Most of you may know the YouTuber, “That Japanese Man Yuta” from his videos interviewing people in Japan about their thoughts on various topics.
Well now he offers a basic Japanese course that is meant to get you speaking more like a native and less like a textbook (his words).
There’s one catch, however. He wants to charge $88 USD per month for 4 months! That’s about $350 USD!! Does that seem way too expensive or is it just me?
He offers the lessons in video format and it seems like there is a good amount of content covering good topics that I want to know about but aren’t there other similar lesson styles that are free and/or much cheaper?
This is the link to the signup page where he lists the curriculum, pricing, and a massive wall of text describing the entire course and why he made it. He’s only opening the signup for the next 5-6 days, so be aware the link will probably break soon.
Might as well get personal, one-to-one online tutoring for that price…
And I like Yuta, but just way too much emphasis on dating someone Japanese, both on his vlog and mentioned in the course blurb. It definitely isn’t for hobbyists like me, so I’ll pass!
Agreed. It makes ZERO sense for registration to only be open for a week, so it could only be a scam. If the ‘read and correct your writing’ feature was limited, or a certain price limited, I would understand.
It’s actually put me off him a little…
Yeah, refunds are possible, but as with certain other bloggers-turned-costly teachers, we know there are sometimes issues in getting a refund.
It seems that Yuta charges that much because he believes that he is offering something that other language courses don’t offer, which is: speaking Japanese like a native speaker and not like a foreigner who learned Japanese from textbooks.
Another thing is that, even though he charges 88 USD per month for 4 months, you get access to his material forever (read: like WK’s lifetime subscription). So it’s not like you pay 352 USD and after 4 months you’re left holding your おちんちん.
Having said that, I also feel that the limited registration period makes people feel rushed in making the decision to enrol. It’s true that he offers to give people feedback on their video/writing, but you only get to do that once as a premium member (premium plus members who pay 480 USD can get feedback 5 times). He does provide you with 350+ video lessons, but that does not really depend on the number of subscribers.
So for me, I’m not against spending a lot of money for something that I know is good. In this case it still feels (at the moment, anyway) like I’m buying pig in a poke.
I actually decided to bite the bullet and just sign up for this for the sole reason that he teaches casual speech in addition to keigo. I felt like it was a little over priced too but then have never seen a course like this before that is both self paced, and geared towards having informal conversations.
I’ll try to keep you posted on its effectiveness as I progress. Two things I can say for sure though are:
The bonus materials are pretty awesome.
It is geared more towards beginners. So if you’ve already plowed through genki 1 and 2, maybe a tutor would be better to pick up this specific skill set.
Also I feel like he’s so passionate about language learning that there’s a good chance he will make more and more lessons.
Overall I’m happy with my purchase. I regret nothing!
I think it’s funny that you used おちんちん because I actually learned that word from one of his interview videos lol.
I would be hesitant to pay 1 payment of $88 for this but 4 payments really blew me away. It’s definitely good that it would be a lifetime sub and that the content will (allegedly) grow as time goes on.
I guess he offers other benefits too; such as a private Facebook group with posts detailed in Japanese + English as well as screenshots of his texts with native Japanese (seemed a little weird to me at first).
Yuta has made very good videos. But the limited registration period is used very often by sellers and providers to inspire impulse buy. This is probably what rubs people the wrong way.
I also bet that the registration will be opened again at some time in the future. Perhaps in 2 months, perhaps in a year. There’s really no reason for him to just open it for a week and then close it forever. So wait it out, look around for reviews from other people, then make a more informed decision.
Hell nah. Exhaust your free, cheap and used and donated, and reasonably priced resources - videos, apps, software, articles, news, radio, podcasts, SRS sites, writing sites like Lang-8 - with corrections, question sites with corrections - HiNative, a bajillion speaking options (plenty free or cheap, though I haven’t tried them because anxiety and stuff), listening options like aforementioned radio - audiobooks - read aloud (Satori Reader and children’s books apps and the like) and cds/MP3s, watching - TV + movies + anime + docs + videos + interviews etc, and there are enough books that can help expand your range of speaking/vocabulary/reading into some or a lot of casual, keigo, and dialects, not to mention reading (manga and the like), listening, watching, writing, and speaking partners would also do this for you.
And then once you’ve exhausted all that, if you still have weak areas (or even if you don’t want to wait until you’ve exhausted it all, that’s whatever), hire a tutor. There are often reasonably priced Native tutors that are local, as well as online ones on Wyzant that are cheaper than that and give plenty of one-on-one (or small groups for cheaper generally) practice and lessons and corrections.
I can’t control how anyone spends their money - but as a poor as heck person, I can’t imagine it, and if you’re not someone with lots of spending money in your budget, I’d recommend against it.
That was sort of my thinking as well. I really enjoy the content from Nihongo no Mori both in Japanese and English.
I’m on a quest now to find similar video content because I tend to hold attention better with video than lots of text. Not to mention hearing people speak and seeing it all in real time helps me with comprehension and pacing.
Are the lesson videos by Japanese From Zero worth my time? He’s no native speaker but he is definitely enthusiastic and uses pretty good examples.
Any other video content to recommend? I love the idea of listening to Japanese radio as well. Where can I find some good stations? I’ve tried before and only hit sites with poor content or pay walls.
Since you and whoever else is looking at this for advise on Yuta’s course is on a time limit to decide (i’m sure he’ll offer it again though), I spent the morning doing more of his lessons. (I signed up for his course last week)
Anyway, in some of his lessons he actually uses his interviews to breakdown and show subtle nuances in spoken japanese, which I really like. I feel like that’s what I’ve personally been missing. However most of his videos are him going over pieces of example dialogs he’s written to introduce new grammar. I like this part too, but I can tell that for me to get the most out of this, I need to pause these videos and actively read the dialogues out loud, rather than passively watching. I’m debating on rewriting them too, my japanese handwriting is horrendous right now.
Anything helps, thanks for the overview! I checked out a few of the lesson preview videos that he links to in the course description and I really liked how he addresses each part of the sentences used in his videos.
A lot of the parts he highlights and explains are things I would have asked questions about or been left guessing with other materials I’ve used. I definitely like his nuanced approach.
I guess so. I did just deny that the Japanese Graded Readers are overpriced for the exact same reason, so I suppose I should do the same here. The idea does sound really great… Let’s see what the reviews say as more come in.
Tbh if it could guarantee to leave me holding someone’s おちんちん, then I would already be signed up.