Studying Japanese

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It’s harder than I thought. Sometimes, I feel like I’m no longer capable of learning it because perhaps my brain doesn’t work like it used to anymore. Is it really due to the fact that I’m not getting any younger (going 29 this year)? Is it the language itself? Or is it just a lack of motivation? Living here should be enough motivating force for me, but it’s not how I feel. I have this dream of speaking Japanese fluently so I could work in a field where my language ability is required. How challenging it would be, I said to myself.

Before I came here, I felt the excitement thinking about learning the language but the feeling started to dwindle the moment I saw the big picture. I feel like I’m facing a big rock. Breaking it into pieces is a stupid thing to do, I thought. Why would I let myself be in that situation when I could just make a turn and walk away from it? But then again, it’s the only way to get to where I would want to be.

Japanese is quite intimidating. Memorizing hundreds of kanji, remembering words that are sometimes difficult to pronounce, grasping grammatical rules that are sometimes confusing are wearing me down. It may sound like I’m complaining, but I’m not. I don’t want to come across as a whiner. I’m only stating facts that some people may not agree with. It’s no concern of mine. What concerns me is the fact that I’ve been losing the fire that ignites me to study the language even when I’ve been given the privilege to learn it. Knowing the root of it is what I’m trying to find out.

I don’t want to put blame on anything. I guess it’s just me. Maybe this is just a period that’s trying to give me a lesson. Maybe this is the part of a song playing on air that’s hard to catch but when you listen to it again and again, you realize that it’s actually a beautiful song. Okay then, I’ll let it play on repeat until it makes sense to me.

If there’s anyone out there that shares the same sentiment, hang in there!

 

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98 comments

  1. I feel exactly the same! I used to live in Japan and had the same high hopes of learning the language when I first arrived, and actually lost motivation towards the end of my stay. I thought, I’m leaving, so there’s no point in continuing, but it was just an excuse I made to myself. Now, I’m studying Spanish (which obviously clicks a lot easier) but it’s still a daunting task! But I have just had to accept that it’s not something that happens overnight, or over a year. Rather than looking at it as a task you want to achieve by a certain date, it’s better to just see it as an ongoing part of your life that you work on everyday. Eventually you’ll get there!

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  2. I feel that way too sometimes, and I think it’s only normal that we might face difficulties or pressure when learning foreign languages. I have never studied Japanese before so I don’t know how complex it can get, but yes I heard people said it’s a lot more difficult than other languages. I hope you’ll find your way to keep learning Japanese somehow, and I believe you can master it sooner or later! ^^

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  3. I live in bilingual Houston and work at an airport. When I arrived, I did not speak Spanish but by osmosis I am now able to communicate with Latino travelers. I wish I could speak a sentence in Japanese!

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  4. Yes I think there will always be times when it feels really tough and frustrating – maybe almost hopeless – to learn a new language. But being persistent and patient and keeping at it a little bit every day, one gets there… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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