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Enlightenment etc

What's with the name?
This looks similar to another site I've seen before...
Who are you?
What's your background in relation to learning Japanese?
How good's your Japanese really?

What's with the name?

doogooroo is a play on duugaruu (ドゥーガル) which is how my name (Dougal) is pronounced in Japanese. (Dougal rhymes with Google by the way. I'm a tad older though.) Given that the website is about how I've learnt Japanese, I thought it might be a good way to channel the geeky Japanese language learner side of my personality.

That, plus the old domain name was pilfered (see below).

This looks similar to another site I've seen before...

Guilty as charged. In 2005 when I was a CIR on the JET programme, I started up a site with very similar content. I bought a domain name thinking it was the bee's knees and could hardly sleep at night for all the excitement. Then I got busy, the domain name expired, I was notified (apparently) but I missed the email and the domain got pilfered.

I won't tell you what the domain name was because (a) I'm still in mourning and (b) I don't want to encourage traffic that benefits internet pirates - heathens - but I'm sure you'll be able to disgorge it from Google's entrails if you're desperate to know.

What's your background in relation to learning Japanese?

I did six years of Japanese at high school in Australia before heading to Yonezawa in Yamagata prefecture for an eight month working holiday. I worked at a butcher's by day and a yakitoriya by night. I then did two years of university in Australia before returning to Japan to do a year long exchange at Keio University. I headed back to Australia again, finished my majors in psychology and Japanese then started working as a freelance Japanese translator and interpreter. I also started teaching Japanese and related subjects at RMIT University, Swinburne University and the University of Melbourne. A few years later I spent a year in Gifu prefecture on the JET programme as a CIR. All up I've spent about 3.5 years in Japan.

How good's your Japanese really?

I think this question might also be framed, "Can I really trust your advice on how to learn Japanese?", to which I would say, suck it and see. If it works for you, go for it.

Seriously, though, avoid comparing yourself with other people because it will only end in tears. It also misses the point that we're all climbing the same mountain that is mastering Japanese.

Rather stay your true course which is to express "you" in Japanese and understand other Japanese speaking people for who they really are. While Japanese language skills are needed for this so too are courage and compassion.

Best of luck.