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Japanese Learner Stereotypes - karageko - 2017-07-29

Feel free to contribute your own entries.

The Creepy Cultist
This is the sort of person who decided that their whole life had to be immersed in the language 24/7 in order to achieve native fluency, which is most certainly possible even if you work three jobs simultaneously while trying to hammer out an undergraduate degree. You may notice that even in a group of native speakers using their fingers, this person will insist on using chopsticks to eat the age-old, traditional Chicken McNugget. After all, vocabulary acquisition slows down unless you EAT like the the natives do.

The Boring Blogger
This is the sort of person who decided that the world needs another "this is my journey" blog to detail their progress. Most of the posts on such blogs are essentially just ideas that have already been blogged about ad-nauseum by others. However, these people really believe their blog has something unique to offer fellow learners when in fact it is indistinguishable from all the other trash out there. It is a mystery how any of these people think that their rehashes of posts from older, already well established blogs actually contribute anything.

The Vapid Vlogger
This is the sort of person who starts uploading videos of their JET adventures in Japan, explaining the exact same damn basic cultural differences between "The West" and Japan. Similar to the blogger, these people offer nothing new and pretty much retread the same ground over and over again. As years progress it's almost always the case that you see the bitterness and jadedness develop in these people when they realize how soulless the eikaiwa business is. They want to get out but have no way to move into other industries, as their language skills still leave much to be desired and they have no skills that would be useful in any other industry.

The Anime Fan
Need I elaborate? This is the sort of person you hear about in introductory college classes who drop out after a semester or two when they realize Japanese is more than knowing a small handful of honorifics and saying kawahhh-eeeee. If they come to the first class in cosplay you already know you need to stay far away. One has to wonder why these people are always either into shonen jump fare or otaku pandering moe garbage.

The Eroge Enthusiast
This is the sort of person who points to eroge as true art, but is completely unable to explain how any of the erotic scenes actually contributes anything meaningful to the ongoing plot. Before Steam sold its soul and opened the floodgates to these monsters, the only way for these people to get their desired brand of smut + plot was to study the language and pirate the stuff. Upon being pointed out that perhaps these erotic scenes are largely fan pandering material, this person will get vehemently upset that you dare critique the perfect art form that is eroge.

The Software Developer
This is the sort of person who takes a look at existing SRS software or apps and insists none of them quite suited their extremely specific (i.e. irrelevant) needs and wants, and so instead of actually learning the language they start on a several months to years long journey to reinvent the wheel. It goes without saying that when these people are done they make an account on a coffee related forum just to advertise their crappy EDICT front-end clone, while being blissfully oblivious to how pointless it is for another one of these to populate the app store.

The Crotchety Romajian
This is the sort of person who will stand by their darn romaji and take it with them to the grave. This person will go to any length to dig up textbooks that are more than three decades old to try and give credence to their claims that romaji is the true essence of the language. If you try and pose the idea that perhaps the methodology and theory about SLA as it pertains to the language have advanced in the three decades and counting since those textbooks, this person will get very upset and start grumbling about whippersnappers and their darned eye phones.

The Anki Addict
This is the sort of person you want to become when you grow up. These people are so advanced and ahead of their time that they realized long ago that Anki is not in fact a means to an end, but it IS the end. The ultimate goal of every one of these people is to one to enter the glorious society known as the 7DC, which signifies the most brilliant achievement of having performed one million Anki reviews. These people have no need for consuming native content, as their sole raison d'être is to Anki all day and all night. It is not clear if these people ever actually learned the language at any point of their ongoing addiction.

