too perfectionistic.
Emotions. You feel lost. You feel overwhelmed. You don’t know if what you’re doing is right or even effective. And because the more you know the more you know you don’t know, you start to feel like you’ll never get there. You lose hope. You give up.
Emotions lead to a loss of momentum. And when you don’t have momentum, you have nothing. Loss of momentum kills the entire process of becoming awesome at Japanese.
Let me repeat myself.
You haven’t had trouble becoming awesome at Japanese because you’re not smart enough. You’ve had trouble learning Japanese because you’re too smart. You use your intelligence to defeat yourself. I’m not just trying to flatter you here (I am kinda; this is sales copy; I’m trying to suck up to you to in order to sell you something; that’s just fact).
You’re too smart for your own good. You’re too smart to see and appreciate the blindingly small and obvious, because the small and the obvious are too small and too obvious to be intellectually interesting to you. You’re too smart to focus your energy; you’re too smart to do tortoise math.
You’re like Cyclops from X-Men. You have laser eyes. And your laser eyes (=mental power) are shooting death beams of powerful, misdirected energy all over the room and your life.
That’s why I’ve made you a visor. I want you to have this visor. I want you to have this thing that will focus your figurative laser eyes — your energy — onto the one teeny, tiny thing you need to right now.
I’m not smart like you are. I’m simple. I’m slow on the uptake. I do tortoise math. I do the obvious. And now I’m going to do tortoise math for you, so you don’t have to.
Learning Japanese is a matter of engineered inevitability. It is the inevitable result of heading in a certain direction. Like an idiot.
The problem is, you don’t have the time and faith to engineer inevitability for yourself. And you’re too smart to stay focussed.
So I’ve gone and done the focussing and engineering for you.
- Are you inspired by all the information on AJATT but unsure how to start and what to actually do?
- Do you feel overwhelmed by all the things going on in your life?
- Are all these effing questions starting sound like a Xanax commercial?
- Do you wish that someone could be there for you every step of the way, like a parent or big brother or Mr. Miyagi?
- Do you wish someone else would do all the worrying and big-picture thinking and planning and strategizing for you?
- Do you want the security of knowing you’re doing stuff that actually works, that you’re on the right track? Every day? Until you’re fluent? No leaving you alone?
- Do you wish you could abdicate responsibility of handling the structure and scheduling of your learning, while enjoying the freedom of choosing the content?
- Are you overloaded with good ideas but underloaded with action?
- Do you just want clear, simple, straightfoward, easy directions and validation?
- Do you want someone who won’t bait and switch on you, who’ll take responsibility for your fluency, for getting you there?
If that sounds like you, then maybe you need to be spoonfed. Maybe you need AJATT SilverSpoon.
Hold on a sec, though. Before I even tell you what AJATT SilverSpoon is, first, let’s get something out of the way.
Who Shouldn’t Sign Up For AJATT SilverSpoon
- Brew their own beer
- Write their own operating systems
- Sew their own clothes
- Just generally like doing stuff without any help from anyone
- Use Linux on principle, even when it makes better sense not to
- Hate everything
- Don’t know what “AJATT” stands for
- Aren’t willing to let go and let Khatz (WTF?) 😛
Again, I’m only sucking up to you so hard right now because this is a product, okay? So if the idea of buying stuff offends you, please, stop reading this right now. It only gets worse from here.
Besides, not everyone is cut out for being spoonfed. And that’s fine. That’s mmm kay. Here. Here’s a hyperlink that takes you somewhere else.
OK. So I see you’re still here. Maybe you’re interested in finding out what this is. But, again, just to be sure let’s make sure you’re a good fit for this.
Who Should Sign Up For AJATT SilverSpoon
People who are:
- Have had several failed attempts at learning Japanese — keep starting and stopping, binging and purging (“bulimic learning”), three-day monk syndrome
- Get overwhelmed easily
- Use Mac or Windows
- Use Linux as a tool rather than a religion
- Have fast, reliable Internet access (duh 😛 )
- Have $150~$250 a month available for purchasing:
- Japanese media (books, music, movies, TV shows) and
- tools (electronic dictionary, extra mp3 player, VPN access to Japan, etc.)
If you’re not most of those things, then AJATT SilverSpoon probably isn’t for you. It isn’t. I wish it were, but it’s not. Don’t waste your time reading the rest of this. Go do the other stuff you had planned for today.
OK, so it looks like you’re still here. It looks like you might really, really be AJATT SilverSpoon type. Let’s tell you what it is then.
So What is AJATT SilverSpoon Anyway?
AJATT SilverSpoon is a thing that spoonfeeds you. I don’t know how much more simple I can make it than that 😀
AJATT SilverSpoon doesn’t just tell you what to do and then leave you hanging. SilverSpoon sticks with you. Like…a smothering, overprotective suburban mother. Wait, no…bad. Anyway…
AJATT SilverSpoon is designed to take you to Japanese fluency painlessly, straightfowardly and with ruthless, engineered inevitability. It takes all the ideas you’ve read and heard about here on AJATT and breaks them down into tiny, simple, straightforward, delicious, daily chunks. Every day, it feeds you just one day-sized bag of chunks.
You don’t have to worry about the big picture any more. SilverSpoon does the worrying for you, chunking and scheduling everything from when and which kanji to learn, to learning how to use an SRS, and even down to your media and equipment purchases.
SilverSpoon is AJATT sliced, systematized, streamlined, bagged and delivered to you on a platter. And then spoonfed to you. It combines the best electronic tools available with original proprietary software, specialized content and diabolically effective techniques from behavioral psychology. It is as close to putting everything in one proverbial box as the world has ever come. It is the AJATT you always wanted.
AJATT SilverSpoon will make you fluent in Japanese in 595 days. 595 days. That’s just 85 weeks.
“But what does ‘fluent’ even mean?”, some people say. Come on. Come now. We all know what “fluent” means. It means “awesome”. It means functioning like an adult. Reading, talking, watching, listening and writing to people who matter to you, on subjects that matter to you. It means you can read a random newspaper article aloud and understand a random TV show and talk to a random person on the phone.
AJATT SilverSpoon will make you fluent in Japanese in 595 days. It will take you there. All you have to do is sign up, empty your mind, and do ridiculously easy things. Thinking, planning and worrying? That’s SilverSpoon’s job.
In a way, it’s kinda sorta almost like a course, except not gay (that’s Swahili for “Black Jewess”, by the way).
It would be easy to throw you a book or a website (like this one!) or a video and be like “read this”, “watch that”.
But we all know that that’s not going to work, don’t we? You’re busy. We all know that you’ll probably forget to come back to them. Or you’ll stop halfway through. Or you’ll read them, but then gradually forget about their contents.
SilverSpoon won’t let you go. It won’t let you forget. It’ll make everything too small, too easy, too much fun, too straightforward to be too busy for.
