Why Studying Makes Studying More Enjoyable
You are watching a Japanese TV show. You can’t follow the story. Some characters talk too fast. Others too low. Some mumble. The main character talks in a very uncommon dialect. Frustration starts to set in, depriving you of fun.
This is where I would like you to remember this very important, but simple idea that should keep you motivated:
Every moment you study Japanese will make every moment you study Japanese more enjoyable.
As you are reading this, you may be thinking the exact opposite. The more you study the more you feel frustrated and the less enjoyable it becomes. This is because you are only thinking of the present. Right now your study is frustrating and boring. But compare your studying to even just one day in the past, and I guarantee that your frustration and boredom yesterday will have decreased by a minuscule percentage. At the same time, every new day you study Japanese, it will improve by a very small amount. This leads to the following:
You study more -> Your Japanese improves slightly->Your study is slightly more enjoyable than before -> You want to study more->You study more (repeat)
Typical studying through Movies, TV, and books:
boring=>mildly interesting=>entertaining=>roller coaster of fun
This should translate into whatever pain you are feeling now, tomorrow it should be a little less. If you were able to bear with today’s frustration, than you should easily be able to bear with tomorrow’s slightly less frustration.
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.
How good is that! I’m surprised nobody commented yet, this is a great motivational post.
I feel the same way whenever I see one of my posts go without comments. It makes me think it is a topic no one cares about. I’m glad this post can be revived through you!
Maybe because it’s short? But a short decisive blow can be 100 times more effective than a lengthy thesis.
It definitively should be revived!
I think its not that studying becomes more enjoyable, but rather that using native materials like watching dramas or reading stuff in Japanese becomes more enjoyable. I think this realization, that you are making progress, gives you motivation to work towards a goal that seems more tangible and within reach. Great post
Isn’t this predicated on the belief that studying improves your Japanese? If you study a lot and make no progress (or worse, get worse at it (somehow; I’m not sure how)), wouldn’t it stand to reason that studying then becomes less enjoyable?
I think studying will always have its ups and downs and times where you feel like your going no where or getting worse. Of course this may be associated then with a felling of un-enjoyment(is that even a word?).
But if you look at it from a long term perspective, if you study you will 99% of the time be getting better. And with getting better comes more enjoyment.
I think this applies to everything in life.
I personally wanted to improve my running, so I started to go running everyday. But in the beginning my legs were sore, and my running actually started to get worse and I can tell you that it was not enjoyable at all.
But I continued to go running, and now my legs aren’t sore, I improved my running times and I actually enjoy running now.
It may not be the best analogy but it is something in my life I can reflect on and I try to apply this to everything I do. Including Japanese study.
This article+the Tetris analogy one are important lessons that everyone (who studies the immersion way) should know about. Maybe it get’s overlooked because it sounds so fundamental but when you are down on your studies it is a great motivator!
I think I’ve reached the part between entertaining and roller coaster of fun. For example when I watch Naruto nowadays, I just watch it and enjoy it without even thinking about how much I understand (because I understand enough to follow the plot). Yay! :D