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If You don’t Love Studying Japanese, then it is Not for You? — 10 Comments

  1. I’ve made attempts at studying Japanese in the past. Because I focused 90% on study and 10% on immersion, I gave up every time (even though I love connecting with Japanese people).

    Focusing on the larger “why?” has been helping me a lot.

    • I think a lot of people face this exact same thing. Studying is in the forefront, your why is in the background, and things don’t work out well.

  2. … I actually do. :-D

    You are absolutely right in your post though. And I guess this is also a big reason why the Jalup method is working – it tries to put as much Japanese into studying Japanese as possible ;-)

    I think the people giving the other kind of advice take it from fields or hobbies where such advice might actually be sound, e.g. sports. While there are some parallels (e.g. you want to finish a marathon one time in life even if you don’t like running), here the training (running multiple times a week) is much closer to the reason why you chose that hobby (because you love running) than with Japanese. Maybe that is too simple, as even running has its ups and downs (as studying a language has) but still I think that for such a hobby that kind of advice might actually be good.

    As for me, I actually enjoy a good challenge, so even the studying itself is mostly fun for me. There are sure days where I feel less motivated but except at the worst days during the RTK it never was not fun.
    Also I absolutely love learning (not in the physical act of studying but finding new things I did not know)! Topic is almost irrelevant, as long as I can learn something new it is fun for me. And language is such a great thing with so many unknowns, I am constantly marveling in something new, even if its just small things

    • I think you are right – for the average person whose hobby is playing a sport, it can contain your why fully every time you play. But for pro-athletes, while they might love an actual game, I’m not sure how much they enjoy shooting 1,000 times a day in practice starting at 6am.

      Becoming fluent is becoming a pro-athlete :)

      *My sports analogy might be way off. Not exactly my area of expertise…

      • While I think its not so far off, but I would not compare becoming fluent to professional sports – very few people do the latter but many more the former. I would rather compare it with serious hobby athletes, who achieve great results while still having significant “other” parts of their life besides the sport. For the rest I am pretty sure also the greatest football professional sports players force themselves to training some or all days.

        I still like the comparison though. In my experience, most sports/fitness goals require the same kind of long-term thinking and motivation management as becoming fluent in a language does. Having reached some of them during my life I can see that many of this is easily applicable to language learning (e.g. creating and removing habits), and I am pretty sure it works the other way around.

        So lets keep the “Becoming fluent is like running a marathon”-analogy and just imagine it more literally than before :-)

        • I’m also using the analogy of running to explain why I like learning vocabulary (most of the time). I made the experience in running that there are days or moments when you have a high, you feel the power, all goes smoothly. And there also days and moments when you are very tired and don’t like to finish the round very much.

          At learning vocabulary I have the highs and good feeling when the learning and reviewing of vocabulary goes very smoothly. Also recognizing some progress is nice. But at other times when the vocab will not stick or you are tired or would like to relax it can be hard.

          Because of the motivation to make some progress and because doing the reviews is some kind of habit I did not have problems keep going until now.

  3. I think the post is on target but I also personally enjoy the studying part more often than not. It has its ups and downs for sure. But there have been a number of times in the past two years where I think to myself I think I will miss the studying of Japanese. The feel of adding cards and getting to 0 reviews. The brain challenge.

    It is funny because if you asked me three years ago before I started I would have said I hated school/learning/tests. My worst subject was probably foreign language and I was ‘bad’ at it.

    I think the methods are CRITICAL. In hindsight what I hated was a classroom setting, cramming, testing, grades, etc. Self study, self testing, is totally different.

    • For those who like the studying process itself (which there are definitely people who do), the good news is even once Japanese is finished, you carry all the study techniques you’ve learned to the next big thing you want to learn. Keeps life interesting. That’s how I taught myself programming.

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