AJATT SilverSpoon: What You Don’t Get
- Content/media — actual Japanese books, movies
- Supplementary materials — extra books (e.g. for kanji stroke order), stationery
- Equipment — mp3 players, DVD player, video game consoles
AJATT SilverSpoon: What You Do Get
Every day, AJATT SilverSpoon spoonfeeds you clear, detailed, chunked down, chewed up, simplified, minified instructions on:
- What to do
- How to do it
- Where to do it
- What to use
- How to use it
- What to read
- What to watch
- What to learn
- When and where to learn it
- How long to learn it for
- What to buy
- Where to buy it
- When to buy it
In short, AJATT SilverSpoon manages and spoonfeeds all major areas for you, including:
- Scheduling: easing you painlessly into awesomeness, with easy steps and funny, gentle reminder to keep you on track. Stop looking at me like that, they are funny!
- Immersion: Low-effort, high-result immersion management
- Procurement and Purchase Scheduling: What, where, when and how to get the media and equipment you need
- Kanji: target kanji lists — exactly which kanji to learn when; you don’t have to think, you only have to focus on what SilverSpoon spoonfeeds you
- Vocabulary: Frequency-based target vocabulary lists — detailed instructions on specific words and word types to learn in the context of SRSing MCDs (a new SRS technique that’s even better than sentences)
AJATT SilverSpoon focuses you on learning the things that real native speakers in real life know and use. None of that “les vacances au bord de la mer” crap they feed you at school.
What Are Actual, Current SilverSpooners Saying?
- From the Mouths of SilverSpoon Babes…
- Sex, Lies and Broken Promises: Battered SilverSpooners Speak Out
Welcome aboard 🙂
Fo’ Shizzle Fluency Guarantee
Guaranteed fluency: if you’re not fluent in Japanese at the end of 595 days of faithfully executing the simple, easy, quick, straightforward sprint missions fed to you daily by AJATT SilverSpoon, you can have a full refund. No questions asked.
In fact, if you just decide partway through that you just don’t like it, you can have your money back. That’s how sure I am this works. That’s how freakin’ cool I am. Just an empty email to < refund at ajatt dot com > , with the following subject: “I want a refund, but I still love you. I care about you. I promise I’ll be back again.” will suffice.
Succeed or get your money back. Fluency or your money back. The days of messing around are over. The people who take your money to help you learn should take responsibility for the results. I mean, I’m almost perfect. But even I’m not all the way there. Things happen. If and when they do, you don’t have to pay for that imperfection.
However. While a freakin’ cool person, I am also a practicing jerk, so there is one condition: the hypothetical refund will only be processed after Day 595 of the process, regardless of the cancellation/request date. There are three major reasons for this:
- To give me time to skip the country with your money and head to my secret villa in Panama with my concubine 1, Esmeralda. What, I never told you about her? Two words: h ot.
- To discourage casual visitors and passers-by from clogging the system with their…casualness and endless billing processing requests. We’re not here to fool around; we’re here to fool around with Japanese.
- To encourage people to be mentally prepared to play this game right through to the fourth quarter. In it to win it, remember? We’re breaking the pots and sinking the ships; we’re taking the option of quitting off the table until the end of the game. You can quit when you’re fluent. No more three-day-monking. Or, if we are three-day-monking, we’re doing it 199 times straight 😉 .
Working definition of fluency:
- Reading: Can read a randomly selected general interest (e.g. newspaper) article aloud.
- Listening/Speaking: Can listen to a randomly selected 60~90-second audio clip from prime-time television and repeat the dialogue.
- Can express ideas directly or via circumlocution (can explain over, around and through any words you momentarily forget or didn’t yet know)
- Writing: Can accurately transcribe a randomly selected audio 60~90-second spoken exchange from prime-time television or radio.
To this working definition, we can also add some items based on Japanese Level Up‘s definition (65/80), because I think it’s a really good one:
- Can understand Japanese TV (95%), Japanese News (95+%), Contemporary Novels (95%)
- Can read and understand Japanese only grammar/usage explanations and dictionary definitions — you use Japanese to learn itself: your Japanese is “self-hosting”
- Don’t yet have a full background of Japanese culture, history, geography and social life in general
- Can read, write and understand whatever an average Japanese high schooler can
- Can read, write and understand whatever an average person in your field of expertise (e.g. college major/profession) can
- On the phone and text chat, people occasionally (though not always) think you’re Japanese
- Some Japanese people think you were raised in Japan, or have lived here for 10+ years, or are part Japanese
- I don’t even know what this word actually means, but it definitely sounds lewd. Plus, the 「hookers and XYZ」 line was getting old… ↩
This was… inspiring. Not to actually buy it, sorry. But it kind of put things into a weird sense of perspective for me.
I totally would buy that, if I had 150-250$ available a month lol.
Already finished RTK and went monolingual, i guess i am too late for this.
I just dont make enough money for this (not even including the extra media.) Its a good idea though, for people with money to spend.
This is honestly perfect for me…I’m definitely buying.
Isn’t it the total opposite of what I’ve read here? That AJATT’s purpose isn’t to spoon-feed you?
“Everything is about to change.” was the content of the post when he announced the date, and I’m fairly certain that falls under the set of “everything”.
The overall concept is pretty much what I was expecting it to be, though certainly not at that price. I assumed Khatz had coded some awesome program that automates the process, but between the price and the ‘limited quantities’ bit it sounds like he’s doing it by hand.
In any case this doesn’t sound like something for me. If I fall behind on Anki reps frequently an email yelling at me isn’t going to stop that. I’ll just keep plodding along and get there eventually, since even taking ten steps back is still progress as long as you take twenty steps forward in return.
Twenty? Even eleven forward would be fine.
or ten steps backward is the same as forward and the twenty adds to it, making it 30 steps forward.
So who’s this for, then, the fifteen year olds who want to learn a language without any of the self-discipline? Why revolve a website around getting yourself out (in) there, and staying motivated and dedicated, then design a product where the message is essentially ‘I know you’re too lazy, here, let me do everything for you’? Besides;
Working definition of fluency:
Reading: Can read a randomly selected general interest (e.g. newspaper) article aloud.
Listening/Speaking: Can listen to a randomly selected 60~90-second audio clip from prime-time television and repeat the dialogue.
Express ideas directly or via circumlocution
Writing: Can accurately transcribe a randomly selected audio 60~90-second spoken exchange from prime-time television or radio.
I got all that, in Russian, after one year of (free) classes. Eh, not for me I guess.
I’m like Frank Sinatra in that I do things my way, so … it’s not for me!
However, this seems like a pretty easy way for you to make a few thousand bucks.
I am jealous.
no linux, lovin’ eh?
I guess AJP wasn’t making him enough money anymore 😛
Sounds kinda nifty, but a bit too pricey for me. Plus, I don’t really like subscription based things too much.
Man, I would totally buy this is it weren’t for the fact I’m a high schooler with no job ;_; I guess for now I’m doing okay on my own, but if the time comes when I have a source of money and I’m hating my Japanese level, I will be coming to you.
I’d love to buy it but I can’t afford it
I think this is pretty cool. I’m not sure about some of the listed reasons but I know I’m a horribly disorganized person and battle nonstop with my studies. I’ve desperately wanted something to help me organize my learning schedule and honestly, despite how much classes suck, if it weren’t for the fact that there aren’t any for 100’s of miles I’d probably have tried taking some.
If anything, AJATT has been extremely motivational even for non japanese parts of my life and this is a way I can compensate him and maybe find a solution to my problem at the same time.
Thanks Khatzumoto, so stoked to be one of the seven!