Volunteer contributions added below:
(2017-07-29, 7:17 pm)NinKenDo Wrote: The Prepper
This individual will not study using anything but the most optimised set of materials. Their existing materials are always in some inefficient format that could be optimised if only they spent a few hours transcribing it into the perfect format for their needs or running it through some algorithm or transformation. This person spends 2 - 3 hours a day mechanically inputting data into spreadsheets and databases, and forgets to actually study any of the material their efforts produce. They are always preparing their journey and rarely passing their front gate.
(2017-07-30, 9:04 pm)Zgarbas Wrote: The Treadmill Marathoners
People who learned a bit of Japanese and continue to learn it. And continue to learn it. And continue to learn it. Maybe they even move to the country or find Japanese partners or tutors to learn it better. Yet somehow they fail to make any progress, no matter how many years pass. 

The Believers
People who move to Japan and expect to learn the language somehow, without interacting with it in any significant way. May explain how they prefer a holistic means to learn the 'real language' and wow you with outdated or hilariously specific slang that their good friend Yoshi taught them while not being able to make a coherent basic sentence. 

The Bitter Bastards
Moved to Japan 10+ years ago, no one remembers why. Keep living here, not even they could explain why. Spend time in /r/circlejerk and gaijin bars making fun of anyone they see. Supposedly all of them know just the right amount of Japanese that they want, but you have to take their word for it. 

The Conversational Casanovas
Seeking highly specialised vocabulary, these learners are experts at opening conversations, small talk, and pick-up lines, and nothing else. They may complain about relationships failing because of communication problems or Japanese women being mysterious.
(2017-08-04, 11:26 am)mattimus Wrote: The Sunk Cost Denier
Your L2, or language acquisition in general, no longer interests you, but after making 10,000+ Anki cards and immersing for 10,000+ hours you can't stop because the thought of  abandoning all that work that went towards something so specific is just too much to bear. No, it's best to miserably slog on forever rather than change course now. You're gonna carry that weight.

The Smeagol
You took AJATT's advice literally and locked yourself in your room for 12+ months. Your walls are covered in pages torn from an L2 newspaper you grabbed at an ethnic supermarket. Your social network is gone and your family worries that you've become mentally ill. But we hates them, they don't know, they don't see that you've got your L2, precious...

The Forum Rat
You have spent more time on forums about learning your L2 than actually learning your L2. Bonus points if you have more forum posts than Anki reps.
(2017-08-04, 11:34 am)mattimus Wrote: The Worst-Case Scenario
You did it! You got really, really, ridiculously good at your L2, packed your things and moved to its homeland to start the life you were truly meant to live! But... only now do you realize that you don't actually like the culture you've spent so much time preparing to join. Oh well, it's never too late to become an alcoholic.
(2017-08-15, 1:14 am)gc_3k Wrote: Fluent in 18 Years
Bought into AJATT's system, achieved some early gains (primarily Heisig), then continued study makes you realize AJATT's claims were wildly optimistic best-case scenarios. A cousin of Sunk Cost Denier.
(2017-11-11, 2:52 am)karageko Wrote: Those Interested In Anything But The Language
These people seem to be a lot more interested in discussing anything but the actual target language or culture. When you see that they've posted in a forum thread you can be sure that they've derailed it to hell already. Also not uncommon for these people is ignoring key words in any request made in the opening post to a thread, and responding with a post that is tangentially related at best. Of course, the tangential relation has nothing to do with the target language nor culture. One has to wonder, why not discuss this stuff on any other platform? Perhaps it is inevitable for a community with a long and rich history of being unable to stay on topic.

The Unfounded Experts
These people are very keen to give advice when they really have no business doing so. They will make strong statements that cannot be backed up by hard evidence. Sometimes they will try and bring in knowledge from other domains; however the connection to language learning is tenuous at best. While the unsuspecting may be led astray by language composed with an air of expertise (and an obese ego), the ones who have been around the block for many years are undoubtedly face-palming. Naturally, these "experts" never actually address any criticism and continue to ignore any opposition to their claims.



RE: Japanese Learner Stereotypes - Kanken - 2017-07-29

The karageko

Need I elaborate?


RE: Japanese Learner Stereotypes - anotherjohn - 2017-07-29

An excellent summary Karageko.

