All About TextFugu
Try not. Do or do not. There is no try. – Yoda
TextFugu has a really simple story, and an even simpler mission. In fact, if TextFugu didn’t keep things simple, TextFugu wouldn’t be TextFugu at all.
TextFugu’s Story: For years, people have been asking me “what textbook should I use to learn Japanese?” Every time I recommended something, I didn’t feel all that good about it. Everything, by my own standards anyways, was just kind of sub-par. Then, I lost my job and realized it was the perfect time to work on my own Japanese textbook – one that I could feel really comfortable recommending to people, because I knew it really was the best Japanese textbook out there.
TextFugu’s Mission: The goal of TextFugu isn’t to make money, or anything trivial like that. It’s simply to be the best textbook out there for self learners to learn Japanese with. TextFugu doesn’t try to be everything at once – instead, it tries to be the absolute best at just one or two things. In the end, it’s all about helping people learn Japanese, though. If it turns out TextFugu isn’t the best Japanese resource for you, I do everything I can to help you find something even better. Not everyone learns the same way. That’s why the goal is to help you learn Japanese (no matter what resource you’re using). It just so happens TextFugu is often the #1 choice.
No matter who you are, though, I have one bit of advice: START NOW. It’s so easy to think about doing something, then not actually do it (because you’re thinking too hard). There are so many resources out there that it can get overwhelming, and choosing the right resource becomes more of a chore than something you’re looking forward to. Try out the free lessons available on TextFugu – at the very least, they’ll help you develop a great Japanese language learning foundation, which you can take anywhere. It will help you to avoid burn-out, boredom, and (worst case) quitting. You can do it right now, and get started with Chapter 1.
The TextFugu Manifesto
TextFugu has a manifesto to keep things focused. It’s impossible to do everything, so instead, TextFugu tries to do a few things better than anyone else.
1. Keep It Simple: It’s so easy to keep piling on more more more more more… but in the end, that leaves things feeling bloated, confusing, and uninteresting. While other Japanese resources, textbooks, and websites keep adding, TextFugu tries to take things away. Look at it this way. Say you have a limited amount of “attention points” that you can use every day. Every time you pay attention to something, you lose some of those points. Once you’re out of points, you’re done for the day. That’s how TextFugu looks at each lesson. “Is this important enough for a Japanese student (like yourself) to spend valuable attention points on?” If you ask this question a lot, you end up learning the most important things. If the most important things get the priority, it means you’ll be able to spend more time on what’s important, and less time on stuff that’s not (meaning you learn Japanese so much faster).
2. Make Something I Wish I Could Have Used: For most people, learning Japanese was a lot tougher than it should have been. In the last 10+ years, I’ve experienced so many different learning styles, and I know what works for most people, and what doesn’t. I’ve also studied memory science, alternative education systems, and more, and integrated it all into TextFugu. I wish I could have used TextFugu. Every lesson, section, chapter, etc., is infused with this feeling. When creating something, I always ask “what do I wish I could have had here?” From there, incredible things happen.
3. Help People, Always: Whether you’re a member or not, the goal of TextFugu is to help you to learn Japanese. If you want to learn Japanese, I want to be helpful. There’s no selfish “you have to be a member before I help you” or “you can’t be using another resource” mentality. That’s dumb. TextFugu was created to help people, and that will never change.
4. Change The Japanese Language Learning Industry For The Better: I think the Japanese Language Learning Industry is old and out of touch. The goal of TextFugu is to help people (as you already know), and part of that is to help the old-school Japanese Language Industry to change as well. I want Japanese language learning experiences everywhere to be better. If there’s ever an opportunity, TextFugu will try to help.
5. Always Ask “Why.” Not knowing why you’re learning something can make things confusing and frustrating. One thing I always try to do is ask “why” (then answer it right in the lesson). If you know why you’re doing something, then you’ll likely feel better about learning it. Understanding these things really helps the student to keep moving forward in the right direction. I always remember being frustrated by texts just telling me what to learn and not why I’m learning them. If this question isn’t answered fully enough, you can always e-mail me directly, too, and you’ll get all your questions answered.
If you’re thinking about learning Japanese, it’s best not to wait. The longer you wait, the easier it is to come up with excuses. Start simple. Even if you tell yourself “I’ll only study for 5 minutes,” that’s way better than not starting at all. Give some of the free lessons on TextFugu a try, and see how you like it. If you want to know more, you can always feel free to shoot me an e-mail or read the FAQ, which is full of less wordy information about how TextFugu works. Either way, just be sure you get started sooner, rather than later, no matter what resource you end up using!