About NihongoNoBaka.com


Hi, let me introduce myself. I’m that guy.

You know, the guy who has been studying Japanese forever, but doesn’t have a whole lot to show for it. I’m sure that if you have engaged with other Japanese learners, you have probably met that guy before. Heck, maybe you are that guy too!

I began studying Japanese back around 2002. Except for a couple of years off around 2005-2006, I’ve supposedly been studying this whole time. I’ve taken years worth of classes, passed JLPT Level 3 (back when it only had 4 levels instead of 5), engaged in lots of different self-study methods, and even got a bachelor’s degree in Japanese language.

And yet, I still can’t hold a basic spoken conversation in Japanese.

But, I want to change that. I have plenty of motivations for learning Japanese, but I need to make sure I’m on the right track. Far too often, I get stuck in a rut of just doing the same things over and over, even when it’s not helping me to move forward. I need to keep myself honest, and make sure I am actually studying and learning using methods that will show real results.

This blog is going to be a sort of record of what I’m doing. I’ll talk about what I’m currently doing, what has been working for me, what hasn’t worked for me, my thoughts on language acquisition, and I may even post some useful study materials every now and then. Hopefully, taking the time to write this down in a public space will help me to stay on track and constantly reevaluate whether or not I’m making progress.

And just maybe, I might eventually be able to have a conversation or two in actual Japanese.

7 thoughts to “About NihongoNoBaka.com”

  1. Hi Alan,

    I came across one of your recent posts where you shared your .srt files for anime transcripts.

    Just wanted to say, thanks a bunch! I have them on Netflix and for the longest time was trying to find out how to extract the subtitles.

    I use LingQ to create a full blown lesson out of my .srt files which makes studying a lot more efficient. Here’s a video of the process. I think you might enjoy it, thanks again!



  2. Hello Alan!

    I am Gabriel and I run koipun.com. I have read many articles in your blog and I love it, especially the articles on learning Japanese through gaming and the JapanesePod101 review. Thanks to your Japanese Pod 101 review I was able to figure out what is the best content in all of the series.

    I want to interview you via email for a series of interviews I want to post in my blog, about how different people learn Japanese. Learning Japanese is a very personal thing, everybody will end up developing their own method. I want to hear about yours and which materials you use, what is your current levels and goals.

    If you are interested, please send me an email!

  3. Hi! I’m kinda that guy too. I’ve been trying to self-study my way too fluency, but it hasn’t really taken me that far. I think it mainly has to do with the fact that it’s hard to learn a language without other people, without expressing yourself. I’ve been too afraid to talk to other people in a language I don’t master, so I’ve been doing everything but that. Now I try to get a healthy mix of everything. And for meeting others, I’ve found the Hellotalk app to be very useful – it’s a great chat app where you can correct each other’s sentences and also record voice messages and have real calls. People are great motivators, and when you are forced to communicate, so much is consolidated, and you learb the vocabulary you need to talk about yourself.

    Best of luck,

    1. Thanks for the advice. I think I feel the same way about being afraid of talking to others. But on the other hand, I have some really close people who I *could* speak to in Japanese if I wanted to, but I just never do it. Maybe it’s laziness? I dunno. Something about trying to form my thoughts into Japanese sentences is just extremely unpleasant for me. Might be that I just try to overthink everything that I write or say. But if I don’t stop and think, my sentences don’t end up making a lot of sense. So I guess that sort of discourages me in a way. I will be in a forced speaking situation next month though, so I’ll see how it goes 🙂

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