August 1, 2018 at 11:38 pm #50578
Hello everybody! This is not my first introduction here on Tofugu.
I began using this tool a couple of years ago, full of novel dopamine and hopes for the future. But because reasons; mental health issues, relationship and family issues and a bunch of other stuff i wish i had the strength to parry at the time, i fell off the “learning japanese” airship a few times. Started again from scratch, even though i had retained much of what i had initially learned the first time, but just in case, i felt i needed a completely fresh start, clean slate. And it happened again.
This time. I am back. For real. I have been studying every day now, and when i feel tired and mentally exhausted from cramming an inordinate amount of kanji into my head, i relax by reading about japanese culture, listening to japanese music, watch interviews, listen to podcasts in japanese or about the japanese language, or i just watch japanese films and tv, consuming everything i can, from Rashomon to Terrace House. My immersion never stops, even when i try to take a break.
For me this is a good thing. I am a complete japanese culture and history nerd to begin with, (the primary reason for wanting to learn the language), but i often feel like i should be doing something more productive than to read about yokai or the shinsengumi or watch anime and old classics all the time, but this feels like a genuine part of my studying now. I am not only studying the language, but also the culture as a temporal whole. This has made it much easier for me to enjoy films and video games, because it is actually a part of my journey.
There are a thousand reasons for why i want to learn japanese, and no reasons to hold me back, not anymore. Except for my fear telling me that i will definitely not make it. I am bilingual allready, but it is so long since i learned a language, and it just seems like a giant tower that is impossible to scale. But lately i have started to remember other things i have taught myself in my life, like playing the piano and the gitar. Those are languages too. And people with far less of a personal reason to learn japanese have in fact completely learned japanese…so, despite my rudimentary ability to envision any light at the end of the tunnel, simple logic informs me that i will indeed be able to learn it, i just have to be consistent.
I have decided to completely dive into it. It’s still early, but i am going for it. I might post here from time to time with questions regarding things i do not comprehend.
Some reasons for me studying.
1. I love manga. Absolutely and completely in love with it. I prefer it to anime. Anime is ok. I like films, and series that are not based on manga, they tend to have higher quality animation and, well, intent. But i love artwork, and even though some films have almost godly animation (perfect blue, ninja scroll, akira, metropolis, ghibli), i really love still images. So manga is a huge reason.
2. Video games. I totally grew up with japanese RPG’s, but there are so many that are not released overseas, and as i am a purist or whatever you want to call it, i have always prefered japanese media in it’s original language, but i think most people who are fans of japanese pop-culture AND serious about learning the language concur. People who call us weaboos just because we enjoy something in it’s original language. Why is there not a tumblr/4chan-spawned pejorative aimed at people who enjoy french new wave in french? Or chinese historical dramas in mandarin? probably because japanese pop-culture, especially anime is so mainstream now and pretty much everyone has an oppinion. To me it feels natural to enjoy things in japanese, and i never go for subs, except for maby two exceptions, but they confirm the rule…i’ve never understood that saying. Like, i used to ask in forums if a game i was interested in had dual audio and the answer you know you will always get, almost always it’s the very first answer. “if you like japanese so much then import the game weaboo”. so defensive, like they feel bad for not being able to enjoy the media in it’s original language themselves, but whatever, i digress a lot i see. so sorry for that.
3. Visiting japan, being able to communicate with pretty much anybody and making friends there. This is a dream of mine. seems so farfetched. never been to japan, not yet and it seems like an unreal wonderland to me still. i need to break through, so that it can become real.
wow, i’m sorry. who cares why i want to learn japanese anyway. I went a little overboard with my second introduction, but those who are put off by walls of text can simply not read it. i understand and apologize.August 3, 2018 at 11:00 pm #50579
Visiting Japan ain’t no pipe dream – it’s much easier than you might think. For example, you can just buy a ticket and go. =)
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