About Nick

Hey everyone, my name is Nick Hoyt.

Ever since I was a kid, I always thought the idea of being bi-lingual was super cool. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be able to switch between two (or more) languages with ease, right?

Well, back when I was in middle school I was really interested in learning either German or Russian. Probably because of all the WWII games I played on PlayStation (Medal of Honor). Back then, my family actually had a book called “See It and Say It in German” so I started using it to learn, but I never made it past a few nouns.

Then a lot of time passed and I was in University working on a degree, and I was required to take two semesters of a single language. It wasn’t a large school, so there were only a few options and I went with Spanish, mostly because I thought it would be easy.

Well as it turns out, you actually have to work really hard if you want to get good at a foreign language, and I simply wasn’t passionate enough about Spanish to put in the needed time outside of class and really learn it well. After a year, all I was able to do was past the tests with a B.

Was I doomed to suck at learning languages?

That’s When I Started Japanese

I got pretty big into things like anime, manga, and JRPGs during my time in college, and I can remember finishing a really good manga one day and then going online to buy the next one. But guess what, the next one wasn’t out yet!

By some chance though, I happened to come across the Japanese version of the same manga, and to my great shock it was way further ahead than the English version I had been buying – Something like five or eight volumes! That’s when I noticed inside the manga I owned, that it had two published dates: One for Japanese and one for English.

There was a five year gap between them! It was at this time that I thought to myself, “I can just learn Japanese in five years” and then I’d never have to wait to enjoy the stuff I love again. So I did what anyone would do and I started buying some books, courses, and whatever else I thought could help me learn.

Unfortunately, I let Life get in the way (things like graduation) after about six months of studying and I stopped learning Japanese altogether. However, a fire had been lit inside me that just wouldn’t go out.

Not this time.

So in the fall of 2016 I decided to create this blog that you’re reading now. It was originally a way for me to stay accountable to the Japanese learning journey, and share what I had learned about Japanese, language learning courses, and anything else that I thought might be useful for others to use as well.

My Personal Mission

My journey started way back then due to my love of the media that comes out of Japan, but as I’ve continued to improve my Japanese, I’ve found many other reasons to fall in love with the language.

It addition to continually improving my own skills, I want to reach out and help others get better as well. There are a lot of problems that I’ve managed to overcome, and I feel like I can help others overcome them too. Plus, I’d like to get some new people into learning Japanese, since I know a lot of people who have told me they’d love to learn it, but just aren’t sure how to go about it (and therefore never get started).

So there you have it. That’s my “origin story” (if you will) and why I created this site. If you’ve got any questions for me, or anything you’d like to share, then let me know with a comment below!

Nick Hoyt

Founder of Japanese Tactics
japanesetactics.com
Contact Me Here

19 Comments

  • Andrea

    Wow what an awesome page. Hey Nick, that’s very nice how to learned to speak Japanese just for the mangas. Thats very impressive. I’m also Biligual and I would love to leeanr more. Japanese sounds very interesting. Great page. My son loves Japanese Mangas too and also Anime. I hear it’s very difficult language to learn, kuddos to you.

    • Nick Hoyt

      Yeah, I have to admit that it has taken a lot more work, and a lot longer than I initially thought it would. People say (well, the CEFR says) that Japanese is the hardest language to learn for native English speakers, and I’m beginning to believe that they are right, lol!

      But it is really just a matter of time spent with the language, and effort put into it. I know a lot more Japanese now than I did at the same time last year, and I know I’ll be even better in this next year. 

      So anyone can do as long as they never give up!

  • Andrea Berrios

    I’ve always wanted to learn Japanese. Thanks for making this blog, very interesting and inspiring. I might start looking into it again!

  • carlos

    It is amazing that in a couple of years you achieved such command of the Japanese language. I assume that manga and anime and video games that got you fascinated with the language. I speak a few languages myself but all from Latin roots.I did not attempt to learn languages with different alphabets,characters and sounds.You offer a very complete list of courses and tutorials. I was not aware that there are different branches of the Japanese language. Maybe you could explain the differences and history. Testimonials from people who achieved proficiency in Japanese studying your courses would be of interest.

    • Nick Hoyt

      Yeah, there are a lot of different aspects of Japanese, things like formality levels and regional dialects, but I think that most students of the language don’t really need to worry about that stuff at first. Just focusing on the Japanese that is most common in things like movies and Tokyo provide more than enough the learn.

      As for the courses, so far I’ve really only created one complete course (Mastering the Sounds of Japanese) and it’s still pretty fresh, so I haven’t heard a lot of feedback on it just yet. But if and when people do let me know their feedback on it, I’ll be sure to share it! Thanks! 

