Japanese Learning AJATT Method

Monthly Archives: March 2011

A little lazy kanji SRS format


I want to share my SRS format. But first some introduction: I’m now on 1200th frame of RTK (1199 to be exact), I have tried the ‘vanilla’, ‘Lazy Mod’ and also some other formats, which were abbreviations of those. Up to around 1000th frame I’ve wrote each kanji before showing an answer. It was good, couse my writing ability increased. But unfortunately it was also SLOW (20-30 sec per answer), one and a half an hour of SRSing a day… plus the time for input stuff… Fulltime job.

I got sick of it, so now I’m only writing character once after making the story and putting it to SRS (actually from now on I will be handwriting kanji AFTER SRS session, and just the new ones of course). Now it’s ~10 sec fer character avg. and ~30 min of SRSing in total. Also the session limit changed. Used to be 10 min, then 2 and now it’s 3 min and I think this is optimal for me. 3 min is great, couse you get done something like 15-20 reps – it’s a visible progress, but you don’t get tired (3 min, seriously, pffff…)

Da. I could write some more, but I guess no one even cares, so here is what I came up with, nothing revolutionary(is there even a word like this in English?). This resides somewhere between Kendo’s Lazy plus Mod, Tommy’s version, and the ‘vanilla’ format.

It’s Keyword+Primitives=>Kanji+Story




metal| gully


Picture the molten lead (the heavy metal) being discreetly drained out of the factory into a gully behind. {Story by samusam from}

Scoring (Anki 0-3):

3 – Story pops up in your head along with the correct image of the kanji.

2 – Kanji is good, but it took too long to get all the elements in their places, or you’re just inconfident in remembering this one.

1 – You got the story wrong and messed up kanji somehow, but you feel like cracking it the next time.

0 – This one is the least used by me, couse choosing 1 (hard) shorten the time of next appearance, so eventually it will be short enough for you to remember (plus why demage the good stats? ;p). Using almost exclusively when confusing completly new characters or being like ‘WTF? Whats that? Why is it here?’ when the answer is displayed.

This is easier than ‘vanilla’ keyword=>kanji, couse you get hint from primitves (plus a hint about placing the elements – ‘|’ is ‘next to’, ‘/’ is ‘under’, ‘[‘ ‘enclosure’, ‘\’ ‘semienclosure’ like road, etc.), but still you need to reproduce entire story and the kanji. This is supposedly (‘in my opinion’; I just don’t want to use the forbidden ‘S’ word… xD) better in long run than Kendo’s Lazy Kanji plus Mod, couse you get your brain working for each answer, and I think this is kind of what Mr Heisig meant urging(?) us to go keyword=>kanji. Tommy’s version also does some good, but I’m too lazy to make cloze to each card 😉

I’m really just starting this today, so if there will be some long term effects, I’ll let you know. If anyone like/ dislike this, post comment here (-_-)/~

PS. I’m back to write-each-kanji, couse I’ve got low retention w/o it. But now I go for ‘faster’ rather than ‘perfect’, so even writing AFTER showing answer can get the 2 score. However answer time under 20 secs (17 secs usualy) is more then acceptable, thuss I’ll stick to this for some time.


Don’t rest, be like NASA – faster, better, cheaper.

Don’t rest.

First of all the whole resting between timeboxes is BS to me. Why? You just don’t have to rest, you only think you have to, becouse some Kenyan guy living like 20000 km away told you to rest (thuss he didn’t, oh really he is quite an opposite). Think: you do your stuff for 2 minutes, take break for another 2 min, than 2 min working again…. It’s just a half time work! So what, work without breaks, box to box? Yes. And no. Yes – you don’t waste your time resting half the time. And no (somehow) – you don’t go like work-work-work-…. every 2 min.

I mean you do, but not the the same task consequently. Something like work1-work5-work1-work6-work1-work3-…. Where number given to work is its priority. So do 2 min of your main task – than 2 min washing dishes – 2 min of task – 2 min doing push-ups (oh why not xD) – 2 min of task – 2 min checking web -….This may be not good for everything becouse of distractive character of side- tasks (hmm actually one could take advatage of this, taking time for calmly thihking), but for some stuff it can be a good one.

This is really just an advice for those who feel guilty about taking too much breaks – make a break part of the game. And if you ok with that lay, rest, do nothing, but at least do it in Japanese ;P

Plane Timeboxing & Timeframe Workboxing

Just finished reading AJATT’s Timeboxing Triple Trilogy (TTT/3t xD) and came up with two new variations: Plane Timeboxing and Timeframe Workboxing (could be Workframe Timeboxing, but this way sounds cooler). The first one is pure conceptual and the second one is not.

Plane Timeboxing

This is mix of the mix and the standard. First we accelerate to take off with certain speed (incremental part), then fly through work (the flat), and finally when we’re nearly-done/tired we land (decremental part). I think this can prolong our durability, as Khatz could say, but didn’t:

[…]the fastest part of the flight seems the most effortless.

