It’s (NOT) Impossible!

I have started 七課 (Chapter 7) in みんなの日本語, and I was looking at my 宿題 (homework) on the screen.  There is a whole page of kanji and kana staring back at me, and, at first glance, it was all just gibberish.  Now, I know that, if I look a little more closely at it, it will all make sense.  I wrote it, after all, but I still said aloud, “I must be nuts!”

A friend was passing by my office and looked in.  He saw the screen and walked closer, and then he said, very firmly, “You’re wasting your time.  I don’t believe anybody can learn that from the English speaking world!”

And, there it is.  He was absolutely serious.  This is a highly educated man with a PhD in a difficult scientific discipline, but he thinks that it is impossible for a native English speaker to learn Japanese.




  • 1. not able to occur, exist, or be done “a seemingly impossible task” synonyms: not possible, out of the question, unfeasible, impractical, impracticable, nonviable, unworkable, unthinkable, unimaginable, inconceivable, absurd, unattainable, unachievable, unobtainable, unwinnable, hopeless, impractical, implausible, far-fetched, outrageous, preposterous, ridiculous, absurd, impracticable, unworkable, futile


Now, obviously, I disagree, and I think I have the advantage here.  I’m am in the process of learning Japanese, so I know what it’s like.  I suspect that my friend has never tried, so he doesn’t really know what it’s like.

In fact, of all the people who have told me that Japanese is insanely difficult or even impossible to learn, none of them is speaking from a position of experience.  None of them has tried to learn the language, so their opinion is based on…what?…I don’t know, but not facts.

Well, I say that it is




  • 1. able to be done; within the power or capacity of someone or something synonyms: feasible, practicable, practical, viable, within the bounds/realms of possibility, attainable, achievable, workable, doable

How do I know?  I’m doing it!

Don’t let someone who hasn’t even attempted to learn Japanese tell you that it can’t be done.



In fact:







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