About me

Hello. Thank you for coming to my blog.

I like to make games and do translations from Japanese to English.

17 thoughts on “About me

  1. Zach, I wanted to email you but can’t seem to find an email for you on the site. This is an apology. Several years ago, I posted a really nasty comment on your blog. You actually pulled your blog down a while shortly afterwards and I’ve felt really shitty about it ever since. When I posted it, I had myself convinced it was a “dose of reality” or some such nonsense, but really, I was just being an asshole and a bully. I’m very sorry about that, and glad to see you have continued to blog and learn.

    • Haha! Don’t take too much credit. I knew the reality all along. But honestly, there is much more to it all than how you put it at that time.

      I was at a point where I was really frustrated the way my Korean was coming along, and I just didn’t want to continue learning it. It just wasn’t fun. I went to see a bunch of Korean movies (which are really good!) but even that excitement soon waned.

      Classes do work if they are intensive and you have a good instructor who knows what they are doing. But that can be a hard thing to get.

      I’ve been coming back to it every once in a while, but the reality is that It’s not as interesting to me as Japanese. As a result, my Japanese skills are loads better than my Korean.

      Anyways, no hard feelings.

  2. I was just curious about your current progress and how you felt about the German Volume Method. Did it help your Japanese as much as you hoped? Did it get tedious after a while? Did you make it through all of your books?


    • Progress is good. Being in Japan now and taking classes, I realize how much help it actually is to build up your writing abilities and to drill in the grammar and translations. The repetition really helps especially with the Kanji. When I learned Kanji with Heisig, I could read and understand the meanings, but I didn’t do a lot of reading/ didn’t use it much as far as writing went, so I lost a lot of my ability. I did however get good at reading lots of kanji, however it takes time. If you have a good system like GVM, it beats any “kinda sorta” thing as far as progress goes. If you can do it, keep hitting the GVM stuff. I haven’t written about it much lately, mostly because I haven’t had time to do much Japanese study. Very busy with other projects. Clugston mentions that this is for someone who has time to consistently slug at it. Re-reading the GVM pdf I understand exactly where he’s coming from and why he’s so harsh when it comes to this stuff. In short, I made it through a few chapters of one of the books, and then stopped because I got busy with other things/ I was trying out new things and getting more serious with Anki. I burned out on Anki and took up reading more seriously, but I stopped that to get more serious with programming. My path is not a straight one. :/ Will be getting on the GVM with my new Japanese class that I’m taking at the local international center. Cheers!

  3. I wondered if I could ask about your experiences learning Chinese, Korean, and Japanese through TPRS in more detail. I’m aa high school teacher of Chinese using TPRS, but I’m located in Korea and working on my certification to teach Japanese as well.

  4. Hi, I am wondering if you could share your experience with the Volume Method? Would you recommend this method for studying Chinese? Any feedback is appreciated!

    • You should probably go read the comment section of some of the German Volume method posts I’ve made, but I’ll answer your question right here.

      Yes, it can work for Chinese if you can get a hold of the material. If you have time to dedicate to this you can do it. It’s long. Progress seems slow. You’ll notice the difference after a few months of everyday 1 or 2 hour study blocks.

      If you don’t have a steady schedule. I would say, don’t waste your time. This needs to be done intensively each day. If you are not organized, you’re going to have a hard time. If you don’t like writing, you’re going to have a hard time. If you can’t sit still and focus you’re going to have a hard time.

      You have to understand that this method builds your base. Your foundation. If you’re impatient and you just want to watch Chinese dramas or comics, or talk to Chinese friends, you’re going to have a hard time. You have to focus on this. Doing this and something else isn’t going to yield very good results.

      If you have time and patience, yes I do recommend it. It’s like taking an intensive course every day. Only cheaper. I would recommend an intensive course if you could afford it. Or even better, private lessons with a TPRS teacher. But that’s even more expensive.

      It’s just like going to the gym. You’re either going 3 or more times a week and building your strength, or you’re wasting your money on a gym membership.

      It is very effective, even if you’re a false beginner.

      Again, it all highly depends on your situation. Just ask Clugston if you need more information about it. He’ll let you know if it’s not right for you.

      Good luck with your studies!

  5. Hello Zach!

    I’ve discovered TPRS during a conference this summer, and I’d love to find TPRS class for Korean in Seoul. Do you know any school or teachers that offers those?


    • Unfortunately, even for Seoul the teaching methods are far too conservative and the best you’re going to do is an intensive course at a university. If you absolutely must, try to find a willing tutor who can learn how to do TPRS and let them teach you that way. That’s what I did. You might find a good TPRS tutor or even class in the States. That’s where the innovation is.

      Alternatively, if you want to learn Japanese or Chinese I know some good people for that. Sorry I couldn’t be of much help. Are you planning to live in the area?

  6. Ahh so sad!! Yeah I have been living there 3 years already. I must confess I have made an effort of learning the language for one year only, but living and working with Americans, I have progressed far more in English than Korean 😦
    I do the intensive course during the holidays in Hagwon, but my timetable doesn’t allow me to take the university course unfortunately. I heard some of them are really good.
    Anyway, your blog is VERYYYY interesting, thank you for all the info!!! I have just found out thanks to you about the WAYK technique, which is gonna be great with my kiddos in class!

  7. Hi there- I came across your website looking for an example of a TPRS story in Korean. I am very interested in learning more Korean from a teacher skilled in the use of TPRS. I live on Jeju and would love to do internet sessions with her if she is available and interested. If she is, please help put us in contact. Thanks for any help that you can provide.

    • Ah lovely! Sorry I’m getting back to you so late. I’ve been unimaginably busy lately. I can ask her. But I don’t think she’s tutoring anyone in Korean these days. You are probably better off learning about TPRS and finding a Korean friend and teaching them. Or find a foreigner who’s really good at Korean and teach them about TPRS. It takes a lot of work from the teacher’s side, and people would rather just give you a text book and say here you go, do this page and we’ll go over it. Sad but true. Especially in Asia where they have their own way of doing things and new Western ideas are often met with some hesitance. Such is life, I guess.

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