Timeboxes would be like this:

  • 1-2-3333332-1 (units: minutes) | Increment by one minute, flight at “good enough” speed, decrement by one minute
  • 1-2-4444-2-1 (units: minutes) | Double timebox length, flight at “good enough” speed, halve timebox length
  • 30-45-60 60606060-45-30 (units: seconds) | Increment by 15 seconds, flight at “good enough” speed, decrement by 15 seconds

As a bonus we have more Timeboxes, hence More Timeboxes=More Games=More Fun 🙂 See the times here are comperable with the original Parabolic Timebox.

(Khatz, i hope you don’t mind using your pattern ;))

Timeframe Workboxing

This variation works for learning, I suppose. This is true story, without gross details, though.

Like everyone starting RTK I begun with the Japanese numbers. To tell the truth I knew it before, but its irrelevant. It was like this: me, paper, pen and 10 secs to write down a number. Starting from 22 I got to 200. Now I have ~0 problems with writing new kanjis, whatsoever. So what was changing was not the time but the work. I don’t know how to picture it, also don’t know if it’s really a variantion. The point is to do more within each frame, to try harder, focus more. Step by step, not jumping.

It wasn’t supposed to, but turned out as Incremental Workboxing ;P

Maybe I’m going too far but this is some new way of Boxing (…?) We don’t give us The Big Goal, but number of small goals (which lead us to Big Goal, so….Workbox in Double Timebox? I feel lost myself…)

Anyways comments welcome xD

How Is This AJATT Thing Working (HITATW)

This is a result of my contemplation on the AJATT article: Potheads, Planners and Players. It’s an e-mail sent to Khatz some time ago (edited a tiny bit, though):

I’m from Poland and my English is poor, so I decided to copy/paste wiki article and add some comments. Also I’m sorry for the…. mistakes.
As the subject states I found a metaphor for how-is-this-AJATT-thing-working(HITATW). I don’t know if this says what I want to say but… here comes:


There are thousands of known species of molds (~languages) which include opportunistic pathogens(German), saprotrophs(Russian), aquatic species(Phoenician), and thermophiles(Spanish). Like all fungi, molds derive energy not through photosynthesis (tongues don’t come from sun, eh?) but from the organic matter in which they live(people are some specific kind of organic matter). Typically, molds secrete hydrolytic enzymes, mainly from the hyphal tips(don’t understed this sentence ;P). These enzymes (human brain processes?) degrade complex biopolymers (words, sentences) such as starch(speech), cellulose (writing) and lignin (music?) into simpler substances (ideas) which can be absorbed by the hyphae (memory). In this way, molds play a major role in causing decomposition of organic material (not really applying to human as the organic matter ;P, lets say OM=civilisation), enabling the recycling of nutrients (ideas) throughout ecosystems (cultures). Many molds also secrete mycotoxins (languagetoxins) which, together with hydrolytic enzymes, inhibit the growth of competing microorganisms (humans here again).

Molds reproduce through small spores(here it comes; those spores are Your “Points” from “Potheads, Planners, Players”. Following text explain my point with this mail), which may contain a single nucleus or be multinucleate. Mold spores can be asexual (the products of mitosis) or sexual (the products of meiosis); many species can produce both types. Mold spores may remain airborne indefinitely, may cling to clothing or fur, or may be able to survive extremes of temperature and pressure.

Although molds grow on dead organic matter everywhere in nature, their presence is only visible to the unaided eye when mold colonies grow . A mold colony does not comprise discrete organisms, (Sorry, my bad its here ->)but an interconnected network of hyphae called a mycelium (Freaking Fluency; imagine your pointy diagram. Now the points are growing, sticking together, linking into “interconnected network”. In 18 months it’s all fluffy and furry). Nutrients and in some cases organelles may be transported throughout the mycelium. In artificial environments like buildings, humidity and temperature are often stable enough to foster the growth of mold colonies, commonly seen as a downy or furry coating growing on food or other surfaces.(As a main point was reached any further comments are unnecessary, so read more or don’t)

Hello World! xD

Hi there,

My name’s Romuś (“ś” is pernounced like first “shi’ in japanese “mushimushi”). I live in some Polish town, learning Japanese doing AJATT method, written down in English by some Kenyan guy (Khatzumoto is his nickname). World’s so small….

This blog shall treat my experiences with this way of learning language. There will be some practical advices, tips & tricks, comments to original AJATT articles, my thoughts, real life stories and, as we say in Poland, “(only) the Lord himself knows what else”. Dunno if it will be readworthy as it is my first blog and I’m not so good at English, but time will show.

So, please go easy on this… (thing, project or whatever you call it).

++ Any kind of resemblance with real life happennings and characters is(not) apearing by chance. So is the blog title – SomeJapaneseAllTimeAround (SJATA) – for which I beg forgiveness  m|-_-|m, Khatz-dono.++