…so THAT’s the word for what I’ve been doing…
I would consider trying it for a month but I’m afraid this first month or three would be Kanji focus like his basic steps of learning Kanji first. I’m past this point and would not want to pay for that part. Since Khatzu doesn’t really set out a schedule for how he’s gonna go about it like even broad overviews like:
Month 1- 800 kanji
Month 2- 800 kanji
Month 3- 442 Kanji 20 Grammar points.
I get he will spoonfeed us but still doesnt say what he will spoonfeed us.
If i could skip the learn how to write section I would probably do this at a dollar a day isn’t too bad but means I’d have to cut out a cup of coffee every other day.
I would do this for SURE but I’m learning Korean, not Japanese :/
Same here, but French is my world right now.
Kinda with the other poster on this one. I mean this is a pretty good idea; it helps people struggling with little to no direction, and you get money :D.
I would do it if I had some more money, also I’m past kanji and into sentences here, so the first part, like the other poster said, would be sort of review. So not sure if it’s structured towards people already down the road in learning.
Looks great, but I have no money to spend on it, and I’m already like 9 months into AJATTing anyway (with lots of good progress BTW), so it’s too little too late over here.
Definitely will be recommending it to people who are considering classes though — including $100/mo spent on media, this still comes out cheaper than taking a Japanese class at the local community college for a year and a half, and it comes with way better results too ;D (Seriously, I know a guy who’s been taking classes at the local community college for 8 months, and he can barely read the kana [Katakana was barely mentioned until the second quarter! What could they possibly be teaching there?], no Kanji, etc.).
Most community colleges only teach the basic of the basic’s since they usually only have teachers qualified to teach the first year of Japanese. Its not till you get to University that you really hit the good/hard stuff. My University decided against using the Genki books and went right into Minna No Nihongo. Its been great. Four years later and I feel pretty darn good about my Japanese.
This is an awesome idea. It would be great if you came up with a program with a “universal” language approach, so to speak. As it stands, your articles on this site keep me motivated. Well, I thank you all the same. 🙂
I’m doing bits and pieces everywhere and feel a bit lost. This is just what I need.
Glad to be one of the 七人 。。。 七人学生 ？
I just signed up for the full package. I had read through the site, I’ve commenced RTK, but fall behind on days due to work commitments, work varies between 40-80 hours a week, including nights and weekends at times. When I had about 2 weeks off, I dedicated 100% to my Japanese, but then fell behind as soon as I had lots of distractions.
It’s easy to make excuses, no one excused themselves to success, but then again I know I want to be fluent in Japanese, and I have my own personal barriers to which I think this is the perfect solution. Can’t wait for it to begin, although I will be completing half the actual lessons over in Japan.
Cmon Khatz, can’t you give us loyal AJATT plusers some kinda discount on the Silverspoon? I mean cmon man were already spending all this money on Plus, and then you want us to spend over $500 on Silverspoon?!? Cmon man give us something…
All SilverSpoon Subscribers:
Challenge begin! I’m officially starting Mandarin today on my own. And I’m currently listening to NHK’s Chinese News as I type this. In 595 days if I’m still better than you guys, Khatz says you get your money back (;])
December 16, 2012.
Too bad we’ll only get to enjoy our fluency for 5 days, since the world is ending on December 21st. 🙁
Seven people… sounds like a team of astronauts. Are you sure Khatz isn’t planning something? 5 days is plenty to launch a space shuttle.
how could i have been so foolish?
this changes everything…again
Haha! That actually makes a lot of sense. So Khatz does believe in the 2012 thing.
This is a fantastic idea, though I’d warn Katz about something: you need to back up whatever supplementary media you’re using for this, it sounds like you’re relying on YouTube videos and songs and material on other sites, sites that you don’t control and material that wasn’t uploaded by you: people randomly delete stuff like that, especially youtube videos, I’ve run into this problem time and again on other sites I run where I’ll put up a blog post, supplement it with an embedded video, and then a week or a month or a year later the person who uploaded the video deletes it or the whole site just ceases to exist. This is why I now download all that stuff (videos, PDFs, documents, MP3s, etc.) to my hard drive as back up so if it ever gets deleted I can re-upload it somewhere else myself and it’s not permanently lost.
I hope you’ve backed up all supplementary material and media on your own hard drive, is what I’m saying, otherwise you could really get burned on this.
On another note, this is a brilliant idea and, if you read my blog, you know how much I think of learning a language from music videos, TV shows, etc. It’s a fantastic way to go about doing it, and if I were working on Japanese at the moment I’d seriously consider doing this–it’s not that you can’t do it on your own, it’s that if you do it’ll take a LOT more time, Katz has already done all of that kind of work for you, all you have to do is study, you don’t have to run around trying to find stuff, figure out what to use and how, etc. It’s already set up and organized for you. Good deal.
Well so far it’s been NonstopTUBE so if some youtube videos went down, it wouldn’t affect the overall learning process (because the link goes to a list of well over 500-1000 youtube videos in a playlist). That said, no doubt there will be some media that crops up in the future where a loss of the media would cause the learning process to take a hit, so in that respect this is a good idea.
This is a good idea, but I believe it is better for learning if it is a somewhat bumpy ride by yourself than everything planned out. With a bumpy ride you find out what’s good, what is crap, what methods work, what methods do not, etc, etc. Which can be used for a future project.
I wish I were just starting out, ’cause this is a pretty good deal in the long run. I probably could have saved six months’ worth of 丸暗記 that never really stuck in the first place.
*cries* Open up another spot! Some of us are suffering over here!
I’m sure it works.
My main problem is to not waste time looking for contents online, so it could be perfect for me.
I lack only with this: $150~$250 a month for purchasing Japanese media and tools. I could afford $50~$75, but not more.
I need free online contents, but I’m sure that many daily tasks will consists in watching or reading a particular movie or book and that I can’t change it with any other content that I can find on the web on in the local library (I couldn’t believe it, but I can book some Japanese materials in my library, wow).
This is frustrating: I have money for the $1/mo mission, but not for specific contents -.-
AGH!! This sounds fantastic! I feel as though just buying it would guarantee fluency and get rid of all my worries. Though, isn’t that the point?
My problem is, I’m a 15 year old with no job and no money… If I was in more control of my life (AKA, able to put random things up around the house and get rid of everything English), maybe I’d be able to do all of it by myself without SilverSpoon, but… Nah. Can’t. D:
I wish, though. Not just because I want Silver Spoon, but because I’ve always wanted to donate to you a high quantity of money. You’re my absolute #1 inspiration source for learning Japanese.
Have fun when the big money starts rolling in. 7 people means around $4,165! Fun for you, eh? ;D
Love this idea. It gives me hope, even though I can’t get it. 🙂 That’s something I thought wouldn’t happen.
It isn’t exactly “big money”. That’s $4,165 spread over a period of 595 days. Compare that to what the average middle-class, full-time worker would make in that time(~$50,000 – $90,000[<-totally arbitrary numbers]) and it's really not very substantial.
Good article by the way, Khatz. Enjoyed the read even though I had no intention of buying.
Sold out! That’s all folks!
I wanted to try one of the plans for the commitment-phobic.
When do you guys think spaces will be available again?
