Before I decided to start making videos for learning Japanese on Youtube, I first looked to see if there was anything good on there already. If there was something I liked, I probably wouldn’t have bothered. Much to my surprise, I could not find a single channel that went over ALL the sounds in Japanese including voiced consonants, long vowel sounds, etc. Sure, there were many videos that went over the Hiragana characters but that was usually the end of it.
I put a lot of thought into how I would structure my videos and how to fix what I didn’t like about many of the existing videos on Youtube.
Keep it short. Don’t try to be funny.
A lot of videos fill up a lot of time by trying to make things funny and interesting. Unfortunately, not everybody find the same things to be funny and frankly, a lot of the videos I saw were just not funny to me. One of the disadvantages of video vs text is that it’s harder to skim through so I try to keep things as short as possible. Look, you’re probably busy and I know I’M definitely busy. Let’s not waste each other’s time with my poor attempt at humor and just get straight into learning Japanese.
If I want to try to be funny, it’ll be in the Japanese examples. That way, at least, you’re learning something in the process and it may make you more interested in learning the Japanese instead of listening to me ramble on with some stupid joke in English.
Why would you want to stare at my face while you’re trying to learn?
I know Youtube started out as people recording themselves on their webcam but do you seriously need to stare at my face for minutes at a time while trying to learn Japanese? I’m not exactly Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp. I’ve even seen videos of people giving lessons on tiny whiteboards while they take up most of the shot! That’s kind of like sharing a word doc by printing it, scanning it, and emailing the scanned image.
I know watching mouth and body gestures help in learning a language but unfortunately, I don’t have resources to create scenes with staged dialogues. I would love to if I could though.
Cover everything step-by-step
I wanted to have a set progression where a person with zero knowledge of Japanese can start from the first video and learn by watching the videos in order. Too many videos just start kind of in the middle without really going over everything before it in full. I know it’s an ambitious project but I figure no matter how long it takes, the next wave of Japanese learners can benefit with whatever I get done.
As far as I knew, there were no videos for learning Japanese as I just described when I started making them. So today, I saw this video published 4 months after my first video. LOL.
Wow, it’s defintely more professional than my lame Powerpoint slides. And they have more than just one guy (me) that can read the Japanese examples! I’m so jealous. I’m just this dude making videos from my house with a cheap USB mike.
I applaud the “new” format but unfortunately, the grammar explanations suck! 「ＡはＢです」 pattern means “A is B”??? No no no no no! Bad boy! You can’t learn Japanese with sentence patterns!! What are you, an American Japanese linguistics grad student from the 60s?? Please watch my latest video or let me make your slides so I don’t have to spend all my time trying to make these videos by myself. Argh!