    • Nick Hoyt

      Yeah, I started off learning by using a phrase book, and then moved up to some of the more well known courses like Pimsleur and Rosetta Stone. But it was pretty sporadic when I first started off. I didn’t have a lot of discipline.

      I use a much better and more systematic approach to learning these days. And that’s what I try to share here on the site as well!

  • vishal

    Hi Nick,

    I love to watch anime and have watched many of those like Death Note, Full Metal Alchemist, Code Geass and many more. I am really the fan on all kinds of anime myself.

    I already know two languages: Hindi (I am from India) and little bit English. Now I am going to learn some Japanese as well to see the look on my friend’s faces who have been here for a two year internship program!

    • Nick Hoyt

      Hey Vishal, that is awesome! I also like to learn a new skill and then totally surprise people when they finally find out about it!

      And I have to give you a big thumbs up on those anime. I’ve seen all of the ones you listed and I love, love, LOVE THEM!

      Especially since they are coming out with a third season of Code Geass this later this year! That is crazy talk!!!

  • sandr

    Wow! That’s fantastic that you have found a system for learning faster! My fiance is Japanese American. He took some Japanese when he was younger but doesn’t know much. I took French in high school and remember about 3 words! Japanese culture is becoming more and more mainstream now, so learning the language would be the “in thing” to do!

    • Nick Hoyt

      Hey that’s pretty cool! Yeah, I can totally relate to only remembering a few words from a language class in school. I took Spanish in college, but can hardly string a phrase together.

      I don’t like to knock on the traditional school system too much, but I really felt that the way it teaches makes you good at passing tests, but nothing beyond that. I think that’s why so many people look elsewhere when they get really serious about a language.

  • Tamara Ann

    Great page Nick! You have definitely turned a passion into a useful, helpful career. Your mission is excellent and I wish you all the best!

  • Shonna

    Nick!!! What are you, but a genius. Not only is your first language English, but you managed to learn Japanese and now you are creating a system to make learning Japanese easier for others? That is quite amazing and I am looking forward to being around for your success. Besides, I wouldn’t mind learning how to say more than Arigato, which is “Thanks” right?

    I am a huge fan of Naruto. If I can ever get through the episodes, which I am sure you know are many, I’d love to find another one. Do you have a suggestion?

    Oh … and when I say “a huge fan of Naruto” I mean I-am-trying-to-find-a-tat-artist-so-I-can-get-him-tatted-on-me huge fan.

    • Nick Hoyt

      Haha, hey thanks Shonna! Yep, you nailed it on the Arigato part! I also enjoy me some Naruto, but my little sisters put me to shame because they LOVE IT!!!

      As for other good shows? Where do I begin?! There are too many to list all of them! But I’ve been watching Gurren Lagann recently and I am enjoying the heck out of it!

  • Kevin McNamara

    Hey Nick,

    Great post. Love your obsession with anime and games etc! I started learning Spanish recently but dropped off after a few weeks. Motivation is the key I think. What motivation tips do you have to keep going with it once you start? I have a friend who is heading to Japan for 6 months. I will send them this link.

    Keep up the great work,

    Kev

    • Nick Hoyt

      Hey Kevin, thank you for the kind words!

      Learning a language takes a lot of energy. I mean, you are actually creating new connections and gray matter in your brain! So When it comes to staying motivation, I like to take a “table and legs” approach.

      The table is you goal (learn a new language) and each leg is a reason that you have for achieving your goal. Some of the reasons might be like: Read novels in the native language, watch movies in the language, visit the country for a few months, talk to friends who are natives in the language, and so on.

      If you have LOTs of reasons for learning a new language, then it is a lot easier to stick with it if one or two fall off.

      And hey, that’s pretty cool that you’ve got a buddy heading to Japan this year! I know they will find at least one useful thing here on Japanese Tactics!

  • Dinh

    Hi Nick!
    Nice to meet you.
    I too like watching anime but have usually watched whatever that has come out with subtitles. I didn’t know that it takes a long time for it to be translated.

    I love your idea of helping others learn Japanese fast with the most advanced techniques. I look forward to your book. 🙂

    • Nick Hoyt

      Hey thanks Dinh!

      Yeah, sometimes they even decide not to translate things at all! Which really sucks when you don’t know any Japanese at all. Although that is usually more in the video game area… I’m looking at you Pokemon Trading Card Game 2!!!

      So it really started out there and I fell in love with the language along the way. Which I think is a pretty common thing for anyone who has studied languages for themselves and not as part of a school or job requirement.

      And I’m working on some pretty exciting ideas for the book. Stay tuned for some awesome things!

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