Reading Japanese

Many months ago, I was given a very nice gift.

book front

But, I couldn’t read it.  Now, I’m reading it.  Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s extremely frustrating.  But it’s still fun.

Some of the words that might normally be written in Kanji are in hiragana instead, and  the Kanji has furigana.  However, sometimes it’s still pretty difficult, but the fact that I can still kind of make my way slowly through it is extremely cool.

Here’s a close-up of page one.  I’m good with page one.

Spirited Away Page 1

Page two turned out to be a little more difficult, but, today, I shall be working on page three.  No, a page a day isn’t exactly rapid progress, but it is progress.  The first time that I looked at this book, I could barely read anything at all.  Now, I can read and understand whole sentences.

You see, it doesn’t matter that reading is slow and sometimes difficult.  What matters is that I can do it now, which means that I have progress from where I was.

Don’t ever disparage signs of progress.  Don’t let yourself get frustrated if you aren’t where you want to be yet.  Look back at where you were.  You aren’t there anymore.  You have moved forward.  Just keep doing that.  That’s all.

The real reason that some people don’t learn a new language is that they

(a) don’t make a consistent daily effort

(b) give up

So, do make a consistent daily effort and don’t give up, and you will get there.

頑張って

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