The Rage To Master Japanese
Quick question: why are you on on this site? Typical answers: I want to learn Japanese. I want to speak Japanese. I want to get better at Japanese. I want to become fluent in Japanese. Average answers. But I’m hoping that a lot of you have a stronger answer (or decide after this post that you will make your answer stronger): I want to master Japanese.
The people that answer in this way have the greatest chance of success. Since many of you on this site have often stated this as a goal, you are in a good position. My new imaginary goal with Japanese Level Up?
Produce an ultra elite group of Japanese language conquerors that defy all traditional and outdated concepts of learning Japanese
I envision something like this:
I’ve come across a new popular book that takes on this theme, and I’m going to egotistically assume the author is a fan of my site.
Masterminds: How To Think Like Sherlock Holmes (Japanese intro here)
According to the book, the key to kicking ass (Sherlock Holmes style) consists of Mindfulness and Motivation.
“Motivated subjects always outperform. Students who are motivated perform better on something as seemingly immutable as the IQ test-on average, as much as .064 standard deviations better, in fact. Not only that, but motivation predicts higher academic performance, fewer criminal convictions, and better employment outcomes. Children who have a so-called “rage to master”-a term coined by Ellen Winner to describe the intrinsic motivation to master a specific domain-are more likely to be successful in any number of endeavors, from art to science. If we are motivated to learn a language, we are more likely to succeed in our quest. Indeed, when we learn anything new we learn better if we are motivated learners. Even our memory knows if we’re motivated or not: we remember better if we were motivated at the time the memory was formed. It’s called motivated encoding.”
Motivation? Have I possibly touched on that subject at all? Have you checked out World 8 & 12 of the Walkthrough? And if that wasn’t enough, how about the focus on immersion learning on this site? In addition to its actual study benefits, being in constant contact with the culture you love keeps you fully attached to the source of what drives you to strive for better Japanese.
And what goes side by side with motivation? Practice.
“And then, of course, there is that final piece of the puzzle: practice, practice, practice. You have to supplement your mindful motivation with brutal training, thousands of hours of it. There is no way around it. Think of the phenomenon of expert knowledge: experts in all fields, from master chess players to master detectives, have superior memory in their field of choice. Holmes’s knowledge of crime is ever at his fingertips. A chess player often holds hundreds of games, with all of their moves, in his head, ready for swift access. Psychologist K. Anders Ericsson argues that experts even see the world differently within their area of expertise: they see things that are invisible to a novice; they are able to discern patterns at a glance that are anything but obvious to an untrained eye; they see details as part of a whole and know at once what is crucial and what is incidental.”
Thousands of hours of work?
RTK, J-E, J-J, Anki. Active immersion. Passive immersion. All designed to make your training as efficient and feel as least brutal as possible. You will put in the hours and the hard work. But the motivation will always push you forward to a positive experience.
So let’s hear it. Who has the rage to master Japanese? Who wants to be a part of my elite Japanese force?
Further reading on the subject.
*The term “rage to master” came from Ellen Winner’s book Gifted Children: Myths and Realities.
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’ll be Ginyu! I haven’t been able to put into words my desire to learn japanese (and web programming too, unrelated but it’s the same), but now you just gave me the words for it; I have a rage to master those 2 things!
俺様この野郎！I just hit level 40 (5000 sentences) yesterday after furious, yet steady learning of 15 new words a day.
Goal: Be able to interview with a Japanese Engineering Firm (Hitachi, Nakano, Obayashi, etc.) and land a job by the time I graduate university in December without having ever been to Japan.
Today marks the first day of ramping up to 20 new words a day in an effort to achieve level 55 by October.
Raging for mastery sounds dangerous…
I’m in….but I don’t want to be Jeice.
I can be Jeice, as long as I don’t have to paint myself red… Besides, isn’t he the guy who survived the longest?
I am there for sure!
I’ll be Burter, I guess. Super fast speed is pretty cool and all that. But wasn’t he the first to be taken out by 孫悟空?
Anyway, yes, I’m super motivated. Funnily enough, even if I get sick of everything else in my life (hobby wise), Japanese is always there and as interesting as ever.
Thanks for the article, it was a really good read!
Even though he’s not in the Ginyu force, can I be Zarbon?
I’m on this site because I like to check out what Japanese learners are doing these days. Does that count somehow? I’ll be something completely unrelated like the turtle on Master Roshi’s island.