Anyways, will still keep doing my own Japanese immersion until it’s in stock again.
I am guessing whenever someone either quits or after he can see how well it’s doing after a while and fixes anything he has to fix.
i guess you can call me impatient coz im just about to finish RTK after setting sail with my 日本語 Project 2 years ago. whew thanks to my night-shift job, it really hurt my progress
well moving on bein a neet now
AJATT Silverspoon is perfect for me.
the problem is
neet = more time but less/no money
employed = have money but less time
i can’t stay being a neet for a long time, so i should get a job now, whereas i hope that job will make it possible for me to maintain this japanese house – 日本語 Project
とにかく i think this is worth a try. i’ll come back if i can available Silver spoon. （ ＾ω＾）
There is only 1 way to fluency – motivation… and you can’t spoon feed that.
What’s up with that definition of fluency? What about conversational fluency? I suppose that is something that cannot be guaranteed…
Katz, I hope you put out a book eventually, in English or Japanese. I know a lot of people would like to read it. When I start my next language project I will need some memory jogging!
My Day After.
I can’t believe how sorry I am because I can’t join the project.
I am the kind of person who doesn’t want to pay extra money for something she can have for free. Up to now I have followed the main idea behind AJATT for the language I’m studying as a DIY matter with no particular problem.
But could be silverspooned in an amazing Japanese Project by a person I find really inspiring…
Khatz is the only blogger to whom I could give money for his advices, and this is because I’m really sure that his method works.
Why I don’t begin a personal J-mission?
Because I need little help to not being overwhelmed by “the net”.
Why keep on chose the wrong sources and methods if there is somebody who can lead us directly to our target?
$1/day is a good basic price. Today the British Council asks $890 for a 45 hours course of General English. I repeat it. 45 hours in this way: 2.5 hours 3 times a week for 6 weeks. $890 because English is “The Language” in international businesses.
$1/day is good, it is the extra for media and tools that now is too much for me.
I’m sure the next time that we readers will be silverspooned the price will increase a lot >_>
I hope the Seven Samur… the Seven SilverSpoon-ers will share their experience saying to us if it really works or not 😀
This is a nice idea, however I have some reservations with it. I LOVE AJATT for its inspiring words and advice, it has really helped me. BUT…I could easily take this advice with any other language I have ever wanted to study since I have no proof what-so-ever that Khatz is, in fact, fluent. There is NO Japanese on this site. This site does not teach Japanese. It gives advice, anecdotes, funny stories, etc. but nothing on this site tells me that this guy is actually fluent in Japanese beyond constantly advertising for Heisig books. I bought the Heisig books but it didn’t sit well with me to spend a whole year learning the Kanji in ENGLISH and then learning the Japanese readings/pronunciations after the fact. Sure, after that year you can read Kanji…just not in Japanese. For those that it did work for then great! Just it wasn’t for me. I also don’t like the idea of signing over a bunch of money from a BLOG. If this were an actual learning site maybe I would consider it…but this is just and advice site, I wont pay for free advice and suggestions. Sorry. I love AJATT, but not enough to pay for it.
He tweets in Japanese and has a few posts on here in Japanese.
I have seen his tweets and a vast majority of what he writes is in a strange mixture of katakana and Chinese characters (hanzi NOT kanji) with little to no hiragana between each, showing that he either is a) writing in Chinese with katakana thrown in…which could technically work reading wise if you learned only Kanji using the Heisig method, but still wouldn’t be considered Japanese….or b) is using a translating program, some are extremely good and companies like Denso and Coca-Cola use them.
FWIW, very little hiragana is actually required in Japanese. Most words can be written with kanji (Admittedly, Khatzumoto uses more kanji than most Japanese do.) Check out, say, NHK’s twitter feed (@nhk_news) if you don’t believe me.
Also, a fair number of his tweets *are* in Chinese.
Umm, what? Very little hiragana is required? This is silliness, check any random japanese text:
And that one is VERY heavy on Kanji, much moreso than most.
I looked up a random review of a book on Amazon.co.jp
NHK’s twitter feed is about the worst possible example imaginable. Headlines of news items are far more likely to have more kanji because a) they don’t use complete sentences, b) are filled with names of people / places / events, and c) are far more formal in writing style than everything else.
I didn’t say very little hiragana is used in most cases. I said very little is *required*. Even that NHK article you linked has words in kana that *could* be written with kanji. (よう⇒様、こと⇒事、いう⇒言う、すべて⇒全て) In any case, my point was more about long unbroken strings of kana rather than total numbers.
Are you sure you’re not having encoding issues, aka “mojibake”? When I read that, I had to check it out for myself, but what I got instead was this inspirational tweet:
lol you know nothing about japanese writing do you.
“I pity the fool that doesn’t know kanji.”
oh hmm i’m trolling a troll but w/e
“Chinese characters (hanzi NOT kanji)”
Khatz learned cantonese
You’ll find some video and audio of Khatz speaking Japanese(along with some Japanese text) here: www.alljapaneseallthetime.com/blog/category/podcasts
On AJATT Plus there are more audio clips of him speaking Japanese with his Japanese friends along with quite a few full Japanese articles and full Japanese posts on the forum. You’ll have to take my word on those, though.
Just for the record, the Heisig books aren’t supposed to take a year to complete. Sure, it’s possible it’ll take you that long if you’re lazy, but if you’re *really* dedicated you can get through the Jouyou Kanji in less than a month using Heisig’s method.
Props on being skeptical, but make sure you have the facts before you go casting aspersions.
Agreed. I’ve been extremely lazy with RTK, but it’s still not going to take me anywhere near a year to complete. I went through about 600 kanji in 3 weeks at one point, which was probably my best progress rate, and if I’d kept going, I would’ve been done long before now. Unfortunately, I pretty much stopped for about two months, although I kept up with my reviews.. :/
Also, aspersions is a really nice word. Just sayin’.
Aw man, I started RtK a little over a year ago and am only just now passing 1000 kanji. I am trying to squeeze it in amidst a really swamped grad student schedule though, preparing for my dissertation fieldwork, etc. I do a page a day now, but last year I did maybe a few whenever I remembered because I was so swamped. I had no idea people went through it so quickly though. I can barely remember my stories at my turtle’s pace!
Dude, there’s even videos of khatz speaking with other dudes (japanese dudes that is). anyway, since were on conspiracy theories, chuck norris killed usama, roundhouse, straight to the face. Now u know.
Well congratulations, it looks like you’ve seen through it all. Khatz is not fluent in Japanese and constructed this whole site as an elaborate hoax to get people’s hopes up that learning a language is possible. In fact, he’s not even Kenyan. He’s a chubby Polish kid living in Munich.
I didn’t even know he was Kenyan. Now I’m even more inspired.
Why, because people in Kenya must never be able to do anything without putting in more effort than other nationalities or something?
No because I am also Kenyan.
He tweets in Japanese, he has YouTube videos of himself speaking Japanese, at AJATT Plus he has articles/forum posts/recordings of himself speaking ad lib in Japanese, he has replied to my email in Japanese, he posts reviews of books/websites/articles that are only available in Japanese… My Japanese boyfriend confirms that even Khatz’s unscripted Japanese is like 99.9% indistinguishible from that of a native speaker. I think there’s a fairly decent chance that Khatz speaks Japanese 🙂 The only thing that remains unconfirmed is whether or not he is, in fact, Kenyan (I, for one, suspect he’s really a Tanzanian trying to pull one over on us.)
