When Everyone Says your Study Method is Wrong — 8 Comments

  1. I’d like to mention that Heisig in 1978 had plenty of backup to his theory and method.
    I don’t know if he or the traditional teachers knew, but using mnemonic methods to remember difficult material certainly goes back centuries.

    With that being said, I think if you end up in such a case in either position, the first thing you should make sure of is that both parties are using the same (and preferable all available) knowledge to reach their conclusion.
    As Aumann’s agreement theorem says: “two people acting rationally (in a certain precise sense) and with common knowledge of each other’s beliefs cannot agree to disagree.”
    And never forgot that you could be the one that is on the wrong, just makes discussions harder.

    Plus, you don’t have to agree on a binary “Correct/Wrong” level. If a method increases your time to Level 20 by average 5 +- 2 years or decreases the probability of giving up on japanese by a huge margin, it could still be possible.

    Those considerations only help when you both want to reach the best solution though. If you just want to be right..Oh well. :D

    ..That was a lot more text than I wanted to write..but I have a huuge crush on these topics (:

  2. If everyone says you are doing wrong they are most likely correct especially if you are new and talking to experienced people, so you better be dam sure you know what you’re doing before ignore people who know better than you.

    • Just remember though that people try new methods all the time, that may seem completely “bad” at first. Also going against what everyone else says, and that making the discovery for yourself can have some value.

  3. I guess what I mostly don’t like about the article are the last two points:

    > 3. Be aware of the high probability of failure.
    > 4. If it doesn’t work out, don’t be stubborn, and make sure you admit defeat.

    Hmpf, now one problem I have with this in this context is… it’s based on other people telling you, your study methods are bad. On reddit you basically see “here is my study plan what do you guys think” posts pop up around once a week or so. And after lurking for a while I just noticed, that the answers people get can vary wildly even on similar plans. In an ideal world, whenever someone asks for opinions about let’s say RtK, you’ll get arguments for both sides and then you can form your own decision based on that. But half the time this doesn’t happen and you see people majorly arguing for only one side.

    Now all the people that answered suddenly told you RtK doesn’t bring you any closer to learning Japanese. It’s just a neat trick to write Kanji from English keywords and has nothing to do with Japanese and is a huge waste of time and you might just burn out from it anyway.

    But based on what you read before you still want to give it a try, but are aware of “the high probability of failure”. So you do give it a try, you start learning. You might like it at the start, but somewhere around the middle it gets a bit tough… now what? “don’t be stubborn, and make sure you admit defeat”? People told you you would fail from the start and you were unsure yourself, so now you do just what they said and give up? I think there was an article on here before about how you shouldn’t read negative feedback about your study methods if you are currently in a low or something. Isn’t this similar?

    I mean, depending on the person, maybe switching study methods is actually a good idea. Maybe it isn’t. But going in from the start thinking “I’ll probably fail and then I’ll just do what everyone said” (though people usually actually don’t agree on good study methods either… So you might start something else feeling pretty unsure and just give it a try halfheartedly again) that just seems like you are already setting yourself up for failure before even starting.

    But I guess in the end with the basic sentiment of the article I do agree: Listen to different opinions and especially listen to the reasons they give for their opinions! Research a bit beforehand. Weigh your options. Decide for yourself! Give whatever you decide on an earnest(!) try! And if you feel like it’s not working out, try to figure out why it’s not working for YOU and consider your new options again carefully!

    I just think the overall sentiment of the article seemed a little bit too negative. :S Or maybe I’m justo to hung up about those two sentences I don’t know :) (I mean the whole RtK bit does mention you just miiiight be right)

    • I’m really sorry. I meant this to a positive article and for some reason it came out negative. I wanted to empower people who try their own thing, make their own discoveries, and adjust themselves based on what results they discover.

      I removed the comment that sparked this topic (as I felt it was unfair to single out someone), and tried to soften some of the language, because I don’t want people to misread what I wrote here. It’s a sensitive topic, and I didn’t tread carefully enough.

      Yes, if you ask someone what you think of your method, on a forum like Reddit, expect heavy criticism, regardless of what it is. Ask someone about using something on Jalup, and there are plenty of people that will say “don’t do Jalup X, that’s no good!”

      Yes, RTK is highly criticized till this day.

      I didn’t mean to go in with a failure mindset, where you should give up at the first setback. And it’s often best to try to adjust a method, before completely giving it up ( Yes, there is also an article about not reading negative feedback as you are trying to do a method. I still agree with this. This is more about that beginning time, where you are first deciding whether you should do a method.

      I changed the offending sentences :P

      • Sorry, I might have been a bit harsh there myself. I think there were a lot of positive points in the article even before the change and I just got a bit hung up about some details so don’t worry too much!! (It was mostly just the end really anyway, I guess it just seemed like “this is the takeaway” and that didn’t seem too positive even if the overall tone article in the article was positive)

        Though thanks for incorporating the feedback ;) I really didn’t want it to seem that harsh either

  4. Yeah. I studied with the genki text book and lingo deer for about a year to refresh my 2 years of beginer japanese class in preperation for the n5.
    After I passed I tried to get back into it 6 months later. And I couldn’t figure out how to pick up where I left off. So I did some research and tried out lots of different things.
    Kanshudo – not enough structure and so many different ‘minigames’ I wasn’t confident I was learning the grammer and not the game.
    Wanikani – on the tofugu site they mention using kanjidamage is equvilent- and kanjidamage is free so I used that one insted.
    Bunpro is pretty good – but the settings had so many tempting hints.
    The Jalup imersion deck is a big draw. And Jalup is grammer, vocab and kanji. Kanshudo, Wanikani and Kanjidamage are better at vocab and kanji. Bunpro is grammer. Jalup was the only one that did everything. Now I also recomend but his anki deck doesn’t work in browser or on iOS.

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