Being Fluent In Japanese Is Ridiculously Fun
You all have fluency on your minds. That is the ultimate goal after all. You’ve probably visualized it. Fluency is the moment when you can do everything you set out to do. Watch whatever you want to watch. Read whatever you want to read. Play whatever you want to play. The realization of all your dreams.
So what happens when you are fluent?
This isn’t some deep philosophical discussion of what happens when you are fluent. Or the benefits, the rewards, and whether they are worth it. I just want to take this moment to remind you something simple.
Being fluent in Japanese is extreme fun beyond your wildest dreams.
You’ve gained a super power.
Yes, a super power. It’s something that allows you to do things other people can’t. It gives you a portal to a world that others have no access to, and allows you to engage in a way with life in a way others can’t. You’ve earned that super power. Proof of your hard work, dedication, struggles and victories over the months and years. You trained. You fought. You achieve the fruits.
That super power means the world to you. If you got to fluency, it means that you had to love Japanese and love the things in Japanese. Now you get to love Japanese and the things in Japanese even more. You don’t have to worry about whether you will understand or how much you will understand. Or how to study. Or when you will finally get it.
From fluency, you get pure experience. The experiences you were waiting for. And I can tell you that your original vision of fluency pales in comparison to the actual experience. Thinking what it would be like to be able to understand anime without subtitles and actually understanding anime without subtitles are two entirely different games.
You know how you have those moments of enjoyment here and there as you move forward, and those moments get better and more frequent the further along you get? Well imagine those moments all the time. With no more pressure. No more self-doubt. No more stress.
Summing it up with the word fun is probably too simple. Exciting. Thrilling. Invigorating. Refreshing. Magical. You choose whatever word you want. All I want to convey to you is that fluency in Japanese is that amazing. So get here. Myself and others are waiting. You don’t want us hogging up all the fun now, do you?
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.
I’ve only had little tastes of the magic, but I will reach the world of fluency so I can join you Japanese masters! :P Thanks for the motivational posts!
Jeff, you’ll get your full on magic soon enough.
I’ve really been struggling this week, so this is just the pick me up I needed.
Glad to be of service ジェン!
Thanks. SHTF at work last week. I barely left the office including at the weekend, hardly slept, hardly ate. No Japanese got done and I was just staring at the Anki avalanche wondering if I just throw the whole thing in.
I won’t. I’ll pick myself up and keep going.
For me, a terrible week at work is one of the hardest things to deal with. It can really destroy my motivation. These days, I usually just keep going but at a slower pace until things clear up then I ramp up pace again. These bumps in the road are going to happen, but if you don’t quit then in the long run they just kind of average out I think.
That’s the attitude. Go in there and kick some ass!
“Myself and others are waiting. You don’t want us hogging up all the fun now, do you?”
Hang on guys I’ll be there soon <3
Kevin, there’s a seat reserved for you.
I feel so proud when I recognize several words from a song. Being able to sing along seems like a superpower, indeed. I may be a long time coming, but listen for my song! Thanks for the encouragement.
You’ll be recognizing (and appreciating) every word in songs soon.
It does feel like a superpower! Being able to understand whole verses and singing along like a pro feels badass, especially when my actual Japanese isn’t that good :D
A cool thing I noticed is that thanks to reading manga, my ability to read quickly and sing along from lyrics has really improved lately :)
Is it possible to achieve fluency that is better than your English fluency?
100% dude. Obviously the time varies depending on length of study versus your individual English skill. Assuming you’re at average level native English, and at level 65 Japanese in 3 years. I’d say it takes approximately 6-8 years in total, presuming you kept at the same pace until average native Japanese level. I’m fairly certain Adam would concur with this estimation, though of course your mileage may vary based on individual genetic traits and characteristics.
Depends on if you mean English fluency or someone’s native English.
If you are just talking about English fluency (as a second language), then that’s a definite yes. It all becomes a matter of which you put more time into and have more exposure too.
If you mean becoming better at Japanese then your own native language, that’s a difficult comparison. I stopped using the term “native level” on the site, because reaching the high levels above fluency are different in character than being a native speaker (as I discussed here http://japaneselevelup.com/jalup-level-guide-reinvented/)
I think comparing a native language level with a language acquired as an adult is like trying to compare pears and apples. They are two different scales and doesn’t really make sense unless you setup some specific quantifiable measures to compare with.
You don’t even have to be “fluent.” I’m nowhere near fluent, but good enough to understand most teenager/young adult-oriented games and other stuff with some dictionary use. It’s already tons of fun :p
Of course, you can and will have fun way before fluency. But whatever fun that is, it’s even more fun when it’s full fluency!
Ah yes. It is my superpower. Japanese. I’m not letting go of you. I will get there.
It’s been slow progress but I’ve been binge watching J-dramas lately and although I don’t understand 100%, it’s been super fun.
Watching it with Japanese subtitles makes it a lot more easier, but some dramas don’t have them. I still get it. That’s something I never imagined myself to do when I started to learn Japanese 5 years ago.
Reading is still bad. I can’t muster to read a single page of Japanese text I don’t understand this aversion. But I gotta face it if I want to get better, right? It’s not that it’s hard, I am just not used to it.
Just pick something to read and make it past the first few pages. Your brain will switch to Japanese and you’ll forget that your are reading in Japanese!
Binge watching is always great! Just keep polishing that super power.
As Manan mentions, just pick something simple, and dive in. The more you read, the stronger the confidence you will gain (even if it’s rough at the start).
Yeah, just to echo what the others are saying here, often it’s just a matter of jumping that mental hurdle. My brain still panics when I see a page of Japanese text (“what is this moon speak, this ain’t the ‘murican I’m used to”, etc.), but then when I actually look at the page I realize that I can actually read most of it!
It’s a weird feeling… I wonder at what point that initial panic will disappear…
I’m nowhere near fluent, but my mental block for reading Japanese Wikipedia disappeared. This happened right after my holiday in Japan – I guess I learned not to be too bothered by not understanding most of what I see :P. Still a long way to novels but hey, I’m getting there.