I would only add that as for people in that last and most esteemed category, a stubborn refusal to give up even beyond the point of self-destruction is not the only thing they have in common with mules, so I hear Angel


RE: Japanese Learner Stereotypes - karageko - 2017-07-29

(2017-07-29, 7:27 am)Kanken Wrote: The karageko

Need I elaborate?

Come on now sir / ma'am Wink

EDIT:

Just in case anyone (i.e. no one) is wondering, I was inspired by the muse upon seeing another goddamn thread about an app. This is an idea I had floating in my head for a while but it didn't happen until I got triggered. I wrote the original set of entries in about 10-15 minutes. I actually have some more ideas for entries but it will have to wait until I am once again inspired (i.e. triggered).


RE: Japanese Learner Stereotypes - cracky - 2017-07-29

I have nothing to add to this but I enjoyed reading it.


RE: Japanese Learner Stereotypes - TheVinster - 2017-07-29

Oh god the vloggers are the worst. And do we need any more videos on 'the top 5 mistakes gaijins make' or that shit.


RE: Japanese Learner Stereotypes - phil321 - 2017-07-29

I agree about the bloggers being annoying.  As if I give a sh * t about all the stuff you did last week!  As if anyone does!

You should also add another category: those who are hysterically against ANY romaji in a book at all, even a comprehensive grammar published a couple of years ago.


RE: Japanese Learner Stereotypes - karageko - 2017-07-29

(2017-07-29, 3:23 pm)phil321 Wrote: You should also add another category: those who are hysterically against ANY romaji in a book at all, even a comprehensive grammar published a couple of years ago.


(2017-07-29, 6:49 am)karageko Wrote: Feel free to contribute your own entries.



RE: Japanese Learner Stereotypes - juniperpansy - 2017-07-29

CAUTION CAUTION NSFW ENCYCLOPEDIA DRAMATICA LINK
https://encyclopediadramatica.rs/Wapanese
Quote:To put it simply, a weeb is any non-Japanese who has any interest in anything Japan related that would be somewhat comparable to occult worship, along with attempting to be an actual Jap, where it always ends up with said weeb failing hard as they cannot realize that one cannot really learn about Japan through viewing anime. 
Elaboration of Anime fan methinks




RE: Japanese Learner Stereotypes - Robik - 2017-07-29

(2017-07-29, 3:45 pm)juniperpansy Wrote: ...as they cannot realize that one cannot really learn about Japan through viewing anime...

Given that Japan actually sucks compared to anime, I am really glad my reason to start learning the language was anime and not Japan itself.  Tongue


RE: Japanese Learner Stereotypes - cophnia61 - 2017-07-29

(2017-07-29, 12:05 pm)TheVinster Wrote: Oh god the vloggers are the worst. And do we need any more videos on 'the top 5 mistakes gaijins make' or that shit.




lol


RE: Japanese Learner Stereotypes - NinKenDo - 2017-07-29

I would add another, which I used to scorn in my mind a lot, but now have slipped into myself

The Prepper

This individual will not study using anything but the most optimised set of materials. Their existing materials are always in some inefficient format that could be optimised if only they spent a few hours transcribing it into the perfect format for their needs or running it through some algorithm or transformation. This person spends 2 - 3 hours a day mechanically inputting data into spreadsheets and databases, and forgets to actually study any of the material their efforts produce. They are always preparing their journey and rarely passing their front gate.


RE: Japanese Learner Stereotypes - karageko - 2017-07-29

(2017-07-29, 7:17 pm)NinKenDo Wrote: I would add another, which I used to scorn in my mind a lot, but now have slipped into myself

The Prepper

This individual will not study using anything but the most optimised set of materials. Their existing materials are always in some inefficient format that could be optimised if only they spent a few hours transcribing it into the perfect format for their needs or running it through some algorithm or transformation. This person spends 2 - 3 hours a day mechanically inputting data into spreadsheets and databases, and forgets to actually study any of the material their efforts produce. They are always preparing their journey and rarely passing their front gate.

