None of you are going to quit learning Japanese. Of course I know that. But, if you were going to, when would it be? There are 3 specific phases where your chances of quitting will be at their highest. While this will never be you, it’s good to know what to watch out for, as no one is immune to these quitting danger zones.
So when will that urge to quit strike?
1. Shortly after starting
Everyone starts in Japanese learner bliss. I’ve talked about enjoying that beginner learning phase, and trying to avoid rushing it. This still holds true, but as with starting anything new, many people quit quickly. The initial wonder wears off, and you realize that you need to actually study to move forward. Beginner phase study is pleasant, but it is study nonetheless.
Danger zone: 4 days to a few weeks in
2. As you enter Intermediate
You’ve developed a routine over the months. You know how you study, the pace you’ve progressed at, and can see all the noticeable gains. You like what you have been doing and feel pretty unstoppable (with a lot of cocky mixed in).
Then you leave Beginner bliss and enter that intermediate phase where things start to change. Work becomes harder, the language becomes messier, you start forgetting things, and it takes more time to organize where you came from and where you are going.
Danger zone: 6 to 9 months in
3. As you reach the peak of Intermediate
You’ve finally worked out everything about being an intermediate user. You accept the larger challenges, understand that the obstacles are tougher, and that things aren’t as straightforward as you’d like. But you can deal with it. You start seeing a bright future.
Danger zone: 9 to 14 months in
That’s the solution to your problem right? No. The real solution is to know that the feeling is common. But as long as you can make it past these 3 phases, you will never quit. Ever. People who overcome the final quitting zone just don’t quit. Studying Japanese gets easier from there. There are plenty of hurdles, difficulties and frustration that you will still face, no matter how high you go, but you won’t ever quit. Once you make it that far you are too strong. That strength can’t be taken down easily.
Ever fall prey to a quitting danger zone?
Have you ever reached a near-quit in one of these phases? Or did you actually get the feeling at a different stage?
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.