Wow, I can’t believe someone had already beaten me to casting aspersions upon Khatz’s nationality 😛
“My Japanese boyfriend confirms that even Khatz’s unscripted Japanese is like 99.9% indistinguishible from that of a native speaker.”
While there is no doubt that Khatz’s accent is commandable, your boyfriend is not very critical. As a non-native, I can hear the accent a lot more that 0.1% of the time. Pitch is often wrong, and some sounds sound typically African (o’s for instance).
In the last 15 secs, his buddy says “iRU?” with the right pitch and he replies with Iru (wrong pitch) twice, and then his buddy says sukuNAi with the right pitch and he repeats suKUnai twice with the wrong pitch. I’m no doubt nitpicking, but if I can find obvious things like that, I’m sure Japanese people can pick out a lot more.
that’s all i have to say.
nice ummm… rant?
like khatz says, rants are pointless and … i pity the fool.
Damn… Missed the chance to subscribe :C
Open up another spot, please. I’m currently at 1400 kanji, but as far as the language goes, I can’t say I know much at all.
I would’ve gone for this – this site gave me direction after stopping classes and living in Japan for months with virtually no Japanese skill. I missed it as I’ve been away for most of this month!
Nice product launch. I love the way you write–you’re a natural copywriter.
I’d be more willing to learn how you write than to learn Japanese. Ever taken a writing course?
Anyway, when you open up another spot (i love the way you utilize the law of scarcity), I’ll be willing to jump in on it.
Drop me an email about copywriting if you’re interested, it’s quite straightforwards 😛
On topic: guess I’ll be another benchmark then, I think I have a couple hundred days left…
The StrongVPN at $7 per month that is recommended doesn’t seem to offer Japanese IPs at that price. Possibly available at $15 per month or $30 per month, unless I’m missing something?
There’s a VPN called SoftEther that I used to use to play アラド戦記 that’s free and offers Japanese IPs. Look it up.
The entire interface and everything is in Japanese tho because it’s a Japanese program but there’s tutorials online I think.
Awwwwww… This would have been perfect for me, and I would be sad I missed the chance to sign up for it, if not for one (minor) detail: I’m learning Mandarin. *sigh* I would love a program like this for Mandarin.
Maybe, when I’m fluent in Mandarin at some point in the future, I can step in and fill the void – Haha… *___*
Wait, the SilverSpoon pay page states that you can still buy it. It said “SoldOut” yesterday. *hmm*
Great idea, the time-frame is quite ambitious, I’d like it if the people who are on the silver spoon could make a blog or something recording their progress. I’m starting a course in September (I know they’re not highly thought of around here, but it’s a respectable university and the teachers are Japanese natives) I’ll be paying £3,495 p/a for 4 years (including one year living in Japan) and even then fluency is not promised, although I will have a BA to show for it, not bad for 4 years of doing something I currently consider a hobby.
The point of this post is that I think it’d be nice to be able to compare how my course is coming along with how long it took the silver spooners to get to the same level, the results of such comparisons could even be used as advertisement for the spoon.
I have a blog and am one of the silverspooners, I’ve been deciding whether or not to write about the silver-spoon experience.
please do so 😀
Yes, yes, please do! Even if you do, like, a bi-monthly update on how you feel you are progressing I think it would be fairly interesting.
If you’re interested, I’ve made a post on the first 4 days^^, tabetaiii.wordpress.com/?p=2189&preview=true
Yea that’d be awesome, just link it here if you decide to do it please. 🙂
If you click on my name it should take you to my blog… Is there anything in particular you’d like me to be sure to mention?
What I would love to see is the format of an lesson. What is asked to do, basically. Show us one spoon – without some info, if you can’t, just to make the idea about it. 🙂
What university you studying at, if you don’t mind me asking?
Don’t know anything about the Japanese course there. Good luck!
You got in there at just the right time! I feel sorry for the students applying next year, £9000+ a year?! We’ve had it easy 😛
I just recently got back into both studying Japanese and blogging, so this SilverSpoon program came out at just the right time for me. I thought I’d let you guys know I just put up a post of my first impressions of it, and that I’ll be posting a weekly summary that covers how my Japanese is going, which will most likely include details/reviews of AJATT SilverSpoon. ^_^
Here is my first article/review: www.zyaga.com/2011/05/04/ajatt-silverspoon/
And my twitter (if you’re interested): Zyaga
Are there really only 7 people allowed? Why are some people begging for more spots to open? I can still sign up without a problem…
I think a couple of people dropped their membership so some spots have opened up.
I can’t say if anyone dropped their spots or not, but I know for a fact more spots were opened up for a bit. ^^;
I managed to get a spot a day after the SSAJATT started, was very lucky. So I think some people dropped out
I would have totally joined and everything..!! but people say all the spaces were already taken!!!! >_> Darn exams!!!! aghh!!!! -.-
Just try to join. I dont really think it’s limited to 7. It looks as if you can still join.
I was wrong. My bad.
Please open up a few more spots! ;A; I’d love to be a part of this.
I was a commitment-phobic Silver Spooner.
I just wanted to have a look what it was all about, but after a few days decided it wasn’t for me.
I recommend it to anyone that either has the cash to spare (regardless of level) or is an absolute beginner (still in the RTK stage).
As someone that’s taken classes before and has gone a decent way into intermediate Japanese I found it starting back at the very beginning wasn’t the best use of my limited financial resources.
For the price, it’s good value, but I’m too broke to spend money on anything Japanese that isn’t EXACTLY what I need. For $1-2.50/ day you get some reminder emails, a few resource links (the first few days involved listening to Japanese commercials in the background as a way of starting to establish an immersive framework, downloading some podcasts and preparing to go AJATT) and explicit instructions of how to best go about using those resources. It takes the onus of material selection out of your hands but beyond that it’s pretty much just AJATT.
Given that it was limited to seven people I was hoping for a little more personalisation/ customisation of material but it was all pretty automated.
It still requires a fair degree of self-discipline to stick to the instructions given compared with actual classes since it’s all automated and online without a schedule or anything. The main thing it brings that solo-AJATTing doesn’t is material selection. Which could be a plus or a minus, considering you may not share Khatz’s idea of “fun”.
Still value for money, though. And it provides a good benchmark for the AJATT method and non SSers to compete against.
It’s still very basic stuff going on right now. I’d personally give it another month or two. You can’t really base the entire 595 day program on the first 8 days since it’ll clearly get more in-depth as things go on.
At least, this is what I assume.
I’ll give it another month or two myself. But I can see things getting heavy after a while. And its nice to finally have some direction and concrete goal in mind.
wish I could’ve tried it, it seems perfect for me, I’m feeling so unmotivated lately ;( ah well~
I would love Khatz to propose such a thing but designed for people who already have an intermediate level…
So, Khatz: what about proposing a “You will be fluent in Japanese 297 days from now”, in which you would deliver the equivalent of the second half of the 595 days program?
Yo Khatz, I don’t know how much we’ll be hearing from you here on the free website now that you’re busy with spoonfeeding peeps, but have you seen this?