Nice one! I fell into this (hell probably still do to some extent) several times myself.


RE: Japanese Learner Stereotypes - vix86 - 2017-07-29

(2017-07-29, 6:49 am)karageko Wrote: The Software Developer
What? This is enough of a thing to require a category? This probably would have been better categorized as "The snake-oil salesman" someone trying to sell you a new snake-oil cure for "EZ 1-2-3 Japanese."

Quote:advertise their crappy EDICT front-end clone
I'm still waiting for someone to make a more modern version of the best front end dictionary I ever used. JWPce. Technically a word processor, but I always liked its lookup methods. It predates most websites (the "CE" in its name refers to Windows CE lol).


RE: Japanese Learner Stereotypes - sholum - 2017-07-29

Quote:Upon being pointed out that perhaps these erotic scenes are largely fan pandering material, this person will get vehemently upset that you dare critique the perfect art form that is eroge.

You mean to tell me that もんむす・クエスト! would be the same without all the GOR!? I must contest!

(Good children won't look up any unknown titles or acronyms used in this post without safe search enabled)

But yeah, I've met (or been) several of those.


RE: Japanese Learner Stereotypes - faneca - 2017-07-30

(2017-07-29, 4:21 pm)cophnia61 Wrote:
(2017-07-29, 12:05 pm)TheVinster Wrote: Oh god the vloggers are the worst. And do we need any more videos on 'the top 5 mistakes gaijins make' or that shit.




lol

"Sadly" enough, putting poop in museums is not that weird, apparently:
http://www.museodellamerda.org/
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-hampshire-35957829
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artist%27s_Shit
http://www.elconfidencial.com/cultura/2015-02-14/el-museo-se-llena-de-mierda_711979/ (Spanish)

LOL indeed.


RE: Japanese Learner Stereotypes - karageko - 2017-07-30

(2017-07-29, 10:18 pm)vix86 Wrote:
(2017-07-29, 6:49 am)karageko Wrote: The Software Developer
What? This is enough of a thing to require a category? This probably would have been better categorized as "The snake-oil salesman" someone trying to sell you a new snake-oil cure for "EZ 1-2-3 Japanese."

Enough threads (a bunch of which have been deleted since they're extremely blatant ads) have been created on this forum with something in the description to the effect of that none of the existing software apparently did what they wanted that yes this is actually a thing. The developers deciding they need to create their own SRS are not as common but they do actually exist.


RE: Japanese Learner Stereotypes - gaiaslastlaugh - 2017-07-30

LOL...I'm definitely a mix of The Creepy Cultist and The Boring Blogger.

(2017-07-29, 10:18 pm)vix86 Wrote:
(2017-07-29, 6:49 am)karageko Wrote: The Software Developer
What? This is enough of a thing to require a category? This probably would have been better categorized as "The snake-oil salesman" someone trying to sell you a new snake-oil cure for "EZ 1-2-3 Japanese."

No, I see where he's going with this. I've nearly fallen into the "this tool is NEARLY good enough but its few quirks are such an affront to my vision of purity that I'll dedicate the next four months to writing a BETTER version of it rather than sucking it up and actually studying Japanese" trap before. And my latest idea would have actually had me creating my own SRS system.

The Snake Oil Salesman is an entirely different (but important) category, though I would christen it "The Benny Lewis".


RE: Japanese Learner Stereotypes - KameDemaK - 2017-07-30

Thanks for brightening my day, karageko. I certainly had a good laugh.


RE: Japanese Learner Stereotypes - ayu_modoki - 2017-07-30

Very funny, and more than a grain of truth. It seems like the various categories have a lot in common.

Of course we've all met some perfectly normal people studying Japanese, but for whatever reason, they seem to be the minority. I guess that makes them abnormal.


