Battle Stories Make Your Journey Memorable

Would you like to have the smoothest possible journey imaginable without any hardships? Go from A to B to C to Z all without ever encountering a single hurdle along the way? Would you love it if those websites that say “learn Japanese: easy, fast and fun!” were really 100% true, and you could accomplish all your goals in an instant?

Battle Stories Make Your Journey Memorable 2

Borrrrrrrrrrrrrrring…

Your individual journey is what makes it all worthwhile. Learning Japanese is a lifestyle choice, not just acquiring a language. The ups and downs. The obstacles. The battles, wins, and defeats. Those moments you felt like giving up. Those triumphant victories. Everyone’s journey from beginner to fluent is filled with some of the most interesting and exciting tales, and could probably fill up an entire book or two.

You want to take this away from yourself?

Some people might think that learning Japanese is just a means to be able to watch, play, or understand something from Japan. But if that were the case, subs or dubs make way more sense than the investment it takes to understand the original material.

It’s the roller coaster ride that makes your ability shine and gives it such incredible value to you. I know when you are down, it can be nice to “wish Japanese was easier.” But if it was such a simple given, would it really be as life-altering as it is now?

Battle Stories Make Your Journey Memorable

For most people I know, their adventure into Japanese has changed their lives in so many ways. An adventure is only possible when there is struggle and challenge. Otherwise it’s not an adventure. The definition of adventure usually has 3 features: 1) Hazards, 2) Dangers, and 3) Risk.

Keep them in. Don’t dream about removing them. When you complain, you complain, but in the end, you’ll be glad it was a rough winding road all throughout.



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Adam

Adam

Founder of Jalup. Spends most of his time absorbing and spreading thrilling information about learning Japanese.

Comments

Battle Stories Make Your Journey Memorable — 16 Comments

  1. Everyone loves a good adventure until they reach the low point of it, aka me right now haha. The race to immersion is for real, currently working my hardest to get it to it.

  2. I think we’re all gonna be pretty scarred by the time this one is over. Don’t think I’ve ever put more effort into something my entire life.

    • Same! For all my life I always had a short term obsession problem. I would get obsessed about something and learn everything about it and buy a lot of stuff and whatnot and quit after a month. However, I still haven’t quit on Japanese, 5 month anniversary in 6 days! Also, I have put so much effort into it that I never put into school or anything in my life to be honest either.

  3. For me, while it certainly requires effort, continuing to study has mostly stopped feeling like a struggle. I think this is because I’ve made it such an engrained habit at this point ( anki, iknow and skritter reps get knocked out first thing, while I sip my coffee. earbuds go in when I roll out of bed and just stay in, japanese books and games constantly surround me, plex server has replaced netflix and is loaded with Japanese media) that I literally wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I stopped moving forward.

    I still encounter daily frustration, not understanding a definition, or knowing every word in a sentence but having no idea what it says, or watching some anime and desperately wanting to know what that character just said but having no idea … but its a tolerable frustration, a healthy frustration, the kind of frustration you get when working on a hard mental puzzle or playing a challenging game.

    To use adam’s favorite metaphor, it’s like a really fun RPG and sometimes a boss kills me and I might throw down the controller and say a swear word or two, but there’s never any doubt I’ll pick the controller back up again and head back to the dungeon for a few more rounds of grinding to level up a bit more.

    I think when you begin to see a certain amount of success (“the race to immersion”), you realize the inevitability of your eventual awesomeness, and you start making choices that reinforce the good habits you’ve already cultivated.

    For me, the most dangerous thing is when I start wanting that awesomeness faster, faster, もっと早く, and start pushing the new number of anki cards up and up. This is fine, but I have to keep a healthy eye on the time it’s taking me to knock those reviews out in the morning, because I have to slow myself back down BEFORE I hit that point where I start feeling any sense of dread about doing my morning reviews. As long as its habitual, and unquestionable, and I just knock them out, I’ll keep moving forward.

    • You make a good point about continuing over time. I think the “struggle to study” disappears, and the individual struggles with new specific higher level things grow. But these are valuable, self-empowering struggles.

  4. So I restarted my journey six months ago when I found JALUP after a 3 year hiatus. After finishing beginner about 2 months later, I started listening to a podcast, a radio drama on iTunes called Under The Blue. And it kicked. My. Ass. I felt stupid, completely worthless, but like Suli mentioned, I was not about to let Japanese become another thing I obsessed over then dropped. So I kept going. I leveled up.

    Today I went back and listened to episode one again, and while far from perfect understanding, I was able to follow a LOT more. I’ve easily tripled how much I caught, and it’s thanks to the perseverance that this site instilled in me as a mindset, I think. If it was all smooth sailing, I don’t think my car ride home today would have been nearly as exciting.

  5. I recall reading one of your earlier posts on how you wanted to pick up Chinese, but ended up dropping it to focus solely on Japanese. I tried to take up that attitude with Korean, but I really do want to study Japanese, so I’ve just been plodding at it bits at a time. It really helps that it is so similar to Korean though, which I’ve been studying for the past 5 years.

    https://koreancrusade.com

    • That came more down to personal reasons, and discovering I really wasn’t actually interested in the language as much as I thought. But you can consider 2 languages as part of the same journey. 2 special powers you are specializing in. It can work if you really want them both badly enough.

    • I am learning Swedish as well, and it has been fine. In doing so, I do need to accept that I am going to advance slower in both languages than if I just focused on one…although, there are things you can do to advance in both at the same time. For example, for Swedish, I use S-J Anki cards.

      Also, I was well into Intermediate level with Japanese…and past the Intermediate hurdle…before I seriously started learning Swedish. I do not think I could have managed being a beginner in two languages at once.

      In my case, Japanese is a much higher priority. I probably spend about 80% of my study time with Japanese. Luckily, Swedish is so similar to English that I am able to make progress without putting in a huge amount of time and effort. I also am not in any great hurry to progress in Swedish…it can just come along as it comes along.

      I think that even though Swedish does divert a little time away from my Japanese, I think that in some ways, it has also been useful. I think my Japanese likes being an oneechan, and it helps with my self-confidence in Japanese. Heee…my Japanese is much, much better than my Swedish! I have not even broached speaking Swedish (I may never). Compared to Swedish pronunciation…Japanese pronunciation is a breeze.

      • Currently having compulsory French class in school, after reading this, I will study French for myself, but I will wait once I reach comprehension on my goal medias. Then I can put effort into French (not a lot, just duolingo and memories and a grammar book) do you do duolingo for Swedish?

        • Yes, I do use Duolingo for Swedish, and I like it. I think it works well for European languages. Hee…the good thing about Swedish is that it is like English; the bad thing about Swedish is that it is like English…with more exceptions than there are rules. Japanese is SO much more logical that way! Duolingo is really good for drilling all of the exceptions, I think.

          Oh, yes…Duolingo does not have Japanese from English (or any other language). It does have English from Japanese…which I actually tried. I stopped it pretty quickly though, because it made me lose progress in terms of thinking and phrasing things in a Japanese-y way rather than in an English-y way.

          I also do some minimal immersion in Swedish, a set amount about 4 days a week. In contrast, my Japanese immersion is all of the time, whenever possible.

  6. I came back to Japanese after a two month hiatus due to health issues. I had over 600 cards waiting for review. I pushed through. I know from having gone through this battle that I am committed to learning Japanese. It is a non-optional part of my life. Good to know.

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