Why was my last comment deleted? Censorship?
To sum up, I was saying that such a thing but designed for people who already have an intermediate level would be a good thing, and it seems that many people think so.
Most of the time comments not showing up have more to do with blog problems. I don’t think you said anything so controversial as to illicit censorship, especially by Khatz.
My bad, I didn’t see there was a second page… sorry T_T
I love this idea. I hope it pans out well and that it expands to include some other Asian languages as well (the resources available suck in comparison to European languages :/ ). Good luck!! I can’t wait to see the updates.
Instead I think I would pay $100 for the kanji target lists, the vocabulary lists, and basically a 30000 sentence deck that I could happily delete things from. All listed in a proper order of course. Doing reps is fine for me, I just hate the time it takes to build it.
I hope some more slots open up…
All we need now is a BronzeSpoon edition with a bit less spoonfeeding, and a price reflecting this.
khatz , we all know you to be the super leet business trixter of AJATT, you couldn’t possibly ignore the bargain hunters could you!?! 😛
What a great idea. Just a little pricey, like in the rosetta stone range and beyond. There’s too many free resources on the net and anyone who needs this much spoon feeding it seems to me most likely won’t continue once the spoon feeding stops. I really do like the idea though, and your self-deprication was pretty funny. I think this might turn out to be a great resource once you work out the quirks and perhaps figure out how to customize it a bit to allow for some personalization. Looking forward to Zyaga’s review.
I’m one of those people that doesn’t need to be fed by this “Silver Spoon” but am doing it just to see if I can take anything away from it that I don’t already know from learning other languages. I’m currently studying Finnish, Farsi and Czech while doing the Silver Spoon, so to make the assumption that those who are trying out the Silver Spoon are unmotivated in the general sense is unfounded. Just thought I’d put in my two cents.
Look, I am a little bit skeptical. I am a Japanese translator (an actual one working for an automotive company not an in-my-parent’s-basement fansubber). It took me 10 years of hard work and multiple years in Japan to get to where I am. Granted I have not always been diligent. Sometimes you just can’t muscle through it and have to take a break. But the problem I see with this program is two fold.
One, diligence. Japanese is actually hard work, no matter how much he tries to downplay that. While his turtle math philosophy is interesting, it won’t work for a lot of people. Some people have a very low tolerance for ambiguity. Others cannot work without a concrete illustration or seeing something written out. These are facts of language learning. So, his method won’t work for everyone, but it really won’t work for people who have anything else to do (full time job or kids comes to mind)
The second is the definition of fluency. Everyone has a different concept of what this means and his is one concept that people work with. I would call it functional capability, meaning that you can do the things adults need to do to live in Japan. That is great. However, fluency, to most people means functioning at the level of a native speaking adult. This, I do not believe is possible in 595 days. In my job, I am constantly faced with all kinds of vocabulary and cultural terms that would be understood by a native speaking adult but I don’t know. That is where study fluency and life fluency differ; breadth of vocabulary and knowledge. It is not enough to be able to have daily conversations. To truly be fluent, you need to also have the knowledge of a native speaker or you will always be missing something.
That is my two cents. I am not saying that it is a bad program, just to be realistic about what the goal is.
I know what you’re talking about. There will always be words, you don’t know, because you haven’t encountered them yet after 2 years study, no matter, how much you studied.
Still, the main point of this ‘method’ is not to loose motivation and actually be able to continue for hours and hours, days and days. I studied Japanese for almost seven years now, within these seven years I spent 4.5 months in Japan. I am ‘fluent’ in a sense of getting along well and being able to read books and stuff – and if I use a dictionary, I am able to understand them fully, so I’m fluent in terms of grammar and so on, but I still miss some vocabulary.
However, within these seven years there have been times when I hated Japanese, there have been times when I studied a lot but didn’t learn anything for weeks and months. There have been times, when I abandoned it as much as possible and learnt other ‘easier’ languages (i.e. closer to my native tongue) as I really couldn’t bear how much I sucked at Japanese.
However, I’m ‘over’ that. I am doing as much as I like in Japanese and what I like to do. I am writing diaries at lang-8, I am talking and writing emails with people, I am reading novels for fun and I am doing reviews as well. But only because I review sentences out of novels I like now and don’t try to struggle through boring newspaper articles, I have the motivation of reviewing for 3 hours a day (if I have the time for that) and keep reading Japanese afterwards. And when I encounter hitherto nonsensical words, I always hated, I am suddenly able to remember them in a much shorter time – as I see an actual use in them.
There has been this study that came to the result that people who get perfect at something spent 10000 hours on it. Astonishingly enough, they were able to fix it quite well to that number. Spending 10000 hours within 600 days would make roughly 16 hours and 20 minutes a day. I don’t think, this is very likely for most people. So you won’t be perfect after 600 days. But if you take into account the 80:20 rule, which says, you reach 80 percent of the goal in 20% of the time, you may pretty well be fluent if you manage to spend effectively 3.5 hours a day, and this should pretty well be possible (as you can also watch TV or listen to the radio and don’t have to study boring stuff but have fun and have a high motivation therefore)
For sure I can say, that the most time of these seven years I didn’t spend as much as 3.5 hours a day on Japanese. I didn’t study in the weekends, for example, or on Christmas or on my birhday, or when traveling. And if you skip just one day, you need to study 7 hours on another to make up for that statistically. You bet I almost never have, because translating and studying flash-cards for 7 hours (breaks not counted) is really hard work. So except for the 4 months in Japan, I probably only REALLY studied about half an hour to one hour a day (I well spent more time than that staring blankly at the wall and drinking coffee), which accumulates to about 2400 hours – with my new method of motivation (yeah!) I really studied each and every day for more than two months now. It is fun to study. I miss it, if I can’t do it to my usual time of the day (because people are sleeping over here or for whatever reason) and I am easily spending 3.5 hours a day on Japanese, often much more.
I am not taking part in the silver spoon program, but I think you shouldn’t underestimate the power of motivation. It is something completely different whether you are doing what you have to do in the middle of the night, already half asleep, because it has to be done, or whether you jump out of your bed at 5:30 a.m. just to run to you computer in order to review flash cards, because you wouldn’t bear lingering in the bed for one moment longer with your flash cards away from you. This method of motivation is about making you addicted to studying.
I agree with you. Yes, I believe you can accomplish a hell of a lot in 18 months with hours of engagement everyday, but I have a very high standard for “fluency”, and there’s not a prayer in hell you’re going to get it all in that period of time. A 10-year old child in any language misses a lot of what’s going on in an adult conversation, and this is someone who’s grown up in the language. Cultural/historical references, idioms, slang, etc.-it’s simply too much to absorb in 18 months, no matter how much you want to. For me, fluency means being able to function like a native speaker (no straining to comprehend the six o’clock news, being able to pick up a newspaper and breeze right through it, holding conversations in various social situations of varying degrees of formality/informality). Having said that, I respect what he’s done and appreciate the info on this site.
I haven’t seen a response to this comment for a few days now, so I feel obliged to reply.
“Sometimes you just can’t muscle through it and have to take a break.”
