I know you’ve been waiting for this. I’ve been holding out on you, right? All it takes is one thing. No more, no less. Ready?
If you study Japanese, over time you will become fluent.
So I’ve been studying for X years, why aren’t I fluent?
Because you haven’t put in enough time.
But I have!
Really? How many hours have you studied every single day, over X years in total?
Time. A one word answer.
I’m sure you are already thinking, well it’s not just time. It’s the methods and tools you use, the efficiency of them and how well they suit you, your motivation, your natural talent, your environment, your will power etc., etc., etc.
However, everything is fixed with time.
1. Using inefficient methods and tools?
● With time you will realize what is inefficient and find more efficient ones.
2. Using methods and tools that don’t fit you?
● With time you find out what you like and don’t, and what matches your study style.
3. Don’t have enough motivation?
● With time you will figure out what motivates you and what doesn’t.
4. Don’t have natural language talent?
● With time you won’t need natural talent, you’ll have developed ability, which is far superior to natural talent
5. Don’t have the proper environment?
● With time you will adjust or change your environment.
6. Don’t have enough willpower?
● With time you develop willpower.
I have never met anyone who has put in the time that didn’t become great at Japanese. It’s just not going to be the result.
How much time do you need?
It comes down to this: The more time you put in, the faster you will become fluent. Every extra minute a day is a minute sooner you are fluent.
Yes. But the simplest answer is sometimes important to hear.
Take a serious look at how much time you are putting in every day, every week of every year. Be honest with yourself. This is no time to exaggerate, make excuses/justifications, or to hold onto unnecessary pride.
I did a lot of this self-reflection in my early days. I stopped and really counted the actual hours. And it was embarrassing and hurt my pride. But at the same time was a major eye opener.
Finally, I challenge you:
After you figure your daily study time, increase it by 15 minutes. That’s it. Only 15 extra minutes a day. Making 15 minutes a day is doable for even the busiest of people. That adds up to to 91 hours over the next year. 91 hours is a significant step closer towards fluency.
You can thank me in a year.
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.