Mass Immersion Approach

Perfectionist Path Overview

Stage 1 – Getting Started

  • Read all Stage 1 articles, and the Theory sections of Stages 2, 3 and 4
  • Re-read Stage 1 articles at the pace of one article a day, and after finishing, read Stage 2 articles at the same pace (ongoing)
  • Create an immersion environment and begin immersing with audio (ongoing)
  • Obtain an SRS and learn how to use its basic features
  • Gain an in-depth understanding of the phonetic system, and do training to become able to accurately perceive all the language’s sounds.
  • Learn the writing system (Japanese: Hiragana and Katakana. Chinese: Pinyin)
  • Learn and SRS (audio-based bilingual sentence cards) basic grammar and vocab (1K cards)
  • Through sentence mining, make ~2.5K audio-based bilingual sentence cards
  • (Optional) Continue to learn grammar and vocab from a pre-made deck alongside sentence mining. This can count towards the ~2.5K bilingual sentence cards.

Stage 2 – Incubation

  • Re-read Stage 2 articles at the pace of one article a day, and after finishing, read Stage 3 articles at the same pace (ongoing)
  • Continue to immerse with audio (ongoing)
  • (Japanese only) Learn pitch accent theory
  • Through sentence mining, make an additional ~2K audio-based bilingual sentence cards.

Stage 3 – Survival Level

  • Re-read Stage 3 articles at the pace of one article a day, and after finishing, read Stage 4 articles at the same pace (ongoing)
  • Begin to immerse with written materials in addition to audio (ongoing)
  • Through sentence mining, make ~2K bilingual sentence cards, switching from audio-based to text-based cards (ongoing)
  • Adopt a parent, and start shadowing (ongoing)
  • (Japanese/Chinese only) Go through Production RTK 1+3 / RTH 1+2

Stage 4 – Functional

  • Re-read Stage 4 articles at the pace of one article a day, and after finishing, read Stage 5 articles at the same pace (ongoing)
  • Continue to immerse with both audio and written materials (ongoing)
  • Make the Monolingual Transition
  • Begin to output (ongoing)
  • Through sentence mining, make ~3K monolingual text-based sentence cards. This should bring you to ~10K sentence cards total

Stage 5 – Fluent to Native Level

  • Re-read Stage 5 articles at the pace of one article a day (ongoing)
  • Continue to immerse (ongoing)
  • Continue to make text-based monolingual sentence cards through sentence mining, but at a further reduced rate (ongoing)
  • Begin to make clozed/production cards to learn specific cultural knowledge (ongoing)
  • Continue to output, and get corrected (ongoing)
  • Study the history of the culture your target language is associated with
  • Study the grammar of your target language using resources meant for natives
  • (Japanese only) Study Keigo
  • (Japanese/Chinese only) Study classical Japanese/Chinese


With the exception of Stage 5, which has no tangible end, each stage is estimated to take the majority of people between 6 months and 1 year to complete. The amount of time it will take to complete each stage will vary significantly depending on the daily amount of time dedicated to the target language, the inherent difficulty of the target language in relation to the languages the learner has already acquired, and the specific disposition of the learner. Expectations related to time investment and results will be covered in-depth in a later article.

The overview is designed to be adaptable to fit a range of target languages; steps beginning with a gray highlight only apply to specific languages. “Ongoing” means that the step is meant to be practiced alongside the other steps in the stage, rather than completed before moving on. Steps that are not marked as “ongoing” are meant to be completed one at a time, in the order that they are presented in (with the exception of Stage 5, where the order of the non-ongoing steps should be chosen in accordance with the priorities and interests of the learner). Steps which appear in multiple stages, such as “continue to immerse” or “continue to make sentence cards,” may differ in specific instruction depending on the stage. Whenever this is the case, specific instructions will be given in the Practice section of each the Stage.

The answers to any questions you may have about the overview, practical or theoretical, are likely to be found in later articles.