Home Forums TextFugu If you're like me, you're wondering about the lack of activity

This topic contains 16 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Takatana 3 weeks, 3 days ago.

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  • #50695

    Takatana
    Member

    Today is January 15, 2020. I used TextFugu a number of years ago, but eventually got out of the habit of learning Japanese. When recently I thought to take it up again, I thought of TextFugu, and how it probably had so much more content nowadays and was much more polished.

    Well, not only were my expectations crushed, it seemed the Koichi empire as a whole was a thing of the past. This forum had barely a few posts since two years ago, and @mechakoichi and @EtoEtoApp last tweeted in December 2017.

    So this is what I’ve found in 10 minutes of research. (Post in this thread if you know more!) Tofugu seems still active, with 2-3 posts every month. WaniKani is active as well. AND on January 1, Koichi went on a podcast called Japan Station. https://www.japankyo.com/2020/01/japan-station-podcast-interview-koichi-tofugu/

    Tony: If I remember correctly, you’re working on a new textbook at the moment, right? Is that about to launch or did it launch recently?

    Koichi: No, so uh, so, you’re–you’re thinking of, uh, EtoEto, probably?

    Tony: Yes! Yes, exactly. Yes.

    Koichi: That was the–the–the New TextFugu, quote-unquote? Um.

    Tony: Yes.

    Koichi: I guess, all I can say about that is, uh–

    Tony: Mhmm.

    Koichi: Uh, we–we–we’ve done some prototypes–

    Tony: Mhmm.

    Koichi: We’ve learned a lot along the way…

    Tony: Yeah.

    Koichi: Uh, and–and–and we’re working on something still. But, like… the one thing I learned from that is not to promise anything until things are done. *laughs*

    Tony: *laughs* Yeah, yeah. I–I’ve learned that too. *laughs*

    Koichi: Yeah. It’s a–

    Tony: Yeah.

    Koichi: Important lesson that everyone has to learn. But, um. Yeah, I mean, we’re–we’re working on… on something, but, like, it’s–it’s a little–it’s quite a bit different from what we originally were envisioning and originally promising. But I think much better in… as long as you, like, you know, forget, like, the five years that you’re waiting for it.

    #50696

    Wow! To find out that they’re still working on it at all is exciting! I check back on EtoEto every so often. And figured I would poke my head in today. It’s all gone! Like the text is there, but the formatting and everything else is gone. That combined with the interview gives me some hope, maybe?

    I totally get what you mean about “the Koichi Empire” though. When I first started learning Japanese in 2012/2013, he was such a presence. Like, not only did he create this great learning stuff, but he personally was actively involved in the communities that he created. And now it’s like we never see/hear from him. I’m glad that WaniKani is so successful (it’s like, *the* place to learn Kanji now), but I wish that the other sides of Japanese learning had been developed so thoroughly.

    I actually read an article talking about what probably happened (not written by the Tofugo team). It goes something like: when TextFugu was created, it was pioneering Japanese learning online. And then WaniKani was born, which completely overhauled the way that a lot of people learn Kanji. But lots of online Japanese textbooks a la TextFugu began popping up. Which kind of took away its specialness. WaniKani stayed special because of how well it did what it does. But with competition for TextFugu, Koichi felt like he had to make the other side of things just as unique and powerful as WaniKani. But grammar can’t be done in its entirety via SRS (see bunpro – which is awesome, but absolutely requires a separate resource to really understand the material). So Koichi basically got in over his head trying to push the limits of learning. And now feels like it’s been so long, that in order to release and be successful, it has to blow everyone’s minds. But perfection is impossible. Therefore the vicious cycle emerges.

    Hopefully we’ll eventually see something. And I hope that Koichi knows that EtoEto doesn’t need to be perfect. Mostly, people would just like to know if it’s even still in progress.

    #50720

    Gustav Dahl
    Member

    Thanks for writing this. Hope something happens in the not-too-distant future.

    #50729

    Comparing Textfugu to Wanikani….looks like I chose poorly for which lifetime membership to pay smh.

    #50730

    Koichi: Important lesson that everyone has to learn. But, um. Yeah, I mean, we’re–we’re working on… on something, but, like, it’s–it’s a little–it’s quite a bit different from what we originally were envisioning and originally promising.

