Suffering From Perfectionism While Studying Japanese — 6 Comments

  1. Consider how profoundly imperfect – downright chaotic, in fact – was your learning of your native language, and stop worrying.

  2. My problem with perfectionism wasn’t so much what was the best thing to learn, but more along the lines of you better know absolutely everything forever perfectly. This caused two problems. I added EVERYTHING i found that had anything I didn’t know or completely understand right away. Every single sentence. And I also added every word I found about 4 sometimes more times so I was sure I had a ton of overlap. I also found that I was afraid of failing cards. I NEEDED my overall anki score to be as close to 100% as possible. That lead me to making excuses so I wouldn’t fail cards, but give it a hard and then add the word for the 4th, 5th, etc. time. This lead to lots of boring, lots of stress (especially when I actually did fail a card), and loss of sleep. I eventually said what the hell are you doing? An A+, 100% is a 4.0 GPA. An A is a 4.0 GPA. even a 93%ish is a 4.0 GPA. So if 93%, which is much MUCH easier to attain, is the same as 100%, then why struggle for that 100? So I stopped not failing cards and adding words a million times. I stopped caring about the perfect and started caring about the fun. And I just checked my mature card correct percentage thing, 99.49%. Way better than when I was being a perfectionist and darn close to perfect. Perfection is allowing yourself to be imperfect.

  3. I really needed to read this article today. :)

    I am just about to hit my 100th Jalup Beginner card tomorrow, and I am really struggling with my perfectionist tendencies. I keep mixing up my comprehension on a lot of the cards from the past week, as well as some of the newer kanji I’m hitting!

    But then I’m starting to more firmly grasp other cards I was struggling with before. It helps to know that it’s normal, and the comment about the chaotic process of learning our own native language does help put it in perspective.

    I don’t know how many others are out there struggling at the same early stage of learning that I am, but seeing how many of you have made it through gives me encouragement that I’ll get through it too.

    • A super great feeling is when a card you struggled with finally clicks and is effortless, which happens all the time. I’m coming up on 6000 cards and it happens even more often now than it used to, so it gets better and better as you go. Immersion is super important to hitting that payoff point though; even at a hundred cards I’d say hit as much as you can, even if you only understand a few words per episode/page. It’s those random encounters that teach you the monsters weaknesses, as it were.

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