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Trying to learn Japanese, but losing motivation too quickly to make progress
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Posted 12/10/12
Hello all.

I've been trying to learn the language for a few months now. I've been primarily using Japanese Level-Up as a guide to learn, as well as using Anki to *try* to learn Kanji, as well as "Remembering the Kanji."

The biggest problem I have though is the lack of motivation to keep me going. I want to learn so bad, but I just find myself going to do other things rather than taking the time out to learn it.

I know some random words like こんいちわ, ありがとお, and さよなら, but haven't gotten much further than that.

What can I do to stay motivated?
Posted 12/10/12 , edited 12/10/12
You can't want to learn THAT bad if you can't find the motivation to do it.
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Posted 12/10/12
Whenever you want to learn a language the easiest way to get motivated is by pure necessity, i.e. if you want to learn Japanese then there's no better way than to go to Japan. If that's not an option then there are other ways to immerse yourself in the language including taking Japanese classes, watching Japanese movies and TV, listening to Japanese music and so on. Having friends who also want to learn the language or meeting Japanese people can also be helpful. But in the end all these are only poor substitutes for complete immersion.
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25 / M / West-Central Florida
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Posted 12/10/12


Are you learning through websites, or through a class? Because...well, I don't want to criticize you, but the "i" you used in こんいちわ should be a "ni," and the "o" you used in ありがとお should be an "u." For the second example, the "o" can sometimes be considered interchangeable with the "u," but "arigatou" is the proper way of spelling that.

The best bet for learning is to meet someone who you can become friends with who happens to know both Japanese and English (check a local university) and ask them to always converse with you in Japanese. Sure you won't understand them at first, but eventually you'll be able to catch on to the basic stuff.

Also, if you're not all that social, pop on an anime on this website--any anime, preferably one that uses more basic vocabulary, such as Squid Girl, for example, and turn off the subtitles. Pause it every so often, and think about what the person just said, then continue on and check out what other characters' reactions are to it. Of course, this is hard to learn from, because the characters (being...well, Japanese) are capable of speaking the language so fast that it's hard to comprehend.
Posted 12/10/12

mwhitco91 wrote:

Are you learning through websites, or through a class? Because...well, I don't want to criticize you, but the "i" you used in こんいちわ should be a "ni," and the "o" you used in ありがとお should be an "u." For the second example, the "o" can sometimes be considered interchangeable with the "u," but "arigatou" is the proper way of spelling that.


If you're gonna start correcting... It's actually こんにち....
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25 / M / West-Central Florida
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Posted 12/10/12 , edited 12/10/12

haikinka wrote:


mwhitco91 wrote:

Are you learning through websites, or through a class? Because...well, I don't want to criticize you, but the "i" you used in こんいちわ should be a "ni," and the "o" you used in ありがとお should be an "u." For the second example, the "o" can sometimes be considered interchangeable with the "u," but "arigatou" is the proper way of spelling that.


If you're gonna start correcting... It's actually こんにち....


Good call. I just stopped at the first correction and moved onto the next word.

Yep, that was totally it. Hahaha...

Yep.

...I failed Japanese in college.
Posted 12/10/12

mwhitco91 wrote:
Good call. I just stopped at the first correction and moved onto the next word.

Yep, that was totally it. Hahaha...

Yep.

...I failed Japanese in college.


Lol, to be fair, there're plenty Japanese people that get it wrong lately.
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25 / M / West-Central Florida
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Posted 12/10/12 , edited 12/10/12

haikinka wrote:

Lol, to be fair, there're plenty Japanese people that get it wrong lately.


I can see that, haha. I actually totally forgot that は should be used instead of わ, but I never knew that it was used in こんにちは, I always thought it was only like that when you're using は as an article.
Posted 12/10/12

mwhitco91 wrote:

I can see that, haha. I actually totally forgot that は should be used instead of わ, but I never knew that it was used in こんにちは, I always thought it was only like that when you're using は as an article.


And you'd be right in saying that. It's understandable why people get confused lol.
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26 / M / Portland, Oregon
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Posted 12/10/12 , edited 12/10/12

C0OIM4N wrote:

Hello all.

I've been trying to learn the language for a few months now. I've been primarily using Japanese Level-Up as a guide to learn, as well as using Anki to *try* to learn Kanji, as well as "Remembering the Kanji."

The biggest problem I have though is the lack of motivation to keep me going. I want to learn so bad, but I just find myself going to do other things rather than taking the time out to learn it.

I know some random words like こんいちわ, ありがとお, and さよなら, but haven't gotten much further than that.

What can I do to stay motivated?


I've been learning Chinese and this can happen to me as well. But, not only should you make sure that you make yourself do it on a regular basis, but find ways to help you stay interested. One thing my friend did was use audio books at about his speaking level and an annotation site to translate it, then broke up the audio clips into 2 minute segments and studied that way. You can't keep doing the same exact thing with the language every day, or else it will get dull. You can use sites like interpals to meet native Japanese that are also English learners, they will help you a lot. As well as things like looking at Japanese news articles. It's not only about taking an interest in the language, but finding stuff that interests you in the culture that helps you learn the language as well. Obviously once you get better you can start to even move into Manga. Granted there's a lot of more abstract terminology so I recommend waiting on that till you reach higher levels in the language.

