When you’re stuck in the middle of a slump, or you felt you’ve been plateaued for too long, you think back to a more carefree time. Your beginner days, when life was easier, and full of hopes and dreams.
But somewhere things went wrong. You ended up using a technique that didn’t work. You wasted too much time learning something that wasn’t interesting to you. You never disciplined yourself with a firm study schedule. If only you could go back and do it again. If only you could reroll your Japanese character from scratch.
I wish I did…
I wish I didn’t do…
These are the magic words that you would form your reroll. I’ve been there. The higher the level you are, the more these two feelings grow, and the more you share these feelings with others.
Sharing your character reroll ideas benefits everyone. Just like with games, people copy character rerolls because they work. While you can’t erase your stats in Japanese, you can still have a restart. You can at any time, at any moment, completely change how you are studying right now. This is enough to make a reroll something serious to think about, especially when nothing else is working.
How would I have rerolled my character?
Some (of many) things I would have done differently:
● Start learning all the kanji right from the beginning (after kana), and not make it something that I would eventually learn over the years.
● Shadow right from the start of immersion. Even if I could only mimic 2% of what I was hearing, I think this would have made a big difference in my early levels.
● Start J-J earlier. Just like everyone else, the change was hard for me, and I pushed it off too long.
● Stay away from memorizing vocabulary lists.
● Only focus on a few textbooks (instead of dozens), and then immediately move to native materials.
● Study more right from the start. I thought I was hardcore with my 1-2 hours a day. I still had plenty of free time. I could’ve used this more.
● Begin immersion much quicker, and not beat myself up about only understanding 5% and wondering whether I would ever be able to comprehend more.
● Never use English subtitles again once I started learning the language, avoiding watching hundreds of episodes, counting this all as study time.
● Try taking a beginner class (yes), but only stay in it if the teacher was supportive and engaging. Also, I would use this as a place to meet and make more friends with people learning the language.
● Not endlessly stress about whether I had the ability or talent to become fluent.
That’s me. How about you?
While I’m sure my list could go on, what would your character reroll look like? If you could go back to the beginning and start studying Japanese from zero with all the information you know now, what would you have done differently?
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.