The program, so far, definitely takes this into account. After every step we are encouraged to take a break from what we’re doing so long as we have some sort of Japanese media playing in the background. Do you mean a break from studying for extended periods of time, such as say a few months?
“While his turtle math philosophy is interesting, it won’t work for a lot of people.”
Could you be specific about what this means, I got a few interpretations from reading it a few times and wanted to understand what you were stating.
“… it really won’t work for people who have anything else to do (full time job or kids comes to mind)”
I must disagree, I am one of “these” people with a full-time job and kids. (I have a five year old and a three year old) What I do to keep the Japanese immersion for myself going is include the children in watching videos, music, etc… that are age appropriate for them. When they feel like watching something in English, we turn the English on and I read the subtitles in Japanese.
“The second is the definition of fluency.”
I believe a definition of the fluency one is supposed to achieve with the program is spelled out pretty clearly here: Fo’ Shizzle Fluency Guarantee bit.ly/jJdrjx
Thanks for bringing this stuff up!
Classrooms suck, but Silverspoon is amazing.
This is how every language should be learned.
Good luck. I hope you see much success in your efforts to help teach others Japanese.
This is wayyyy too expensive! Just get a phraseapp from Eton Institute or something for like $2.99. I can already kinda speak French.
I really want to get in on this action. when a spot opens up ill be the first one on your door step!!
What’s with all the Linux hate? But i guess that’s part of the mindset you need if you wan’t to make money by playing the one and only savior, who can help people learn japanese..
As someone living and working in Japan, and who is fluent in Japanese, I would like to weigh in on this.
It is impossible to guarantee fluency within this time period. Learning and retention rates are highly individual. An unemployed 16 year-old who is bilingual in Russian and has already studied Japanese for 6 months will perform differently than a monolingual 40 year-old with a family and a full time job with no previous exposure to Japanese. There are many variables that affect learning performance. You can spoon feed or force feed, but you cannot guarantee results. Even under the best of conditions, this timeline is entirely unrealistic unless the learner has a solid foundation in the language before he or she begins.
Please note that without first assessing a person’s starting point, it is not possible to gauge how much progress he or she has made.
As for the end point and what constitutes “fluency,” there is no need to be vague. There are a number of standardized tests to gauge ability, such as the JLPT. While the test does not measure conversational ability, it certainly indicates whether the learner can understand fundamental spoken and written Japanese. Were this package to provide a money-back offer for anyone who cannot pass, say, the JLPT N2, or even N3, then it would have a meaningful guarantee. Guaranteed “fluency” is needlessly vague. You deserve better.
As an aside, I would like to recommend that people reconsider the idea of classroom study. Virtually all of the foreigners I know in Japan who speak any amount of Japanese have taken lots of classes, and that includes Chinese and Korean students, who would hypothetically be the least in need of classroom learning. I know a lot of people get turned off on classes by high school and college courses, but a dedicated Japanese language school is an entirely different environment. Foremost, they provide a solid curriculum for what you need to learn. (If you don’t like the curriculum, find a different school.) A teacher then hand-picks what you need to learn, and helps you learn it, ideally in a fun and stress-free way. (If that’s not the case, find another teacher.) Classes more closely resemble spoon-feeding than what is on offer here. Of course, the best place to study at a language school is in Japan. Rather than spending money on an internet miracle, let me suggest that you save it and apply it towards studying in Japan.
As for Khatz’s ability, I certainly commend him for having gotten as far as he has. But having watched the video on this page, it is clear that his Japanese is far from native level, in vocabulary, grammar, and accent. Watching him ramble for 5 minutes on random subjects provided little indication beyond that he can string some words together. He never once touched on a solid subject. I’m not saying that he would have to discuss politics, religion, or social issues, but it wouldn’t hurt. Even a marginally meaningful topic would have been welcome proof of ability. I have no beef with the man, but I personally would not want to speak like that in any language. I hate to say it, but he’d benefit from some classes.
Finally, let me say that I hope that I am wrong. Despite years of personal study and the evidence of every other Japanese learner I know, it would be welcome news that Khatz had developed a revolutionary way of acquiring Japanese that no one else had thought of. I am looking forward to hearing the results of the people who purchased this program. If it does not work, he can refund the money, but he cannot compensate them for the year and a half of their lives they invested in this experiment. I am specifically interested in the blog written at tanoshimini.com/. The writer has completed over 100 days of the program. He is a university student, so he’s presumably young and has some free time. He also has prior knowledge of Japanese, so he’s got plenty of advantages. I look forward to seeing how “fluent” he can become.
1: He didn’t develop a new way to learn Japanese; he admits it himself. He merely popularized it.
2: Saying that he could benefit from classes is a bit misleading. You’re mean to say that he needs to improve and classes are one way of doing so. If he realizes the areas in which he needs to improve and is taking the steps to do so, then no class is necessary. I’m a native speaker of English and I would benefit from taking an advanced course on English.
3: Being an autodidact is very much like being self-employed: it allows for more freedom in style at the cost of an increase in responsibility. For some people, that extra freedom is the difference between wanting to learn a subject and not wanting to learn a subject. It allows for one to work at his own pace at the cost of sometimes having external motivation (the worst teachers actually drain their students of motivation; I’ve had some of those). Aside from classes costing a lot of money, I think that it’s highly unrealistic to just switch schools for learning Japanese and teachers on the fly. I’ve looked into Japanese learning schools and the ones that I’ve seen require a applying and waiting for acceptance. I’m not saying that they’re all like that, but if I have difficulty with this, then I imagine that some others might, too.
4:Perhaps something that is underplayed is that one must first learn how to be an autodidact. In college and graduate school for theoretical physics, I didn’t my classes, taught myself from books, and did just fine in my courses. I taught myself entire courses worth of material 100% on my own. It’s a viable option for some. However, I was quite responsible with educating myself. A lot of students at my school were not. I do, however, feel that the main reason for this is that I was self-motivated and thought that my education was by far the most important thing in my life.
5: My guess as to what his program offers and for whom is a relief of fear and anxiety from tacking such a large project that is without much human feedback as well as providing a clear sense of direction for the very dedicated learner of Japanese. Some people are dedicated but too afraid to do something. Sometimes they don’t want to try and fail even though they can just try again. I imagine that Khat’z program might work quite well for that population. But he needs to be careful with providing a sense of direction. I think that learning the kanji readings is important to do before learning sentences; he doesn’t proscribe doing so. I hope that he gives some people the option to go that route. I tried his method of sentences after RTK for several months and hated it. I then went back and learned kanji readings and things progressed much more smoothly. I hope that his program is robust enough to allow for such alteration.
6: I, too, find it odd that he set a deadline. I’m not saying that it’s not accurate. I have no clue how long it should really take the average American adult to learn Japanese. What is odd to me is that he said something to the extent of, “Don’t set deadlines; instead, set lifelines.” Now he’s setting a deadline. A really big one. The kind of one that might make a person break down a cry if he fails to meet and places the blame on himself rather than thinking about how much Japanese he knows compared to when he started. Being vague is important for the emotional health of the student who finishes the program with poor results if the average student has positive results.
I agree with you completely that, for adults, the responsibility in education rests with the learner. Self-study plays a critical role in language learning. You can make great progress in Japanese by studying on your own.
