Over the last few years we’ve been working on (and are still working on) the extremely hoopy project known as TextFugu. It all started because of the hundreds of thousands of people who would email me about Japanese learning resources. While I could recommend things, I never really felt that great about my recommendations. Nothing was made especially for the self-learner out there. If you want to take a class, then sure, here’s a million textbooks. If you want to study on your own (and it’s actually way faster to do it this way, if you have the right resource), then there were very few things I could recommend.
So, I started my own textbook (TextFugu, of course). I’m not making it for classrooms. I’m not making it for businesses. I’m making it just for the self-learners out there. Self-learners have different needs, actually. They quit for different reasons, they have different problems, and they have to learn in a different way. TextFugu’s made to specifically cater to these needs. So, if you’re the wrong type of person, then TextFugu’s not going to be for you. If you’re the right type of person… well, then it’s perfect.
Here’s what makes TextFugu special:
TextFugu Is Simple
I’m not a fancy Linguist PhD and I’m definitely no grammar Nazi. I’m writing TextFugu for people who’ve never seen Japanese before, which means it ought to be incredibly simple. The writing style is down to earth and easy to understand. I even get emails from English-as-a-second-language people saying they can still use it and get a lot out of it.
The Order Is Different
Some people use TextFugu along with their regular Japanese class because the ordering is so different that there isn’t too much overlap. This is thanks to the “big-picture” ordering that TextFugu does. You won’t learn anything until you already know it halfway. That way, any abstract concepts won’t be abstract by the time you get to them, and you won’t get stuck. I want you to know why you’re learning something before you learn it. If you don’t, then it’s just slowing down your long-term learning speed.
Kanji Is Incredible
Some of you have heard about using mnemonics to learn kanji (TextFugu does this). But most resources only teach you the meanings of the kanji with mnemonics – not the readings, vocab, and more. TextFugu’s the whole shebang. Learning the meanings, readings, and vocab is way easier than anything you’ve used before. Plus, you actually learn the stuff, instead of all that short-term memory learning everyone else has you do. We’re in it for the long haul, here.
You Will Know Why You’re Doing Something
Another thing I wanted to do is make it so the student knows why they’re doing something while they’re doing it. Learning something because someone says so is dumb. Plus, it prevents you from seeing the big picture. It gets grating after a while if you’re just doing what the man tells you. I always want you to know why you’re doing something – I think it helps self-learners to learn better, too.
Give It A Try
If you’re a beginner of Japanese or looking to start from scratch, I hope you give TextFugu a try. The entire first season is free, so that way you can see if it’s a good fit for you. If it’s not, please email me and I’ll help you to find something better for your learning style. No one resource will help everybody – I’m more than happy to recommend others.
If you have any questions, as well, feel free to email me. Always happy to help! Happy learning!