AJATT+

Okay so curiosity killed this cat! Not haha, anyhow, I kept seeing a few posts from AJATT’s twitter feed that talked about a new card format. After a twitter to him asking what MCD stood for (and no its not McDonalds) and not getting a reply made my curiosity buttons get pushed more.

If you’ve not heard of AJATT then you probably haven’t heard of it’s projects either. There are quite a few now, and I myself have three now. Two were a Christmas gift (qrg and mfsp) and then now I just subscribed to AJATT+.

Here’s a little rantathon: When I first went on the web I tried to find some reviews about this product. AJATT sums it up really well, however that doesn’t really tell you the feel of things, or if its really hit it off. I also noticed, no one online that I’ve found really goes on about it either, except one forum that bashes it for costing money.

My feeling is this, people only bash things for three reasons: 1)hate it (really, they just don’t dig it), 2)Jealous (I wish I could make money farting around!), or 3)They just don’t know anything and are assuming what it is (so and so hates it so I will too).

So, since I don’t follow hate bashing of those who’ve not tried, I decided to finally shed some light on the AJATT+ situation. For starters, I have nothing against a person doing work and getting paid for it. If you spent a good portion of your free time helping out others, after a while it will get old and you’ll want something in return. That’s natural. Even my honey do gets paid food or the like for fixing someone’s a/c on the down low. I think people are starting to feel anything online should be free, but if you think about it in real life, if you came to him in person and asked advice, you’d be paying more money than what he’s asking for. All in all, don’t complain because you don’t want to pay. Complain only if you pay and it sucks balls (but he’ll refund it anyways, so what’s the risk?). Okay I’ll step off meh soap box.

So I paid, only the one month (about $10). I’ll mostly likely sap this resource for a month then wait a long time and do it again (unless maybe I get addicted?).

First Impressions

Getting through the start up was really easy. I was glad when it didn’t make me go to my inbox and click on this link and do that and do this. I hate long registrations and that just turns me off, but this was fairy simple and fast. The registration page opens into another page that basically says, go here for guidelines or introduce yourself on the forum page. It gives links to both. So being the rebel I am, I passed the whole guidelines section (because that’s for goody two shoes and squares yo!) and went to the forums. I posted a little snit saying I’m here.

I spent a few minutes just doing a lightening by look at the forums. In fact, my curiosity about what MCDs  might be made me overlook a lot of stuff at first, but I did see a lot of fun threads and the community is currently right over 250. Not a lot, but definably not a small amount either. Khatz even had a thread for bombarding him with questions, living up to his word.

The main AJATT+ site looks a lot like AJATT’s free blog newest layout. You see the newest article up top larger, and the older ones in smaller boxes down below. I must say that I was kinda shocked at the number of articles already made considering it hasn’t been around for that long. A lot of them had audio and what not. I didn’t go into them further due to my MCD obsession.

I did notice that on the left side was a few sections, recent posts, recent comments, and tweets. I love that. In the forums you can also follow threads and get notifications, send people messages, you know, the normal stuff. So after finding what I thought was the first post on MCD’s it was actually a second post, but you know Khatz, he’s good about linking previous articles that apply, so off I went on a reading frenzy that lasted about 20 minutes before I realized I had to go feed my daughter.

Over all, good layout, easy to find anything. I like simple and straight to the point without the added craziness of fluff that’s unnecessary. Maybe the only thing I could see proving useful is a category list. [edit addition- not sure if I didn’t see this before but now there is a category list. Either Khatz read this and thought, hey yeah, makes sense, or I’m a complete idiot for not seeing it to begin with! haha but its there now!]

Forums

Forums pretty much are the same everywhere, but maybe you’re curious as to what a paying forum might give you that’s different. I’m sure there are lots of forums out there that do swapping of materials, advice, links, techniques, and somewhat moderation, however with the +forums you get all that plus better moderation (weed out trolls/haters mad fast), be able to bug Khatz for attention (some people want to talk to the lion’s mouth, so to speak), and specifics on the AJATT method from Khatz and other users that for some reason people don’t get through the websites. Really its a forum to specifically get those who’re like minded about the method used in AJATT. Like minded is the key here. In AJATT+ you’re not going to get people who like to bash the AJATT method/Heisig, but still talk about sentence mining.

It being a smaller community probably is annoying to some, but I don’t see threads being inactive. After popping around I can see that people are generally good about responding to people, or reading posts that just have info on it. I don’t enjoy forums that are inactive, but I also don’t enjoy forums that are so big and active that so much gets re-posted and re-posted and then lost in the onslaught of activity. I see that as the benefit of smaller active communities. A comparable forum that’s pretty similar would be Koohi’s forum (lots of good info too), however the trolls there are many, and I don’t really care for the arguments and constant hating. Oh well :D.

