Japanese is simple? Yes. Japanese is made up of sounds and squiggles. Those sounds and squiggles make up kana and kanji. Those kana and kanji make up words. Those words connect to other words. Those words and their connections have meaning. That’s it. Done. 5 principles to explain all of Japanese. You can go home now.
But then each of these 5 principles has a hundred opinions and explanations. Each of those opinions and explanations have a hundred sub-opinions and sub-explanations. And each of those sub-opinions and sub-explanations have a hundred sub-sub-opinions and sub-sub-explanations. All of these mix and conflict, create discussion and argument, and are a giant cloud of confusion.
Everyone starts with the 5 principles, but then head towards the cloud. We over-analyze, over-question, over-doubt, over-stress every step along the way. When in truth, as long as you learn the 5 principles, there is no way you won’t arrive at the other side, which is meaning (fluency).
Ideal vs. Reality
The ideal: 5 principles. Japanese is simple
The reality: Learning Japanese is difficult.
2 important messages I want you to take away.
1. How difficult learning Japanese will be for you will be based on how deep you decide to go into that confusion cloud.
2. Whenever you get caught up in it, so deep you can’t see forward in any direction and are completely lost, try to think back to the 5 principles for guidance. As long as you are following them, you are fine. There is no way they can steer you wrong. Sometimes all you need is a basic compass.
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.