Ever since I was a boy, it has been my dream to become a famous YouTuber…OK, to tell the truth, when I was young the Internet didn’t actually exist yet, but nevertheless I think there is a certain charm to such a profession.
While I don’t seriously intend to quit my job and make it big with Youtube-based income, I have been trying to gradually experiment in offering content about Japanese learning and translation using YouTube. My first effort, TransLiterary Lab, was a series where I analyzed short excerpts of classical literature, figuring out the meaning and achieving a rough translation without any preparation.
After that, I toyed around with doing free online classes, mostly using Zoom. Though I only did a few sessions and had a pretty small crowd, it was a lot of fun. Since then, I have been thinking of other ideas, among them doing a live stream on a service like YouTube or Twitch, similar to the style of TransLiterary Lab. This format would allow audience participation without having to share one’s voice or face, and also can be viewed by anyone at a later point in time, making it convenient.
Getting started with basic streaming was extremely easy: I had it up and running on Twitch in under an hour, and on YouTube a little over a day (the latter was mostly because of the 24 hour wait YouTube imposes on new broadcasters). But I had to spend several days tweaking the settings to improve the sound and video quality, reduce the latency, and also do things to set up basic scene transitions and background music. I ended up doing some recordings of piano music on my other YouTube channel, and after twenty or thirty takes (and buying a new microphone) I finally was able to get reasonably good sound quality.
So after getting used to the technology, I finally decided to do a beta test of live streaming for Self Taught Japanese last Saturday. Things went pretty well, with a nice amount of audience participation, and you can see the result here. We covered a bunch of topics, including a review of verb tenses and a quick discussion about a cheesy joke. If you watch this session and have any comments, feel free to leave me a comment here, or email me at selftaughtjapanese.classes [at] gmail.com. As I am new to this stuff I still have a great deal to learn, but I think I’m ready to open up the next session to a wider audience.
I’ve scheduled my next session for the same time, 2pm PDT on Saturday, February 20th. You can see the pre-scheduled YouTube event here:
In case you haven’t used scheduled live streams before, you can set a reminder on YouTube so you don’t miss it. Also, the chat room is active now so if you have any questions you’d like me to address feel free to put them in, though it’s fine to put them in live as well. I’m open to nearly anything, as long as it is related to Japanese, for example questions about grammar, vocabulary, common expressions, even translation of short excerpts.
I’ll generally try to address questions in the order I receive them, although if there are a bunch of live questions I may give those priority to questions asked by those who actually participate in the live broadcast. I think it’s going to take some practice to find out how to balance time across multiple questions, but nevertheless I hope to produce content where everyone can learn something, and maybe even have a little fun.
I hope to see everyone there!