I like Assimil personally and recommend it. The lessons are per day and they are done extremely well. They don't overload you on information but take it day by day, next thing you know a month goes by and you can speak sentences and phrases that would have seemed near impossible when you started.

Here's a link if you take any interest, and I recommend buying it on Amazon because I haven't seen it as cheap anywhere else:

Volume 1: http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Ease-Volume-Coursebook-Assimil/dp/2700521005

Volume 2: http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-With-Ease-Assimil/dp/2700521013/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_y

Writing: http://www.amazon.com/Writing-Japanese-With-Stroke-Stroke/dp/2700503554/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_z

(However, I think the writing is the most repetitious and hardest part to learn.)

我看过Assimil的课程了,些课都的很好。有人想这个不好, 可是他们不对了。 (Chinese)

On a last note, I know I wrote a lot here, but... remember that fluency is something that takes years to obtain to where you can converse on virtually any topic even if you don't necessarily know a lot about it. So make sure you always mix it up and add things in as you increase your level. Don't feel pressured to rush the language, you truly need to assimilate yourself to the use of grammar and vocabulary. It's hard especially with most Asian languages being so different from romance languages. I hope you the best in your studies.
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39 / M / Charleston, SC
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Posted 12/10/12
Try to focus on the fact that you'll be opening up a new resource for sexual encounters.
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25 / F / The Netherlands
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Posted 12/11/12

haikinka wrote:

You can't want to learn THAT bad if you can't find the motivation to do it.


Oh, it happens. I have ADD and it's pretty hard to force myself into studying daily, even though I have nothing else to do and I want it so bad.


Make a schedule. Set goals. Give yourself rewards.
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31 / F / Kumamoto, Japan
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Posted 12/11/12
I can understand what you mean but I also agree with what some people are saying about how you can't REALLY want to learn the language if you can't find the motivation to do so. I speak from experience on this matter. My problem is I easily get distracted by things. I can be studying and then I'll notice something that needs to be cleaned, so I'll do it. Before I know it those things that need to be cleaned or dealt with begin to pile up. Now hours have passed and I think "Oh crap! I should study!" but then I think, "Well, in a moment. I'll check Reddit first."

And then it's time to sleep.

I have the motivation to learn. I live in Japan and I want to make friends, but at the same time I just don't want to feel bothered. I don't get much free time and I feel like I spend most of it at work, doing paperwork for work or at the gym (I like the gym). In the few hours of free time I have I always put it off.

What works for me--and I'm a procrastinator--make a plan to study at a specific time. Make it like a daily ritual. Same time everyday. Eventually it will become just the normal thing for you to do. Of course it's okay to cancel your study session to do other things every now and again but you cannot make a habit out of it or you will fall out of your ritual.

I think before you focus on Kanji you need to get hiragana and katakana down to a T. It doesn't seem like you're there quite yet judging by your spellings. Spelling is important otherwise your kanji (if typed) will come out being something completely different. I think your motivation may be swaying because you're pushing yourself too hard.
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25 / F / The Netherlands
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Posted 12/11/12

Kerensa wrote:

I can understand what you mean but I also agree with what some people are saying about how you can't REALLY want to learn the language if you can't find the motivation to do so. I speak from experience on this matter. My problem is I easily get distracted by things. I can be studying and then I'll notice something that needs to be cleaned, so I'll do it. Before I know it those things that need to be cleaned or dealt with begin to pile up. Now hours have passed and I think "Oh crap! I should study!" but then I think, "Well, in a moment. I'll check Reddit first."

And then it's time to sleep.

I have the motivation to learn. I live in Japan and I want to make friends, but at the same time I just don't want to feel bothered. I don't get much free time and I feel like I spend most of it at work, doing paperwork for work or at the gym (I like the gym). In the few hours of free time I have I always put it off.

What works for me--and I'm a procrastinator--make a plan to study at a specific time. Make it like a daily ritual. Same time everyday. Eventually it will become just the normal thing for you to do. Of course it's okay to cancel your study session to do other things every now and again but you cannot make a habit out of it or you will fall out of your ritual.

I think before you focus on Kanji you need to get hiragana and katakana down to a T. It doesn't seem like you're there quite yet judging by your spellings. Spelling is important otherwise your kanji (if typed) will come out being something completely different. I think your motivation may be swaying because you're pushing yourself too hard.


Reddit is a dead sentence to studying, unless you are visiting r/learnjapanese
That's my excuse
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20 / M / Space/Time
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Posted 12/11/12
I understand where you are coming from, this is probably what you are thinking:
"I wan't to learn it, but there are other really interesting things i could do right now"

I feel the same way sometimes. When you get bored, stop and try again later. Me personally, never get bored of learning japanese, because there is always something to learn from it.

Just take more breaks in between, if you can't do it, try again later. I recommend using: Japanesepod101 if you want a good online way to learn. :D

Good luck.
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