Why learn Japanese? 
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Starting Japanese

Why learn Japanese?

In the beginning...

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Why learn Japanese?
Seriously, is it really worth the effort?

In the first year of high school, I had to choose between French and Japanese.  I wanted to do French.  My parents wanted me to do Japanese.

My parents won.

Now I laugh along to radio commentators' jokes, I get absorbed in the latest soapie and I find my heart racing reading the latest crime thriller, all in Japanese.

The question is, though, would I do it all again?

Dunno.

But seriously, answering hypothetical questions is a bit like playing computer games all day.  It's something to do but doesn't really make a difference in the real world.  So let's talk about you instead.

Let's talk about you 

You'll have many reasons for wanting to learn Japanese.  If you're like most people, initially they may be things like, you have to a do a language at school or university, you want to make money, you're living in Japan teaching English so you might as well learn the language, some aspect of Japanese culture interests you, a Japanese person has stolen your heart, or some other reason.

Now concentrate because this is important.

Mastering a language is a head fuck.

Seriously.

It manifests anxiety, loneliness, self-doubt, frustration and fatigue. Sure it also can be exhilarating and deeply satisfying, but let's not pretend it's all a bed of roses. Mastering a language is full on.

So, when you find yourself distraught thinking that you'll never get there (wherever there is), remember that, when learning a language, occasionally feeling crap goes with the territory. Just don't make it mean too much. Namely, don't make it mean:

  • you're too old
  • you're too dumb
  • you'll never get good at Japanese 
  • you'll never get "there" (seriously, where is there?)
  • it's too late
  • you'll always feel this way 

...or any of the other permutations and combinations.

Just follow the tips listed here and keep plugging on.