However, it’s also important to remember that language learning differs from other fields of study, such as Science, Mathematics, or even Literature, because it is fundamentally concerned with interpersonal communication. Which is to say, to have a conversation, it helps to have other people. We are hard-wired to respond to face-to-face interactions, to pick up on subtle changes in tone and non-verbal cues. That’s difficult to replicate on your own. When we hear something directly from another person, spoken with energy and emotion, it registers, and we remember it. Reading or watching a movie is great, but spending time with a patient native speaker is like crack your Japanese ability.
When I wrote about Japanese language schools, I wasn’t referring to full-time programs. I was talking about the type of conversation schools that are popular in the major Japanese cities. Tokyo probably has a dozen. (See funjapanese.net/ for example). Typically, you sign up for a series of classes, and then attend them as your schedule and budget permits. Most people do one to three classes a week. That leaves plenty of time for self-study.
Class sizes in Japanese conversation schools are usually small, even one-on-one, and highly interactive. And they’re usually a ton of fun, if learning Japanese is what you consider fun. There are also courses that will teach you “real” Japanese; that is, spoken language rather than textbook language.
Okay, two problems. One is cost. With a little research, you should be able to find a school that offers classes for 2000-3000 yen. That’s pretty cheap, especially if you only take one class a week. There are also a variety of free classes available through civic centers throughout Japan, with volunteers (read “old people”) who come in and teach you, often one-on-one. The second thing is—what if you don’t live in Japan? Then, if possible, find a Japanese tutor. Not a friend, but somebody you can pay and hold accountable for results. When I lived in the U.S., I frequently paid tutors between $12 and $20 per hour. If you do two classes a week, you should be able to afford that just by mowing your neighbor’s lawn.
It’s interesting that AJATT promotes self-study over taking classes. You get none of the benefits of a class, but all of the homework. Good times.
As for Silver Spoon, I agree with you about the risks of setting unrealistic deadlines. It sounds like a diet program that promises you’ll lose 50 pounds in a month. Just eat nothing, all the time. People drop out of programs that have unrealistic goals, and they frequently blame themselves. Yet the problem lies with the designer, not the participant. Usually, if people don’t accomplish the goals of a program, it’s not because they didn’t work hard enough. It’s because the program set out a schedule that was unrealistic. It would probably be hard to sell a Japanese system promised “you will be fluent in several years.” But for most people, even living in Japan and studying hours every day, that’s what it takes.
I think you misspelled “I haven’t read much of this blog.”
You’ve got a great eye for details. Thanks for catching that. Sometimes when I mean to write about learners’ “enthusiasm,” it comes out misspelled as “self-deception.” Silly me, I always get those two confused. Thanks for the reminder about the importance of keeping those two straight.
What does religion or political issues have anything to do with being fluent?
If you don’t study those kind of topics, there’s no way you can talk about it no matter how fluent you are in your language. I believe he studies computers or something, I’m sure he can give you a rundown of that stuff in Japanese if he really wanted.
And even if he’s not native level. He will get to that level hell of a lot quicker than most other people. And plus he can understand 100% of just about anything he reads or sees….from what I can tell….the way he talks…is just like how any other young Japanese person talks, with the exception of the accent.
Probably because its basic stuff that Japanese people can talk about.
i would love to pay now but unfortunately I’m too young to do it and my parents don’t know English and don’t like paying for things online what can i do?
Cloudy, just wait for a few years. Get a job and treat yourself to Silverspoon. I’m young and I don’t have the money either, but in a few years I might just be able to pay for this.
I forgot to add that the fo’ shizzle fluency guaranty is awesome.
Fluency > dough
Hmmm…..I got the email to sign up early and yet I am unable to do so. Sold out?
Hmm it said round 11 opened, yet I couldn’t sign up before or after… :\
Happy four months or so, first SSers! I can’t wait until New Year’s 2013 to see how you turn out. (Geez, that makes you sound like food, or a project or something…)
When are more places becoming available please for the FULL Programme.
I’m pretty much everything on the “Who should sign up” list (especially the Three-Day Monk Syndrome… STOP DISTRACTING ME, MINECRAFT!), except the “Have money available” part. Yeah, finishing college at 19 through the Running Start program so I could take classes at college and also have them apply for high school requirements was freaking awesome, but the “you cannot be employed even part-time-one-day-a-week while in the program” rule is a load of rotten fugu. No one will hire someone that has no work experience (except maybe McD’s, but that’s not an option for other reasons).
Can you please email me once subscriptions for the daily program become available?
Fluency and pronounciation are separate topics. Your pronunciation can suck and yet you can be fluent; yes, even to a native level. If ithat weren’t the case then only about .01% of all immigrants all over the world could claim fluency. There’s no denying Khatzumoto has an accent on that video. But that’s no basis to say the video doesn’t prove he is fluent. And so what if he is rambling about random stuff? I can pretty much discuss anything from theology to physics, from philosophy to jazz, but when I’m in front of a camera with friends, it’s time to just fool around, even in my native language (Spanish).
Raaahr, no !!! I don’t want to be spoonfed !! I want the contents and the media, not to be taken by the hand and spoonfed ! I hate the idea of buying stuff, and I hate even more the idea of buying very expensive stuff ! I want to find things by myself or incidentally by a well-meaning person who gives his knowledge for free out of sheer enthousiasm ! I’m not doing too bad at all by myself !!
This must be the first time in my life on the internet that I read “stop reading right now” and obey the incentive without a second thought. (though I couldn’t help going at the bottom to read a few comments).
Good luck on your project. Being competent and earning good money for it from willing people is a concept that I totally support. Even though raaahr, this is so not for me that it’s painful !!!
Huh. I’m intrigued. Am currently studying for the JLPT level 2 and know about 1050 RTK kanji, so I’m not sure what’d be best for me, signup-wise. Sounds like fun, at least though. I enjoy trying pretty much everything to learn a language 🙂
I started BigBoi today. I feel good about it. I wasn’t sure if I should go Vanilla or BigBoi, but I made the right choice. The few hundred RTK Kanji I forgot will come back quickly.
I’ll let you know how things go in my new blog, where I will update my progress.
Please stop by: http://perapeko.wordpress.com/
Well, crap. It’s full already (why are there only a few spots each time? Aren’t the posts/emails/whatever automated, canned-response-type stuff, or is it actually individually personalized?), and I still can’t find anywhere that’ll hire a college graduate with no job experience. CURSE YOU, ECONOMY!!!
Oh well, at least it’ll give me time to get through RTK (currently at about 500 in, using the Japanese Level Up deck), so by the time I do meet the “Have $150~$250 a month available for purchasing Japanese stuff” requirement, I’ll qualify for BigBoi.
Is it sold out? I keep getting ‘Not found’ when I click on the link. I really need the extra help with SilverSpoon. I can’t even understand what Khatz says to do for making Kanji SRS cards ;w;
I like this idea, but doesn’t it really come down to time? Because 595 days would be great, but are we talking about 30 minutes a day or 4 hours a day? It kind of sounds like 24 hours a day. Man, you could get a doctorate in 595 days if you worked on it 24×7.
Wait, so what’s the overall price for Silver Spoon? (Not including the money for media)
I must be blind because I don’t see it on here. owo;
I want to learn the Japanese language,,,