Articles

Currently there are 5 pages of articles each with varying amounts on them, and I’m to lazy to count. I know its enough information though to last me at least a week or more of reading (I can plow through some material!). I can see audio too, yay! There is also full Japanese articles, as promised, and English ones too. On a side note, there is a lot of Japanese integration into the website itself. Not everything shows as English and I think that’s awesome. Back on track. There are lots of articles about his newest techniques that he doesn’t talk about on the main site. When Doug played WOW he always gave people a version old macro. It makes me think of that. You’re getting an older version of his studying habits on the main AJATT, and AJATT+ has the newest version. Of course, the newer version doesn’t seem to be as well studied and tested (yet), but that is where the fun is at, I think. Of course, all this info, at least in passing browsing could be found else where, its conveniently wrapped up here.

To clarify, his newest version doesn’t change the traditional steps really at all (unless you want to try out the lazy kanji cards which could technically be applied in the RTK step), its the same. However, with the onslaught of his MCD articles talking about replacing the 10k sentences, this to me is a step to take once you’ve sorta mastered that. It to me is a more advanced monolingual study method to retain and maintain your language as well as add a few vocabulary.

I do like the real e mail series, as its just as a real Japanese person is doing. I guess what I mean to say is its not fake dialogue, they’re emails that he’s actually reading and writing. I also like that he actively replies to comments made on posts. I noticed in the regular AJATT site he was starting to get really bad about leaving people hanging (not ever responding), but here it seems with monetary motivation, he answers often.

I of course cannot divulge the information on the site, that’s cheating, sorry. I can say though that its a nice bundle of information that is at least worth the one paid subscription to read them alone (plus you could save them and read them later outside the browser of course).

Where it Might Go

Really there are only three things that could happen. One – it dies out. Two – it stays the same. Three – it gets really large! I don’t see this forum getting crazy large, but the articles could really get to racking a great deal in size. I like to follow the works of intellectuals who I feel are similar minded, so to me, as long as he’s actively posting, I don’t see it as a waste of money. I could eat $10 bucks of food and not be the richer for it :P. I can see a lot of the forum side does have other language sections, which is neat if you plan on using the method for another language. You’ll have others in the same method that’ve tried out other things and what not.

I would ultimately like to see more actual interaction of Japanese. Though there is a thread for Japanese only, It’d be nice if there were maybe a chatting service that fluent native/native-like speakers could speak to those not quite as good as a form of practice. Like one big chat room or maybe even more one on one. A lot of people out there get really shy about on the spot interaction or even feel to shy to go out and make a friend through skype. I think AJATT+ would really set itself apart from its basic site if it did something like that.

Anyhow, I hope that let you know more about the feel of AJATT+. If you have any questions specifically about content, just as me and I’ll let you know if its covered or what not. I don’t want you to waste money if you really feel it isn’t something that will benefit you. I still think it primarily speaks to learners in the intermediate and beginner stage, with a few dabs of advanced here and there. I think it also speaks to those who do need guidance and some motivation to keep at it. In the world of self learning or autodidacticisim, people tend to think asking for help/advice is pretty lame, but I think that it has its place. It’s not as though you learn physics on your own, you usually follow someone’s discoveries and formulas until you’re able to do enough of it to explore new things on your own.

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Comments
18 Responses to “AJATT+”
  1. Ramses says:

    Finally, a review about AJATT+! I’ve sent Khatzu several messages, but he’s good at ignoring them these days. I mean, I understand where he’s coming from as he probably receives a sh*itload of e-mails and Twitter messages each day.

    Having said that, I wonder why he needs to change the method he used to promote for years. It has worked wonders for him, and it helped other people to become fluent in several languages as well (including me, just by copying his method for Spanish I became fluent). So why the need to change things? It sounds a bit illogical, just something to create a new hype, but this time he is charging money.

    I’m not hating here, as I fully understand his reasons to charge for a forum and extra (translated) articles. But don’t hype things up just to sell more subscriptions; stay true to yourself.

    • mikotoneko says:

      Oh! Well I think there is a misunderstanding, which I’ll go correct after this, but he’s not changing the base method. Its more like additional steps once you’ve reached a certain level. Kinda advanced level I think from the looks of the posts about the MCDs replacing the 10k sentences. But mostly you’re seeing his experiments with things, that sort. He hasn’t changed the base method from what I see.

      I think mostly you’re getting charged to have the ability to get his responses, and his putting in an extra effort of articles in Japanese with the cards attached. If you look at the major powerhouse self learner advocates for Japanese, (Koichi, Khatz, and Irish Polygot guy gets mentioned constantly) they’re all charging now for their extra efforts. I think their demand just got so high that they figured they’d weed out those who really don’t care by making them put their money where their mouth is. 😀

      I think he does get a lot of inquiries from multiple sources and I bet that can get really daunting. He’s answered one twitter message I sent him about monolingual dictionaries with a forwarded email he’s apparently sent to others. That’s understandable, copy and paste ftw if it answers a question :D.