    It’s just words. And as GRRM would say, “Words are wind”. Koichi’s approach to Textfugu and EtoEto is a prime example of this. In fact, I’d say GRRM and Koichi share more in common than just that…

    Koichi’s last post in these forums was in 2013. That’s seven years ago. Seven. And I still see people posting in the Self Introduction forum, which means that he (or his business) is continuing to accepting payments for a project that will never be finished.

    This is my first time logging into this site in years. I receive the occasional email update about the forum posts and felt compelled to respond to this particular post for any other suckers out there like myself. In fact, when I attempted to log in, I noticed that there wasn’t even a secure login for the site. So, he’s continuing to accept money from new members but can’t be bothered to pay for some basic security protection for paying customers. Smooth move, Koichi.

    Here’s my best guess about what happened. Koichi started this project as he was busy with his other projects back in the early 2010s. Eventually, Wanikani grew big enough to become his cash cow. Once he began making decent money from Wanikani, his drive to finish and improve his other projects waned. He had passive income rolling in and life was good. However, people had paid money towards his other projects based on promises that he began to realize he couldn’t (or wouldn’t) be keeping. He kept the promises coming, because saying the words helped him to feel like he was doing the right thing. But the progress on the side projects crawled almost to a halt. Slowly over time, he hoped people would forget about it all. And I imagine that many have.

    Not me. I want my $120 back (actually, more than that in total payments). I’d recommend any other lifetime members to request the same.

    #50734

    milvmak
    Member

    You are partly right but only partly. Here is my point of view:
    Koichi stoped accepting new members and payments on this site some time ago. I subscribed in 2015, so it happend later.
    He dosen’t maintain neither this site nor EtoEto and doesn’t give explanation and promises to people for a few years now.
    After a pause of three years I am working again with materials on this site but it’s already heavily outdated: anki files are difficult to import in newest versions of Anki, Lang-8 doesn’t accept new members and it is an important part of this course. Nevertheless I intend to finish it in parallel with Wanikani before passing to something else.
    That’s why I won’t ask for refund. Moreover I had a nice discount on Wanikani for having subscription here.
    And I don’t think Koichi is the self interested cheater you describe.

    #50736

    Do we know if or when Koichi stopped officially accepting payments? The Pricing page mentions that new registrations are unavailable, but the text below it states the price for lifetime memberships and how to contact the team to ask about signing up. The fact that he was accepting payments even up until sometime after 2015 is still incriminating, given that he and the site were full of empty promises and unfinished content even back then. I even recommended Textfugu to others back in the day, which probably lead to at least one or two more subscriptions for them.

    I never described Koichi as a “self interested cheater”. It’s probable that he genuinely wanted to fulfill the promises he made but just lacked the drive to do so, as well as the managerial foresight to effectively contract the assistance of others.

    From a business standpoint though, it doesn’t matter if he felt like he was doing the right thing or not; the fact is that people paid money for this. It is an unfinished product that didn’t deliver on the promises its creator made to its investors. I say “investors” because some of us subscribed to this site with the expectation that it would continue to be expanded and improved, as we were told it would.

    Anyone else is welcome to proceed as they wish.

    #50740

    Anyone have any suggestions in regards to making my Anki files work? I cant find a download for 2.0 and the current Anki wont accept of the old cards. Feeling very frustrated as finally have the opportunity to get back to studying (I never made it very far in the first place unfortunately) and now Im stuck in session two :’(

    #50741

    Takatana
    Member

    Anyone have any suggestions in regards to making my Anki files work? I cant find a download for 2.0 and the current Anki wont accept of the old cards. Feeling very frustrated as finally have the opportunity to get back to studying (I never made it very far in the first place unfortunately) and now Im stuck in session two :’(

    Make sure you download Anki version 2.0.52. That’s the latest version of Anki that can still import .anki files.
    https://apps.ankiweb.net/downloads/archive/
    Then remember not to update it. This is the Anki version you will use to import your TextFugu cards. If you have Anki on your phone, don’t worry. Your phone can have the latest version of Anki and it will still be able to sync with the cards on your computer. Then follow this guide:
    http://www.textfugu.com/bb/topic/guide-to-using-anki-2-with-textfugu/
    One thing I’ll add is that some of the cards have incorrect katakana, or the wrong sound file. The Einstein card, for example, is spelled エインステイン but pronounced アインスタイン. That’s not irregular grammar, that’s just a mistake. Feel free to change it. I had to remove the sound files for, I think, two cards because they were accidentally taken from other vocab words.

