15.1.15

How I Found My Motivation To (Finally) Start Learning Japanese

5 years later...


This will be a generally short and unimportant post.

I know, it seems like only 2 weeks ago I had stood hard ground against returning to studying Japanese, and for rather lazy reason: while I do have exceptional skill in languages, whenever I come across one that I find too difficult for the moment, I tend to back down quickly and lose all motivation to pick up again. That is precisely what happened here; I took one look at the 3 writing systems, attempted to learn the main two for about three days, failed, and gave up. The amazing part was that I didn't have much of a problem with the Kanji (system of Chinese script). After a long while of learning Korean and Hanja, I've come to recognize quite a number of Chinese characters, their English translations, and their Korean pronunciations. What astounded me was that the one part other learners found easiest, I found impossible. It was very discouraging, so ultimately, I gave up.

Fast foward to 6th grade, this (actually, a few years prior) was when I gained interest in learning new languages and making myself familiar with different cultures. I grew up in a military family, but--due to my mother's medical problems--we haven't had but 1 or 2 chances to live overseas. Despite this no matter where we moved, I was surrounded by diversity.

There were two girls at the high school named Sean and Miyuma-Jasmine, who were exchange students from South Korea and Japan, respectively. They had come for various reasons, namely culture and English language studies, having both excelled in the subject at school and received scholarships through their programs. Miyuma described coming to America as "A humongous [English] immersion summer camp". This is also when the idea of going and studying abroad really began to fascinate me. Of course, I was much too young to start then. However my parents and I decided that once I entered high school, we would continue research on my options.

Now, it's 2014 and I graduate to college in about 3 years. The topic of studying abroad has just been shared between me and my parents, and it seems like all chances are looking good. Except of tuition, and scholarship applications, and document fees, and you know, needing an intermediate level understanding of the Japanese language.

Yep.

I've come to a fork in my seemingly trouble-free road. There are other options, such as simply not going to Japan. There's always Thailand or Hong Kong, both in which no prior knowledge of the language is required (but the desire to learn is). Or, I can earn my womanhood today and begin a journey I vowed to never depart on again, which is probably what I'm going to do. With the added benefits and excitement of experiencing a new land far different from the one I call home and spreading my own culture to the people I meet, sucking it up and just learning Japanese doesn't seem all that bothersome. It could even be a cool thing for the blog, you know? As I learn more, I can teach you guys about it, just as I do with the Korean lessons (singular, one, lesson). I can practice with posts and such...it's all starting to come together. Though I probably won't be able to put in as much effort or dedicate as much time to it as I did when learning Korean, I will actually try this time. I won't back down. I won't pussy cat out. I promise.

[Insert Until next time in Japanese]

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