What's the 'deluge' method?

今日は! (I learnt this the other day, thought it was very cool)

I’ve seen here and there about the ‘deluging’ method but can’t find anything on it, can someone explain it to me?



I don’t know what deluging is, but you should know that if you are saying hi, it would normally be written as こんにちは.


This is a new term for me as well. I thought it was a little funny that you wrote that you’ve seen it here and there but can’t find anything on it. If you’ve seen it you must have found it, no? :wink:

I searched briefly and found http://www.iwillteachyoualanguage.com/japanese-learning-hacks/ which has the following quote:

  1. Don’t use SRS to learn Kanji!
    Instead, bombard yourself with as much reading material as possible. Tae Kim says: “I personally recommend the “deluge” method of dumping your brain with TONS of interesting content. This means ploughing through pages of books and manga, hours of dialogue, and conversation practice forgetting more words than remembering them. Don’t sit around wasting time entering and reviewing what you’ve already seen, just get more, more, and MORE STUFF!!! You’ll be surprised at how much just seems to stick somehow like osmosis. Some people feel this is not effective because they end up forgetting so much stuff. They don’t realise that the fact that they even remember forgetting it means they’re learning it.”

It seems to quote Tae Kim, and as far as I can understand just propagates that you should consume lots of Japanese in different forms, not really bothering to look up anything as you go.

I think this may have some merit, atleast so far as to making sure you have fun with the language you are learning.

As for me, I tend to decide before I read a text/play game/watch a video how I want to approach it. Sometimes, if I read a manga or story in Japanese I just plow through it, understanding whatever part of it I understand. Usually I understand enough that get enjoyment out of it. Sometimes I read a text with the goal of analysing every sentence, noting grammatical structures I do not understand and looking up vocabulary whenever I encounter anything unknown.

For me SRS definitely has it’s purpose, but I think it’s important to just enjoy Japanese in a “study-free” mindset as well.

Sorry if this was rambling, I kind of thought it out as I wrote it.


So, I did my research and it seems that Tae Kim wrote some blog posts a couple years ago against Anki. He did not say anything special however. He said building your own deck = too much work = better emerge yourself with Japanese content + Anki seems not practical at all and full of bugs.

Seems fair. At the time, WK was still in it’s beginnings and I bet a lot of the Anki decks that exist today didn’t 5 or 6 years ago.

SRS method => good to introduce you to new vocab.
Reading and writing => Good to apply the vocab you’ve learned.

Try to make sentences with all the vocab you’ve learned on WK. You probably can’t because you still need to apply it by reading/writing Japanese. Those words weren’t reinforced that way yet.

Use both. :slight_smile:


I’ve read blog posts speaking out againts SRS because you learn more/better through immersion.

But one thing doesn’t replace the other. If you’re currently living in the country whose language you want to learn that’s great. Go out and socialize. But it’s not the case with everyone.

And trying to absorb hours of content in a language you do not yet understand is not particularly motivating. I’m all for having fun with the language, but SRS speeds things up a lot.

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In my experience with other languages, immersion is the best way to learn after a certain point, and the only way to learn to actually become fluent. As for starting out with immersion, maybe it works for some people, but at least for me it’s very innefective until I understand the basic workings of the language, especially one that is very different from the ones I already speak.


I think both work for different stages of learning. For me, Anki and Wanikani are great tools for learning vocab and Kanji, but there’s a difference between being able to say "the Japanese for ‘substitution’ is ‘平ら’ " and being able to comprehend and formulate sentences in Japanese. For that, I’d say deluge methods are better. Getting information into your head is one part of the puzzle, the other part is being able to access it easily and quickly. In short, learn new information with SRS, then practice with immersion/bombardment. That’s what I’ve found to be most effective, anyway.