    #50743

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Siobhan Ellis wrote:</div>
    Anyone have any suggestions in regards to making my Anki files work? I cant find a download for 2.0 and the current Anki wont accept of the old cards. Feeling very frustrated as finally have the opportunity to get back to studying (I never made it very far in the first place unfortunately) and now Im stuck in session two :’(

    Make sure you download Anki version 2.0.52. That’s the latest version of Anki that can still import .anki files.<br>
    https://apps.ankiweb.net/downloads/archive/<br>
    Then remember not to update it. This is the Anki version you will use to import your TextFugu cards. If you have Anki on your phone, don’t worry. Your phone can have the latest version of Anki and it will still be able to sync with the cards on your computer. Then follow this guide:<br>
    http://www.textfugu.com/bb/topic/guide-to-using-anki-2-with-textfugu/<br>
    One thing I’ll add is that some of the cards have incorrect katakana, or the wrong sound file. The Einstein card, for example, is spelled エインステイン but pronounced アインスタイン. That’s not irregular grammar, that’s just a mistake. Feel free to change it. I had to remove the sound files for, I think, two cards because they were accidentally taken from other vocab words.

    Thank you <3

    #50747

    Regarding selling TextFugu past the point of Koichi giving up, my experience might be relevant. I received a lifetime membership to TextFugu as a Christmas gift in 2016, so it was bought October/November of that year at the very earliest. It was my fault, since I hadn’t read into it enough to know that it was obsolete the moment I considered getting it. At the time, the pricing page didn’t have any notification that the project was dead in the water, from what I remember. Hell, it’s still not clear in the textbook itself what the word on future developments even is.
    It definitely doesn’t feel right to me how rough around the edges chapters 7 and especially 8 are. It was extremely unceremonious to realize that there wasn’t anything left when I completed everything, except for an advanced lesson and a massive vocab deck which felt like a bit of a cheap cop-out for actually introducing them over time via more lessons and content. But like it’s been mentioned earlier, Koichi has his cash cow in the form of WaniKani, so there’s little incentive to go back and update the textbook almost everyone has moved on from.
    Something interesting at least is that the current pricing page says that all lifetime TF users will gain lifetime access to EtoEto when it releases. If it releases, anyway. I feel like that’s somewhat of a cherry on top of what has been a disappointing service for TF. Then again, if EtoEto languishes in development hell for another half decade or two (or three), we’ll have all passed the N1 and beyond and it won’t be good for much.

    #50748

    Is anyone still around?

    #50750

    Rebecca
    Member

    I’m grateful this forum is at least up so I can see what happened here. My story is fairly similar with having gotten a lifetime membership back in 2013. I ended up having to drop my studies as I couldn’t really balance it with school. A few weeks ago I decided to actually try to get back into learning Japanese which lead me to wanikani which has been fantastic but is limited in scope. So I went back to textfugu to continue learning well, everything else here, and yeahhh… it’s pretty broken, which is… discouraging to say the least. I will say thank you for the guide for how to still use anki, cause despite everything else I want to at least do what I can with this…

    It’s just really unfortunate to see that it ended up like this.

    I guess with that said, on the off chance someone is reading this while it’s still relevant… Any alternative to textfugu that someone could recommend?

    #50751

    I am currently using Human Japanese, Rebecca. I find that it has a similar feel and it’s completed through Intermediate. I don’t believe there’s any intent to create an advanced, but by that point you should be able to do some learning from native Japanese. Also, wanikani for kanji. It’s the best on the market, despite the failings on this site, and Human Japanese is sorely lacking in that department. I think it was a one-time cost of $40 for HJ, too. So not super expensive ($20 for the basic and intermediate each). Good luck with your studies!

    #50752

    Rebecca
    Member

    Oh thank you so much, I’ll look into it.

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