Does everyone remember the old and now ultra cliche phrase “no pain no gain?” Had this been ingrained into your mind from a young age? Are you using this motto to study Japanese?
Take a look at yourself in the mirror. Does this remind you of yourself when you open a Japanese textbook?
If yes, please stop now.
No pain no gain
The concept is simple. You need to work hard to accomplish things. This correlates to the idea that the harder you work, the more you accomplish. If pain provides gain, then hellish torture should provide heavenly gain.
But this phrase is out of context and incorrect.
“No pain, no gain” developed in its modern form today based on exercise and working out. You work your muscles to the point of pain and beyond, and that’s where you make the most significant progress. If you never reach that level of soreness then you won’t get those bigger and stronger muscles.
So why would you want to maintain a motto that is so unrelated to Japanese studying?
Yeah, no pain no gain can be translated to “work hard and be rewarded.”
But “work hard” is not the same as “pain.” You can work hard, but that doesn’t mean your work has to be painful. That doesn’t mean you need to torture yourself, and count down the minutes of a study session. The more pain you inflict, the less you will like Japanese. The less likely you will get better. And the more likely you will quit.
Work hard? Yes. Work smart? Yes. Enjoy your work? Hell yes. Work painfully? No.
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.