While studying Japanese, we often get caught up in the now. What can I read? What can I understand? What can I say? Little by little, a “why can’t I” manages to find its way as a prefix to these sentences. Or maybe you might change the word “what” with “when.”
While dwelling in the past is normally a bad thing, reflecting on your language past can be a potion of positive power. Regardless of what you feel like you can or can’t do right now, it is definitely more than it was at any moment before this current moment. The further back you go, the greater the gap is compared with now.
Then and now
When you make the comparison to your past and current Japanese-learner self, you see how much progress can actually be made in a short period of time. Upon this reflection, most people are actually blown away by it. If only you could have a conversation with yourself a year ago to explain this revelation.
This is why keeping videos, or written entries or anything that shows your Japanese from a past time, and looking at it in a later time can feel so good. Having a video of me speaking Japanese in 2006, or looking at mid-2006 journal entries from the old social network Mixi, is special to me.
Making a reflection on the past to gain that positive boost can only be made if you have something to look back upon. Beginners don’t have this, yet they need it. So I thought it would be fun to share everyone’s past and present Japanese learner self gaps in the comments, to show what kind of amazing progress can be made in a year.
In the comments section, list a few things that you couldn’t do 1 year ago, that you can do now.
I couldn’t a year ago, but now I can:
- Read manga
- Have detailed conversations
- Do J-J with confidence
- Understand the news
- Write journal entries in Japanese
*Note: if you’ve been studying for less than a year, change “1 year” to “6 months.” If you have been studying for multiple years, you can change 1 year to 2 years or more.