I Forgot To Forget

Doing my vocabulary review this morning, “forget” popped up, and I discovered that I had forgotten the word!  (It’s 忘れます, case you’re wondering.)

One of the things that you always have to be concerned about with language study is motivation.  To learn Japanese (or Welsh or Spanish or whatever language you’re working on) consistent study is absolutely crucial, and staying motivated to do that consistent study is the hard part.

That’s why I celebrate every accomplishment, no matter how small it might seem to someone else.  Those little celebrations keep me motivated to keep studying.  Let’s face it, there are days when I don’t want to cram more vocabulary into my head or review grammar.  It happens.  Then I remember how good it felt to accomplish ______________ and it makes me want to accomplish more.

(Forgetting the word for ‘forget’ is not an accomplishment!)

All of this started with the Hacking Japanese Supercourse, which I found at Nihongoshark.com.  I don’t think that I would be where I am at in my studies if not for that.  Could I learn Japanese without it?  Sure.  Lots of people have, after all, but it provided me with a plan and showed me a lot of tools that I didn’t know about it, and it helped me tremendously.

On top of that, Niko is an encouraging guy.  He said that he wanted to hear from people who were using the Supercourse.  As it turns out, that’s true.  Every time I wrote him to tell him how it was going, he answered and gave me more encouragement, and, believe me, when climbing the mountain that is learning a foreign language, encouragement helps!

So, as I recently reached six months of Phase 3 of the Supercourse, I emailed Niko to let him know how it was going.  I emailed him in Japanese (which, I have to admit, kind of limited exactly what I could say) and he answered me in Japanese, and I was able to make sense of his reply.  That is, I have now officially conducted a correspondence in Japanese.

How cool is that?!  In my book, it is extremely cool.

Yes, the entire correspondence consisted of one email each way.  What’s your point?  It was still a correspondence in Japanese.  That’s an accomplishment.  I sure couldn’t have done that four or five months ago and now I can.  Progress!

How about you?  Got any good signs of progress?  There’s no such thing as “too little to count”.  I know ten more vocabulary words today than I did last week.  That’s progress.  Celebrate it!  Then go out and learn ten more words and celebrate that!

頑張って

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