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I still think WaniKani and other SRS systems is a good place to learn Kanji, Kun and On readings. Also, vocab reading. The only thing it is bad at vocab meaning, where it only has meaning when it is in context… That is probably ‘deluge’. (Even a dictionary definition is probably inferior to context. A monolingual is a little better in that it tries to explain, rather than to translate.)

Still, knowing word roots is a great way to cram a lot of vocab into your head in a short time. This is pretty much proven when I learn English. For Japanese, that would be Kanji readings. So, learning Kanji readings separately isn’t really a bad thing.

For Kanji meanings, even though it is tied to vocab meanings, sometimes even natives can’t remember it, even if they know what the vocab means. Also, natives do study Kanji separately outside context too.

I agree with this too much. That’s why I am bad at Japanese.

I think what immersion really do, is pulling you to the plateau phase, the intermediate level syndrome… If you are too bad at basics, the plateau is too low to be fluent. (Also, if you think you are fluent, you can still get better.)


Both depend on how you like to learn. Not everyone learns the same way.

Personally, I think the best option is to do both at the same time if you have the time. Especially since a lot of WaniKani or other SRS systems make you wait between reviews. If waiting, go immerse yourself and try to read something. In the end they both complement each other and they work alongside one another.

I get a little apprehensive when someone tells you one way is better than another. Its all relative. Try it. If it doesnt work, try something else. I understand that newer learners want the ‘quickest, easiest way’ to learn. But they all soon realise that there is no quick, easy way. The ones who arent committed drop out, and the ones that are find their groove and work out what works for them.

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Would anime count as bombardment? I’m basically just starting out and finding kanji in the wild is rare with as little as I know.

I started learning from anime, so I know how you feel. Perhaps watching raw episodes may count? It’s not exactly reading, but still being able to recognize words phonetically is important. And if you can find raw manga chapters (if that interests you) that may help as well in the reading department.

This “deluge” method seems like the way everyone wished they could learn, including myself. However I think it goes without saying that you only make as much progress as the amount of effort you put in. Nevertheless reading and listening is immensely important to understand how to construct sentences and sound natural, but I don’t think most people will increase their vocabulary significantly by just reading and not bothering to look up words and practice them.

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Immersion is inevitable at some point and definitely important but I also believe using SRS is a great way to start out and build your foundation that you can later on expand and further work on.

Only listening to podcasts or watching dramas or anime hours on end won’t teach you any grammatical structures if you’re not familiar with them already. Eventually you will get frustrated I think because you just won’t understand much besides a few words here and there and can’t decipher complex sentences, let alone make complex sentences on your own.


You might want to double check the definition of「平ら」.

I think even as a beginner you can semi “deluge” (aka immerse). I study vocab in wanikani, grammar through genki, watch anime with subtitles, then without but listening. You can watch various videos on youtube. Its all about finding level usable material.


Of course, I didn’t mean to suggest that it was a higher level thing. You should really be doing it all the time.

Is that not right? I just recently learned it…

(EDIT: I am an idiot. I have no clue why I wrote down ‘substitution’, I swear I was thinking of ‘flat’)


In your above post, you said it meant “substitution”.

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Thanks, I literally just noticed. That was a mental slip-up.

I definitely wouldn’t have the patience to deluge myself with piles and piles of material that I don’t understand at all, in the hopes that one day I will understand it. Maybe it works, but I guess I’ll never find out cause I would give up after like one day. Haha.

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So wait, are we talking about actual immersion where you go to Japan and are constantly forced to both listen to, read, and speak Japanese, or the buzzword where you watch some anime and music, then conduct the entire rest of your life in English?

It appears we’re talking about the latter in this case. I assume it is primarily for practicality that we are avoiding going the whole way to the former.

I know that if I had seen this topic referring to immersion through relocation, I would have instantly shut the page. It’s not that I’m not interested or motivated, it’s that despite having moved three times in the last three years, it seems to me that moving isn’t just a “get up and go” scenario for most people. The benefits of moving specifically to learn a new language are usually far outweighed by the reality of our situations, in my experience.