As it turns out I’ve not died, rather I’m better and worse than ever. The past few months have been rather language intensive. I’ve improved my ability to read Manga, as well as some (probably) 3rd grade level books in Japanese. In addition to that, I’ve been hard at work and occasionally hardly working on my Top Secret Language Learning technique. Which is really not so top secret. Clues about it already exist embedded like fractured teeth in some of my earlier post’s. But basically, I should tell you the truth.
I started with the goal of creating the ultimate language learning software, one that would replace Rosetta Stone as a household name. In the process I realized what I kind of knew all along, and what many of you likely guessed.
There is no ultimate, single solution for learning a new language.
Before long I fell flat on my face. And took that as a sign to take a sort of break. I used this time to speak with people, known and unknown, about learning languages, using languages and chasing realistic dreams. All of this, by way of road trips to quiet Southern Jersey fishing bays where we rode Jet skis in Japanese; to Vermont where I befriended a ferocious chicken known only as “Trex” and made mutual physical contact with a timid and human weary cat who I’ll always remember as “Cassiopeia”; a finally to home and “not far from home”, where I’ve had the chance to speak with just the right amount of people about their language learning goals and experiences.
What I found was not so much surprising as it was enlightening. The people who put in the effort and did strange things, either at the suggestion of some half mad scientist teacher, or the mad hatter archetype who lives in us all, were the ones who had the best results. So it boils down to, if you work hard and are reflective and creative you’ll most likely succeed. This shouldn’t be news to anybody. But it was the first hand experience of this along with a series of late night to early morning conversations with my lead programmer and partner in this project, that lead me to understand what would work. And so, although I in part retract my previous statements about swearing to create the “Next Rosetta Stone” I’m still confident that what I have will meet such things on even ground.
So despite the “failure” I’ve made a lot of progress and continue to work on the software/method, all in the aim of helping people decode and get better at learning other languages.