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Jumping Increasingly Difficult Hurdles — 12 Comments

  1. I love this, especially the part about native speakers continuing to improve their own work. In a conversation with a native Japanese speaker, I mentioned that my English wasn’t where I wanted it to be.

    He responded, “But you’re a native, aren’t you?”

    “Yes, but just because I was born speaking English doesn’t mean I know everything about the language. Sadly, not even close.”

    • Yeah a lot of people seem to overlook the fact of improving your own language. As though every native adult will be a good writer and speaker just through their nationality.

  2. Aah, I tend to focus too much on the end game… Yes! We must all stop and enjoy the scenery every once in a while!

  3. Not sure why everyone says there isn’t, there is absolutely an “end” goal. The end comes when you no longer need an aid chained to your life (SRS, dictionary) to manage within the area of the language you wish to manage.

    It’s not some unattainable thing… For example… I’m completely satisfied with my English comprehension… How is that possible if language end-goals are unattainable?

    • I don’t think they’re trying to say that you can’t ever achieve your goal and become satisfied. They’re just saying that if you want to keep raising the bar, there will always be opportunities to do so. Always bigger challenges to conquer, if you’re up for them.

    • Just to chime in with what Matt is saying, you can definitely achieve your goals and be satisfied. It’s not that it is unattainable, but language, like life, is often about striving towards newer and bigger challenges.

      I’m a native speaker of English. Been going at it for quite a while now. But I still find new words, concepts, ideas and subjects all the time. Am I satisfied with my English comprehension? Yes. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting to continuously expand my knowledge. True, I don’t sit there with an SRS. But ask yourself how many times you’ve put into Google for your own language “What does ____ mean” or “What is ____”

  4. This is exactly what I needed to hear right now.

    I’ve always been the kind to plan out everything. I’ve always had a goal to strive for until recently when I had hit a kind of plateau: finished school, got a good job, living pretty comfortably, so I found myself without a next hurdle to strive for.

    “The reward for completing a hurdle is a higher hurdle.”

    You always have to keep trying to move upwards in life, so I need to find my next hurdle and start a new journey to clear it.

    A very bad experience with a different online based Japanese learning program steered me away from continuing to learn for about a year, but my curiosity was revitalized during my search for my next hurdle. I’m still not sure how, but righ now I know that I want Japanese to be a big part of my professional and personal life.

    I know I’m rambling quite a bit, but I just want to say that I am so glad a stumbled upon this website. I can’t quite stop reading more and more of this awesome content.
    Doumo arigatou gozaimasu! Gambarimashou, minna-san!

    • Welcome!

      I definitely get the hurdle thing. Japanese replaced a less healthy competitive obsession for me. It’s been great to tackle a more cooperative challenge for a change, and very rewarding.

      Anyway, good luck on your adventure (^_^)

      よろしくお願いします

    • Well welcome to the site! I hope it helps you find the challenge and hurdles you need to make Japanese an amazing part of your life. よろしくお願いします!

  5. I really understand this article a lot more now. Just when I (naively) feel that I’m getting the hang of one grammar concept or something, I become all too aware of the next hurtle. That’s what I find really interesting about learning a language. There are so many hurtles, but right now all your focus is on the one in front of you. You may not even be able comprehend the hurdles after it.
    “If I could just read hiragana … If I could just remember verb conjugations … If I could just remember these other conjugations … If I could just remember these OTHER conjugations that I had no idea about this whole time”
    But then eventually you look back at all those previous hurtles that seemed impossible and think “Easy.”

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