Pep Talk

And the week starts with the studies back on track, which is always nice.

Once a week, on Sunday mornings, I meet Takesan on Skype for a language exchange.  It is a little bit unbalanced only because his English, while not perfect, is a whole lot better than my Japanese, and I often let laziness a natural to help get in the way, so we speak mostly English.  Well, at the end of Sunday’s chat, he said “Next week we will only speak Japanese.”

Oh, boy!

It’s the best thing for me, but it will be hard.

Today’s goal is to get through all the vocabulary for Chapter 27 of Minna no Nihongo and start on the grammar.  I haven’t signed up for my Cafetalk lesson this week, so I need to get that done as well.  All in all, I have plenty of Japanese to keep me busy this week.

You know, I started this blog as a way to keep myself motivated.  It never occurred to me that anyone would ever actually read the darned thing!  If you are reading this, though, there is one thing that I hope you take away from it:

*You can learn Japanese.*

No matter what anyone tells you about how impossible Japanese is to learn, it absolutely can be done.

There are no tricks that will instantly turn you into a Japanese scholar, but there are ways to organize your study and tools to help you get the most out of the time you put in.

Now, if you really want to learn to speak Japanese, then all you have to do (I should really charge for this this method, but, what the heck, you can have it for free) is to…wait for it…study.  Daily.

I know.  I know.  It’s a revolutionary method.

Seriously, though, if you put in consistent study, you will learn.

It isn’t a race.  Who cares if it takes you six months, a year, two years…just make your daily study a habit and you’ll find yourself speaking Japanese one day.

There are a ton of tools out there, lots of them ただ (free – our favorite word!).  If you are willing and able to spend some money, there are even more tools out there.  They aren’t that hard to find.  Start with the “great” lists on the blog.  After that, I hear tell of this thing called google…

(By the way, I’m always looking for apps and website to add to the lists.)

Just don’t get impatient with yourself.  Do you speak your native language perfectly?  Probably not.  You make grammar errors, someone else knows words in your language that you don’t know.  There is always more to learn.  It’ll be the same with Japanese.  There will always be more to learn.  And that’s good.  Congratulations, you have a lifelong hobby!

If you want, you can know more Japanese tomorrow than you know today.  If you do that every day for the next six months, you’ll be amazed how far you’ve come.

Sorry if I’m repeating myself, but I get tired of hearing “Japanese is too hard to learn” from people who’ve never tried to learn Japanese.

It is a beautiful and fascinating language, and learning it is a lot of fun, and I hate to see people who want to learn not even try because of something someone else said.

頑張って

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