After a semester of Beginner 1 & 2 Japanese classes (and not learning anything – I swear!), I’m giving it up completely.
I think it’s just… not for me.
So, why did I started learning it in the first place?
Because there are no more Korean classes and I need to take more language classes.
Wrong! Right from the start it’s all wrong. However I have no other options. Yes, there are other languages I can study, but I thought Japanese is the next best thing.
I guess everybody should know by now how much I love Kim Sun Ah and how I can do anything for her / about her, at a drop of a hat. She is very fluent in Japanese. She would often have scenes on her drama where she would talk in Japanese. She doesn’t need an interpreter whenever she has an event in Japan. And she even published a book in Japanese (about her Kim Sam Soon filming experience) that is not translated in English nor Korean. Japanese classes in our university is very intensive. I thought once I complete at least 6 of them, I could probably read the book that Suna Unnie wrote. And strangely, while most students hate kanji, I love it because I’m a visual learner and I think of it as Hanja. Also, even if I have no passion for Japanese, I’m interested in language learning. So I thought these reasons will be enough for me to survive my Japanese classes.
So, what went wrong?
1.) I just don’t have any interest. Despite Kim Sun Ah, despite Hanja… it’s not enough to hold my attention to the language.
2.) I can’t learn it at my own pace. The class was very fast for me. And I hated it. I’m often behind the lessons and the lessons keep piling up until I ended up not comprehending anything anymore. It frustrates me and I started hating it. I can’t blame my professor. We have a schedule to follow. I just can’t keep up with it – and as a result, I ended up hating it.
3.) I took it along with difficult major subjects. When half a dozen linguistics papers and chapters of difficult (and sleep-inducing) readings are due – and my performance on these classes determines my stay in the program, how can I care how to say “Yamada is fat” in Japanese?
4.) I find it a hindrance to my Korean learning. Since I HAVE to study Japanese, I often sacrifice my Korean study time and allot that rare free time to catch up on my Japanese lessons.
5.) I’m often lost in class. Especially when my classmates starts talking about this anime or that manga or J-dorama or J-pop and this handsome actor. I can only relate whenever DBSK is mentioned. Also when they start splurting common expressions/slangs they’ve picked up from animes – that cannot be found, definitely, on our textbook.
6.) I have no Japanese friends. Rephrase. I have no Japanese friends to talk to with. Rephrase. I have no Japanese friends to talk to with in Japanese. I have a few Japanese friends. I have a very close friend who’s Japanese. But we often talk in… you guessed it right – Korean.
7.) I don’t watch Japanese dramas / movies and I don’t listen to Japanese songs. I know I should’ve made an effort to do such things, but I, again back to # 3, don’t have time for that. Okay, that’s just an excuse. I can easily listen to Japanese songs if I want to… and I guess that’s the problem – I just don’t want to.
8.) I’m so spoiled with Hangeul that I ended up hating every Hiragana and Katakana I come across with (especially those Hiragana and Katakana that I often forget).
I think there’s no single specific reason why my learning Japanese is a failure. All these 8 reasons above + bad timing = failure.
So, for now, I’m completely giving up on Japanese. It stressed me a lot last semester that I don’t even want to re-open my textbook. In fact I’m going to give my textbook to a friend who wants to self-study Japanese. Maybe I will study it again sometime in the future… maybe not. For now I’m just going to continue my Korean lessons and Mandarin (!).