RE: Japanese Learner Stereotypes - Zgarbas - 2017-07-30

The Treadmill Marathoners

People who learned a bit of Japanese and continue to learn it. And continue to learn it. And continue to learn it. Maybe they even move to the country or find Japanese partners or tutors to learn it better. Yet somehow they fail to make any progress, no matter how many years pass.

The Believers
People who move to Japan and expect to learn the language somehow, without interacting with it in any significant way. May explain how they prefer a holistic means to learn the 'real language' and wow you with outdated or hilariously specific slang that their good friend Yoshi taught them while not being able to make a coherent basic sentence.

the bitter bastards

Moved to Japan 10+ years ago, no one remembers why. Keep living here, not even they could explain why. Spend time in /r/circlejerk and gaijin bars making fun of anyone they see. Supposedly all of them know just the right amount of Japanese that they want, but you have to take their word for it.

The Conversational Casanovas
Seeking highly specialised vicabulary, these learners are experts at opening conversations, small talk, and pick-up lines, and nothing else. They may complain about relationships failing because of communication problems or Japanese women being mysterious.


RE: Japanese Learner Stereotypes - kraemder - 2017-07-31

You depressed me with the vapid vlogger description. I'm in Japan right now job hunting and I was already depressed ;(. Even if disappointed at the moment, I kind knew going into this that it was a little iffy so not a big shocker. Otherwise, I think I fall into the Anki addict category although I do consume native material. Still an Anki addict and I don't think it will ever end. But I look at people who speak English really well as a second language. I have yet to meet one who was an Anki addict.

(2017-07-29, 4:21 pm)cophnia61 Wrote:
(2017-07-29, 12:05 pm)TheVinster Wrote: Oh god the vloggers are the worst. And do we need any more videos on 'the top 5 mistakes gaijins make' or that shit.




lol

Love this picture (I've seen it before).  Pics like this are probably the real reason I got motivated to study Japanese.  What could be worse than saying you study Japanese because of the anime?  Because of the porn XD.  lol.  I feel like the only legit reason to study Japanese is because of family or because you have a Japanese spouse.  Anything else doesn't really come off as good enough.  It either sounds nerdy like anime, or like you're not going to follow through (IE you're interested in Japanese history/culture).  People learning English can say they need it for their job and it sounds so much better.


RE: Japanese Learner Stereotypes - Zgarbas - 2017-07-31

You know you don't need a reason to study a language, right? Hell, just say because you like it! No one really asks me that, so maybe it's yor friend group that's a bit off?

You can study a language for absolutely whatever reason you want to, don't worry about what other people say. A lot of the stereotypes are there because they try *too hard* not because they just happened to be that way Smile. There's a lot of self-consciousness in the Japanese learning community for some reason, I've never really encountered it in any other group.

(And a lot of it is there because of the stereotypes here who make a big deal out of a feat that most people in the world perform at some point...)


RE: Japanese Learner Stereotypes - karageko - 2017-07-31

Zgarbas makes good points above.

I'm just going to say I wrote these purposely for comedic purposes and to spare no prisoners (not even myself), but at the end of the day most of these are not meant to say that you're gonna stuck being this off-putting stereotype. It's really up to you to determine what kind of learner you're going to be (whether they fit in these stereotypes or not). I think precisely as Zgarbas points out that a lot of the craziness (I'm not using this word derogatorily) of learners around here and elsewhere indeed comes about as how hard we try in our own particular ways.

A bunch of people have been saying already a lot of us can see a bit or much of ourselves in many of these; I wrote the entries specifically having in mind several observations of particular kinds of learners either on this forum or in other parts of the jp learning internet community. The various brands of "insanity" people can exhibit I've found quite amusing and interesting. Anyone who's been around on koohii long enough should be able to recognize the exact sort of thing I'm making jabs at for many of these.

I knew not everyone was going to react well to it, but I guess that's comedy. If enough people found my dumb writings funny and also felt that there was some truth to them then I achieved what I set out to accomplish during my being "inspired by the muse".


RE: Japanese Learner Stereotypes - Aspiring - 2017-07-31

Redacted