One Year Studying Japanese

Originally Posted February 1 2016

いま、いちねんぼくはにほんごをべんきょうしています。にほんごはむずかしです、でもぼくにほんはだいすき。

It’s been a long year of studying, and there are many days that I am reminded of the teachers who told me I had no head for language… Because they were right! Learning Japanese is HARD!… But I don’t regret it. Learning a new language is more than just learning words you didn’t know before. You learn a culture, meet people you couldn’t have before, hear things you never could have in English. Deciding to learn Japanese was one of the best decisions I’ve made in a while, and it has changed so much for me.

It feels depressing some times to see how much is left that I still don’t know even after a year. Kanji is still near impossible for me. Hypothetical sentences are still beyond me, but then I look back and realize all the things I can do now that I never could have before.

We focus so much in our culture about perfecting our knowledge, getting high grades, or even passing grades that we can scare ourselves away from attempting to understand difficult subjects. But learning isn’t about being perfect…. It’s about constantly moving forward in spite of how little you know. If you finish a test with only 5 out of 100 questions right, that is 5 things you didn’t know before that you now do! The only way to fail at learning is to not attempt it!

So to anyone who wants to study a new language, or any subject that seems too complicated for you, I encourage you to give it a try! Even if you move too slowly to keep up with a class, or use it the way you want to, keep trying at it! Because one day you’ll look back and ask yourself… “How did I get this far?”

がんばてね!

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