      Btw, grats on the Spanish! I’ve gone to your site before and if I were to learn Spanish I’d probably follow it regularly. But no Spanish for me yet. Do you think you may try another language?

      • Ramses says:

        Well, I’m maybe not a famous blogger, but some see me as a guru when it comes to immersion based learning. Don’t ask me why, but maybe because I blog with confidence about the things I did to become fluent.

        I too get daily e-mails, but I refuse to charge people for the occasional mail they send me. If I feel the urge to charge for something, I’ll come with something that adds value.

        Don’t get me wrong; I certainly encourage people to make a business out of their expertise, but it’s mainly consulting they offer. Sorry, but that’s not really special. If you write a good book on how to learn a language, then charge. But even I offered my ebook for free.

        As for my blog: it’s not only aimed at Spanish learners, just like AJATT isn’t only aimed at Japanese learners. The difference between Koichi, Benny (the Irish polyglot), and me is that they’re all smart marketeers, and that I just blog because I love blogging. Not that I don’t want to earn money blogging, but I only want to charge people if I have something that really can make a difference.

        As a matter of fact, I’ve started a new blog this week, where I will track my progress learning Portuguese. The address is: http://www.portuguese-only.com

      • mikotoneko says:

        I also love to blog just to blog myself! Though I think my blog is mostly just a compiling of resources and such already out there. I’m all about the free, as its my main driving force, though I don’t mind throwing a little cash here and there. A few have recommended to me to compile an e book devoted purely to the teaching your new child two languages, but I don’t think I’d ever formally write up an e book.

        I might browse around a little more later on your site then, see more of it, good luck in the Portuguese! I think after Japanese I’ll most likely go to either Korean or French. 😀

    • maugrassia says:

      Think of it as the only place in existence with a group of individuals fostering a team-effort of (the most correct) ways of learning a language. Without trolls.

      Sounds like heaven to me. $10 a month, or $90 a year is a small price to pay.

  2. Alex says:

    MCDs? You talk about it, what what is it, finally??

  3. Alex says:

    Re: MCDs

    Thanks, I found it already – http://bit.ly/f00cW0 says it all…

  4. Sutiben says:

    Does it have content that’s good for Chinese learners? (Mandarin though)

    • mikotoneko says:

      Besides the general language information (there are not blog points devoted to only Mandarin like with Japanese), there are some users that are learning Mandarin Chinese, and there is a section in the forums for Mandarin learners. However to be fair, there aren’t many posts in that section, but those asking questions did get answers (mostly about getting started and advice and a tv link I think it was).

      In the forums as a user you must link something in your 2nd language at the beginning or end, and some users do post Chinese links. Hope this helps you, let me know if you have any other questions.

    • mikotoneko says:

      Over time there has been posts for Mandarin that are free, like a QRG made for Mandarin learners as well as mini transcripts in Mandarin. There seem to be more Mandarin speakers on there as well now. I think its worth a month’s worth to look at the QRG if you needed something like that to help you out.

  5. Marcus says:

    Hi! Informative post! Might join sometime before the year is up.

    Quick question.

    I know these sorts of things are meaningless, but I was wondering if you could customize your Avatar Icons and Signatures like you could with other websites?

    • mikotoneko says:

      I don’t think they’re meaningless at all, considering people often are recognized by their avatars. Yes you can customize your Avatar, with gravatar, some general avatars from the forum site, as well as the ability to upload your own. There are restrictions on sizes and whatnot, but that’s normal. There is a section in your profile as well that allows you to customize your signatures.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I signed up for a month of AJATT+ just for the hell of it, and it really wasn’t worth the money. Firstly there’s hardly any content for anyone who isn’t learning Japanese. Secondly there might be 6 pages of articles, but almost all of them are really short, like 10 lines or so. Thirdly the forums are next to dead. There’s like one new post a day. Fourthly Khatz doesn’t update the AJATT+ articles that often, and doesn’t post on the forums that often either. The regular blog gets far more regular updates. Anyone thinking of joining should really save their money for another year or so, until there’s more content.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Didn’t try. I did get a lot of good ideas and motivation from the regular blog over the past few years, so I decided to leave the money as thanks for that. I do appreciate the time he takes out to blog, and webhosting and bandwidth is expensive. That said, I wouldn’t sign up for AJATT+ again.

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  1. […] Monthly subscription $9.95/month (33¢ per day) Click here to find out more about AJATT Plus before you subscribe. Read the first impressions of a recent new member (Mikotoneko) here. […]



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  • Read More or Die! 2011

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    Total read for Tadoku:
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