You’ve probably accepted by now that you are going to fail, multiple times, as you move forward learning Japanese. But how you fail changes all the time. There is a never-ending supply of failure variety. I think it’s useful to look at the way you fail (die) in video games, because it creates a nice parallel to failing at Japanese. Here’s a major list of those failures:
16. “Emotionally wowing” failure
You run into a crazy new overpowered boss. Look at how I was just killed! It was awesome!
15. “One hit away” failure
You could nearly taste victory but missed it by the slightest amount.
14. “Almost won but not really” failure
You were just one step away! Or at least that’s what you felt. Until you find out that your enemy still had more than half his health left.
13. “Cheap attack” failure
The enemy is doing the same stupid move over and over and again. You see it coming but it’s such a cheap move you can’t do anything to block it.
12. “Distracted” failure
Someone walks in or tries to talk to you while you are playing the game. You lose your focus and are beaten down.
11. “Unfair” failure
You did everything right. You followed the rules to the letter and deserved a fist high in the air. You should have won, but for some unfair reason you didn’t.
10. “Out of time” failure
You didn’t have enough time to complete something. If you had just a little more time you would have been in the clear.
9. “The Good fight” failure
You lost, but it was an amazing fight that made you feel great.
8. “Sadness” failure
The tears are flowing. Why can’t you just win. Why is life so tough!? Whyyyyyyy!?
7. “Spread to everything” failure
You failed so bad that that you think you are going to fail at everything in life and hate yourself for it.
6. “Repetitive frustrating” failure
You’ve tried this one thing 100 times and die every single time. Every miss grinds into your nerves.
5. “Need to stop” failure
Your loss was so bad that you need to stop playing for now.
4. “Need to stop playing longer term” failure
Your loss was so horrible that you want to take a long break from the game. You’ll come back once that feeling settles.
3. “I’m done” failure
Your defeat is permanent, with damage beyond repair. You quit, throw away the game, vowing to never touch it again.
2. “Fresh restart” failure
You lose, but you feel invigorated to try again and get it right this time.
1. “The better you” failure
You’ve learned something. That defeat was necessary to help you grow.
Which Japanese learning failures have you experienced?
Except for #3 (“I’m done”), I’ve gone through nearly all of them. How about you? Or maybe you have some more to add to this list?
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.