How to be dumb while learning a language – Part 1


Here is something I love: languages. I have already tried to make a blog about learning japanese, guess I could make use of this blog to talk a little about it. I’ve been studying japanese for 4 years now and it’s with regret that I say I’m stuck with nowhere to go due to my own laziness.

4 years is more than enough to make a huge leap in a language and I know I could be at a level where most people would consider me a “fluent speaker” (or whatever you want to call it). So I would like to share the mistakes I made, or, how dumb I used to be when I started learning japanese.

I listened to everyone and I ignored myself

You know it kind sucked to learn english to me? Yes and that’s because I learned in a proper english school, one of the best in my country (or so they say…). Damn, I still have the bad memories of the endless Sundays locked in a white room without windows with a boring teacher that only knew how to talk about trashy American sitcoms.

The point is, I wasn’t studying english in the way I wanted, I didn’t consulted myself before getting into those boring classes. I only did what I thought was the right thing and I paid the price. Unfortunately, I committed the same mistake with the japanese language, but this time I had far more control of the situation, meaning this was more a sin than a mistake.

This time around, my main source of learning were dumb threads from 4chan… Yep. Well, the users in those thread sure give you a lot of options and I tried to follow a little bit of all of them, I even used that book written by Tae Kim (it’s useless, but I had fun reading it). Instead of doing what I thought it was fun, I tried to do what was the “right” thing, again… I tried to filter the best and the worst options in order to learn fast and without many problems and yet again, I paid the price.

Which price is that? Time and you don’t need to be a wage slave to know time is a very precious resource. Only when I started reading the blog AJATT made by Khatzumoto and other polyglots’ blogs that I realized how dumb I was. Language is all about the journey, so instead of making it a shore, I should make it a wild ride.

Paying for stuff right away

Before learning anything, I think everyone should make themselves aware of wasting money on material isn’t the same thing as gaining knowledge, this is pure placebo.

You buy a nice book written “Everything You Should Have In Order To Be A Proper Dumbass” and because you wasted 40 bucks you think you are already becoming a dumbass (also known as buyer’s remorse). C’mon, think, we all know this is our own way of trying to program ourselves into believing we are making some progress and I have bad news: we are not.

I wasted so much money in crap; do you believe I bought stuff from AJATT? The owner of the blog literally steal ideas and materials from other sources. Crap…

Stop before it’s too late or in a few months you’ll look back and feel ashamed like a I did. It doesn’t mean you should never open your wallet and invest a little, but be aware that you can learn a language without ever wasting your money.

Anyway, I don’t want this post to be huge so I’ll just break it into two parts. Also, I plan to talk more about languages in the future.


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