If Japanese takes thousands (or tens of thousands) of hours to master, wouldn’t it be great if you could just skip all that and get your results instantly? Wake up and you are fluent. I know I know… the journey is what makes the end goal so worthwhile. This is a fact. But let’s drop all that for a second. What if you could Matrix-style plug your brain into a machine, and upload Japanese fluency directly into your mind? While this may or may not be science fiction in the future, it’s an interesting topic and poses a strange question to you:
If you could upload Japanese fluency instantly to your brain, how much would you pay?
Why think about the cost?
A few reasons.
First, it is more realistic. If something like this did ever exist, expect it to be an extremely expensive procedure. People with more money get newer technology first.
In a way we do have a budget in mind for our study resources and native material. If you spent $100 a month on resources, that adds up overtime, so you are indirectly paying for your fluency. Or maybe you were like me, and foolishly tried to pay your way to success.
However, the main reason for our question here is that it frames how important Japanese is to you. Time is your most valuable resource. Your second most valuable resource is probably money. If you were willing to put in 10,000 hours into fluency, and you earned $30/hour, that’s $300,000 worth of value you are putting into that fluency.
How much would you pay?
Let’s get down to the numbers. What sum of money would you pay to achieve this glorious Japanese upload. A few guidelines:
1. This isn’t a moral question, whether you would or wouldn’t do this. It’s a value question.
2. In this scenario you aren’t rich (unless you actually are rich in reality). So imagine the amount as though you are currently making the money you are today.
3. You are able to take out loans in the way you would on typical large items (like a mortgage on a house).
4. If you are already intermediate to high level, assume you were a beginner
5. Priceless is not an answer : )
If you really don’t like this question, change it from “how much would you pay to achieve fluency” to “how much would you pay to keep your fluency.” You can assume some evil corporation steals fluency from people unless they pay a “fluency tax.”
What’s your number?
Leave your answers in the comments section! I’d probably max out every expensive loan I could get my hands on…
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.